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Slaves to the Rhythm: ZTT Celebrates 30 Years with New Two-Disc Compilation (UPDATED 9/17)

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ZTT Organization of PopTo mark their three wild, wonderful decades on the bleeding edge of U.K. pop and rock, ZTT Records will release a new two-disc compilation in October.

The Organization of Pop: Music from the First Thirty Years of ZTT Records collects 28 tracks that run the gamut of ZTT’s influence, from Frankie Goes to Hollywood to Propaganda, 808 State to The Buggles, Grace Jones to Seal, The Art of Noise to The Frames. The huge hits – Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose,” Frankie’s “Relax,” The Art of Noise’s “Moments in Love” – come together on the first disc, while some of the lesser known cuts and buried treasures (The Buggles’ “We Can Fly from Here,” later covered by Yes in 2011, and The Frames’ “Say It to Me Now,” later re-recorded by band frontman Glen Hansard for the soundtrack to the acclaimed Once, in which he starred in 2007) appear on the second. That disc also includes three unreleased tracks by Nasty Rox, Inc., Das Psycho Rangers and The Art of Noise with guest raps by acclaimed MC Rakim.

The Organization of Pop, for now, is actually exclusive to the U.S., making it one of the first ZTT titles released in the States under their new licensing deal with Razor & Tie. A “London version,” entitled (what else?) The Organisation of Pop, has been promised by the label in 2014, along with another volume of The Art of the 12″ and a CD/DVD edition of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood compilation Frankie Said.

Expect The Organization of Pop in stores October 15. The Amazon U.S. link and track list (courtesy of Slicing Up Eyeballs) are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 17, 2013 at 12:30

Razor & Tie Hires a Bunch of Stiffs (and ZTT, Too)

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ZTT Stiff logos“If It Ain’t On Stiff, It Ain’t Worth a F***!” declared a famous slogan for the venerable punk and New Wave label. This month, that worth-a-f*** spirit extends to catalogue label Razor & Tie, who today announced a brand-new licensing agreement in North America with both Stiff and equally iconic British label ZTT.

Stiff, of course, was best known for putting out early works by The Damned (their “New Rose” is considered by some scholars to be the first punk rock single), Kirsty MacColl (some of her early singles appeared on the recent compilation A New England), Ian Dury and, of course, Elvis Costello. (Costello famously controls his own masters, having distributed them in the United States on the Columbia, Rykodisc, Rhino and UMe labels between 1978 and the present, in varying configurations of “deluxe.”)

Just as exciting, of course, is Razor & Tie’s partnership with Zang Tuum Tumb Records, the quirky U.K. dance-pop label celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Early singles “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and “Moments in Love” by The Art of Noise redefined pop music for the 1980s (the former was famously banned by the BBC for its saucy lyrical content), and latter-day bands like 808 State and Propaganda remain favorites by discerning rock lovers to this day.

ZTT has seen a great deal of U.K. catalogue work since The Second Disc started in 2010, with expanded reissues of works by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Art of Noise and others earning general acclaim among catalogue connoisseurs.

While exact details for either label’s physical reissue plan have yet to be ironed out, Razor & Tie’s strategy, according to a statement, includes “newly expanded editions this year,” “licensing opportunities for the catalog” and “new, direct to consumer ZTT Records and Stiff Records online merch stores which will feature an array of newly created, limited-edition items including classic logo shirts and much more to be announced soon.”

Written by Mike Duquette

March 5, 2013 at 15:59

More ZTT and All That

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Not only is a deluxe edition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Liverpool prepped for February 2011, but another vault-clearing compilation is on the way from the ZTT label.

Zang Tuum Tumb and The Art of the 12″ is two discs’ worth of rare or unreleased dance cuts from the best acts to ever grace the roster from 1983 to 1989 or so: Frankie, Propaganda, Art of Noise, 808 State and plenty more. It’s also got a handful of those distinctively ZTT short tracks that ended up on the odd single from time to time.

The set is available February 7 (the same day as the Liverpool reissue), and the track list is after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 24, 2010 at 13:11

Another Handful of ZTT

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The Zang Tuum Tumb label, which gave us some of the most experimental but accessible pop from the U.K., has been going strong all year with reissuing material from 808 State to Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Here are a few of their latest vault offerings ready to go, in case you’ve missed them.

The synth-pop pioneers Propaganda will see a 25th anniversary edition of their debut LP, A Secret Wish. This two disc set includes the original album plus rare and unreleased remixes. (Thanks as always to Slicing Up Eyeballs for the track list.) Propaganda were an influence on Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, and Secret Wish track “Dr. Mabuse” was featured in the film Some Kind of Wonderful. (The accompanying video was also the first clip directed by Anton Corbijn, known as the principal photographer for Depeche Mode and U2.)

There’s also a new Art of Noise compilation slated for release from ZTT as well. It compiles all the major hits of the band as well as another disc of unreleased material from across The AoN’s lifespan.

Both sets will be out in the U.K. on July 19, and can be pre-ordered here and here. The track lists are yours, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 7, 2010 at 11:52