First off: This is not a collection that I personally put together. And most of the tracks it contains are not my rips. This set of old Lotus Eaters remixes is something I acquired online a long time ago. But since the blog it came from has since disappeared, I thought I'd recirculate it because it's pretty great stuff. (I can't remember the name of the blog that first put this out and Web searches reveal nothing, but if someone wants to step forward in the comments section I'll give credit where it's due.)
I did contribute to this set, however. I improved a few of the rips since I had them in better quality. I also researched release date info and songwriter's credits and included that in the file tags. Most of these recordings were UK-only 12-inch singles that came out on indie labels in the mid-1980s, so this stuff is starting to get lost to history.
I'd bought the tape for the song "Never Never," which was a minor college radio hit by another group that quickly came and went, the Assembly. But what grabbed my attention instead was the tune by the Lotus Eaters, "First Picture Of You," which had a glittering, effervescent quality that seemed emblematic of the optimistic mid-'80s. (Well, at least my own private mid-'80s. Dunno what yours was like. Mine was great. But I digress.)
Eventually, I tracked down the Lotus Eaters' lone LP from 1984, No Sense Of Sin. It did not disappoint. The Liverpool-based group's two main writers, Peter Coyle and Jeremy "Jem" Kelly, had a knack for writing pop tunes that were tailor-made for the synth-pop genre of the day (as opposed to other groups, who sounded like they were shoehorning standard rock ideas into synthesizer-based arrangements).
Since most of the songs here are from that album, they range from good to great. The opening track, "Out On Your Own," lengthens the original LP cut by almost two minutes but actually works better that way. The extra time gives the synth riff that drives the song room more to expand. When you've got a great riff, flaunt it.
"Can You Keep A Secret," which was another highlight of No Sense Of Sin, gets an expanded introduction. Some research indicates that this was the way it was presented on the original pressings of the album and the now-common three-minute edit replaced it on later editions. As with Duran Duran and others, the Lotus Eaters had more than one version of an album released after they'd had a bit of success and their record company reworked the track list in order to better appeal to commercially-oriented teen listeners.
Finally, three of the tunes here are songs that weren't on the original album at all. "It Hurts (There Must Be A Taste Of Murder In It) (12-Inch Version)" was the A-Side of a non-LP 12-inch single. "My Happy Dream (Long Version)" was the B-Side of the "Set Me Apart" 12-inch and "You Don't Need Someone New (Charleston Mix)" is a special mix which appeared on the B-Side of the 12-inch single of the same name.
The above titles might be familiar to hardcore fans, but these versions won't be. These specific mixes are not the same ones that appear as bonus cuts on the expanded CD reissue of No Sense Of Sin. All are exclusive to the 12-inch singles...and now to this collection.
Various Artists - Sharp Cuts (1980)
Nina Schultz - Nina Schulta (1982 EP)
Color Me Gone - Color Me Gone (1984)
Marshall Crenshaw - U.S. Remix (1984)
Tommy Keene - Places That Are Gone (1984)
Growing Up Different - A+B=C (1985)
Marti Jones: Unsophisticated Time (1985)
1. Out On Your Own (Extended Version)
2. The First Picture Of You (12-Inch Version)
3. German Girl (Long Version)
4. It Hurts (There Must Be A Taste Of Murder In It) (12-Inch Version)
5. Love Still Flows (Extended Mix)
6. You Fill Me With Need (Remix)
7. My Happy Dream (Long Version)
8. Set Me Apart (Full Length Original Version)
9. Can You Keep A Secret (Long Version)
10. You Don't Need Someone New (Charleston Mix)