The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Getting Away with It: Sumner and Marr’s “Electronic” Gets a Confusing Expansion

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Electronic-Electronic-Special-EditionIt’s not enough for Johnny Marr to be one of the greatest guitarists of the modern era (one with a solo album bowing today in the U.K.); this March, his acclaimed foray into dance music with Bernard Sumner will be reissued. But brace yourself, fans: it’s a little weird.

Frustrated by New Order’s resistance to a more synth-based direction, Sumner began work on the Electronic by himself, but called longtime friend Marr – whose departure from The Smiths caused the band to dissolve – to collaborate. Their first single, “Getting Away with It,” a U.K. Top 20 hit in 1988, featured additional star power in the form of co-writing and vocals by Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys. (Tenant and his bandmate Chris Lowe wrote album cut “Patience of a Saint” with Sumner and Marr.)

The band’s self-titled debut LP took a year to record (not counting additional time supporting Depeche Mode on their World Violation Tour) and was released by Factory Records in 1991. (Parlophone would handle all future releases, including reissues of Electronic, after Factory folded.) Sumner, Marr and Tennant collaborated again on the band’s 1992 single “Disappointed” (their biggest hit), but subsequent albums did not enjoy the same critical success. 1999’s Twisted Tenderness would be their final full-length release, with Sumner and Marr amicably moving on to other projects.

What makes this forthcoming expansion of Electronic frustrating is the haphazard nature of the bonus material on the second disc. “Disappointed,” its B-side “Idiot Country Two” and the instrumental of “Getting Away with It” are featured, but the remaining tracks are unreleased mixes or (in most cases) edits of tracks from subsequent Electronic projects. Compare that to the dozen period B-sides and remixes included on a U.K.-only, digital-only expansion of the album in 2007, and you have quite an unusual situation, indeed.

But for the curious, it’s out on March 11 in England. (Thanks to super-reader Don for the tip!) Here’s what you’ll get:

Electronic: Special Edition (EMI Catalogue (U.K.), 2013)

(Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Disc 1: Remastered LP (originally released as Factory FACT 290 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. 26387, 1991)

  1. Idiot Country
  2. Reality
  3. Tighten Up
  4. The Patience of a Saint
  5. Getting Away with It
  6. Gangster
  7. Soviet
  8. Get the Message
  9. Try All You Want
  10. Some Distant Memory
  11. Feel Every Beat

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. Disappointed (Stephen Hague 7” Version) (single A-side – Parlophone R-6311, 1992)
  2. Second to None (Edit) *
  3. Lean to the Inside (Edit) *
  4. Twisted Tenderness (Guitar/Vocal Mix) *
  5. Idiot Country Two (12” Version) (B-side to “Disappointed” – Parlophone 12R-6311, 1992)
  6. Free Will (Edit) *
  7. Until the End of Time (Edit) *
  8. Feel Every Beat (Edit) *
  9. Getting Away with It (Instrumental) (CD single B-side – Factory FACD 257, 1989)
  10. Turning Point (Edit) (B-side to “Second Nature” – Parlophone CDR-6455, 1997)
  11. Visit Me (Edit) *
  12. Twisted Tenderness (Instrumental) *

* denotes previously unreleased edit/mix. Original versions of Tracks 2-3 were B-sides to “Feel Every Beat” (Factory, 1991). Original versions of Tracks 4 and 12 from Twisted Tenderness (Parlophone, 1999). Original version of Track 6 was a B-side to “Get the Message” (Factory, 1991). Original version of Tracks 7 and 11 from Raise the Pressure (Parlophone, 1995). Original version of Track 8 from original LP.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 14, 2013 at 11:38

3 Responses

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  1. A bloody annoying release this as I’d kill to get properly remastered CDs of all those glorious b-sides off the early singles but, not this time round it seems. Why do all the Electronic remasters have the tracks all butchered? Even the brilliant “Imitation Of Life” off the “Forbidden City” single that was on the “Get The Message” singles compilation had the ending lopped off (and, for a singles collection, why did that have the *album* version of “Feel Every Beat” – the 7″ version doesn’t appear to be on this new CD either…)

    *headdesk* 😦

    DJ Dust

    January 14, 2013 at 11:58

  2. The bonus tracks on this are super-frustrating. They could have just reissued the 2007 digital deluxe edition for a far superior edition. Instead, they’ve apparently put in a lot of extra work (creating new “edits,” inserting unreleased tracks from later albums) to make a bonus disc that truly stinks. It makes no sense whatsoever. This is a classic album that deserves better.

    Don

    January 14, 2013 at 18:36

  3. Does anyone know if the album has been remastered again? This CD was issued as a remaster very early on – 1994 (it had a black cover like the one shown, the original issue cover was orange).

    Gerry

    January 23, 2013 at 14:06


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