The Second Disc

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ZTT Ascends to New “Heights”

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ZTT Records has had a bit of success this year releasing archival projects by 808 State, expanding and reissuing four of their albums in 2010 and issuing a career-spanning anthology, Blueprint, earlier this year. Now, Japanese audiences have another 808-related title to enjoy: an expanded edition of The North At Its Heights, the debut album by Madchester artist MC Tunes.

Tunes, born Nicholas Hodgson, was only 18 when he became the first rapper signed to the ZTT label. He was signed right as 808 State joined the label, and the group was soon hired to produce Tunes’ album. It was 808’s first brush with chart success, as the album hit No. 26 in the U.K. and spawned a Top 10 single, “The Only Rhyme That Bites.” Hodgson never found the same amount of success as an artist, but he did enjoy brief success with a new project, Dust Junkys, in the late ’90s, and also contributed to an 808 State track, “Pump,” released on the Japanese compilation Thermo Kings in 1996.

This new edition of Heights comes expanded with seven unreleased remixes of “The Only Rhyme That Bites,” follow-up Top 20 hit “Tunes Splits the Atom,” “Pump” and “Dance Yourself to Death,” produced by 808 State, The Dust Brothers and others, including one brand-new remix just for this release by Tunes’ new outfit, The Ugly Project.

The set is out on November 19 in Japan; hit the jump for an order link and track list.

MC Tunes, The North At Its Heights: Deluxe Edition (ZTT (JP), 2011)

  1. The Only Rhyme That Bites
  2. This Ain’t No Fantasy
  3. Dance Yourself to Death
  4. Own Worst Enemy
  5. The North At Its Heights
  6. Tunes Splits the Atom
  7. Mancunian Blues
  8. The Sequel
  9. Primary Rhyming
  10. Dub At Its Heights
  11. Dance Yourself to Death (Dust Brothers Club Mix)
  12. Pump and More
  13. The Only Rhyme That Bites (808’s Instrumental)
  14. Dance Yourself to Death (Original 909 Mix)
  15. The Only Rhyme That Bites (Optical Mix)
  16. The Only Rhyme That Bites (Ugly As Sin Mix)
  17. Tunes Splits the Atom (Creamatomic Mix)

Tracks 1-10 released as ZTT Records LP 3, 1990
Tracks 11-17 previously unreleased

Written by Mike Duquette

November 14, 2011 at 15:41

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