20 Years of Bilingual

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JJ Naas
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20 Years of Bilingual

#1 Post by JJ Naas » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:31 am

Today.

Bilingual is the album I have the most complicated relationship with. When it came out I had heard Se A Vida E and Before, and I had liked those singles very much (esp. the whole Before single with Truck Driver.. and Hit and Miss), but when I got the full album, it felt more inconsistent than any of the previous albums, and I was a bit put off by it. There were some skippable songs, but a lot of fantastic moments as well. After a while I didn't listen to it very much at all, but I rediscovered it big time about 8 years ago, and since then I've learned to love it very much. It's still a complicated and uneven album with some of the richest soundscapes the Boys have ever delivered, and its many sad-but-sunshniny moments send chills down my spine every time I give myself properly time to listen to it.

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Bulldog
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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#2 Post by Bulldog » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:06 am

If it was a rock album you could compare it with Led Zeppelin's "Presence" or with Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here": an unfocused, but rather vibrant album that marks the beginning of a slow descent after a bunch of untouchable releases. At the same time you can't deny that with its flaws (they probably worked too long on it) it aged significantly better than Very, and allowed them to step a little out of the "100% synthpop band" cage. As I wrote in another topic, we know there's a lot of unfinished tracks from this era, and it'be great to hear them in some form, to see if with different choices the tracklist would have been stronger and completely up to the interesting production.
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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#3 Post by Tom Angel » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 9:06 am

There's not a lot I would change on Bilingual. I've never been mad on Single, but it works very well with Discoteca

Metamorphosis is the closes to what might have been a b-sidet, its a bit cheesy, and yet a guilty pleasure. I bloody love Chris and Neil harmonising on 'it's all about love, it's a Metamorphosis.'

London also features heavily, which I always love - embankment gardens for eg.

As to the ballads - the Survivors and It always comes as a surprise are two of their finest moments - utterly romantic, melodic, soothing, yet muscular.

And Up against it, with Johnny Marr's loose contribution recalls the abandonment of Why don;t we live together? from please - pure ecstasy.
in suits or sequins/or twin sets and pearls

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#4 Post by Straight_Talker » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 10:11 am

A great album, not their strongest, but great none-the-less. The thing I loved more than anything about the "Bilingual" era was the single releases. Oh how good they were. Irrespective of the actual single choices the whole package with each release was outstanding (including "Somewhere"). The peak of CD singles from our "Boys"? My favourite CD single package will always be "I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing" but as a whole album set, "Bilingual" kicks arse..!
More strobes and BANGING, please!

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JJ Naas
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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#5 Post by JJ Naas » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 10:21 am

Tom Angel wrote: London also features heavily, which I always love - embankment gardens for eg.
I love this:

Cross a windy bridge
one winter night
Past Embankment Gardens
enter warmth and light
Straight_Talker wrote:The thing I loved more than anything about the "Bilingual" era was the single releases.
What a wonderful set of b-sides:

The truck-driver and his mate
Hit and miss
In the night 1995
Betrayed
How I learned to hate rock-and-roll
Discoteca (New version)
The calm before the storm
Confidential (Demo for Tina Turner)
The boy who couldn't keep his clothes on
Delusions of grandeur


On a side note, I've always really liked this album cover. Light, airy and relaxed.

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#6 Post by chrissyboy » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 10:23 am

I think it is an underrated album. It gets off to a barnstorming start and apart from two misfires in Metamorphosis and Saturday Night Forever it is consistently strong. It is musically diverse and lyrically I would say it is among their best work and features one of their finest ballads in It Always Comes as a Surprise. I do like a ballad.

Might give the album a listen tonight.

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#7 Post by michael888 » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 10:28 am

I really like Before. It's my top 5 PSB song.
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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#8 Post by Straight_Talker » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 10:31 am

JJ Naas wrote: What a wonderful set of b-sides:

The truck-driver and his mate
Hit and miss
In the night 1995
Betrayed
How I learned to hate rock-and-roll
Discoteca (New version)
The calm before the storm
Confidential (Demo for Tina Turner)
The boy who couldn't keep his clothes on
Delusions of grandeur
JJ Naas: A treasure trove of b-sides and we can't forget the remixes, either. I loved the ones on "Single", "A red letter day" and "Somewhere".
More strobes and BANGING, please!

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#9 Post by Pod » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 2:37 pm

I do like bilingual - particularly up against it, saturday night forever and the survivors. I also really like Electricity - not everyone's cup of tea, but I think its a strong track on the album. I really cannot stand se a vida e - I know a lot on here like it, but to me it is cringeworthy.
Very was a hard act to follow, but on the whole I think Bilingual stands up pretty well. As other have said, not their finest hour, but a good album nonetheless.
The trouser enthusiasts autoerotic decapitation remix of red letter day is one of my favourite mixes.

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#10 Post by JSDOUVRES » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:03 pm

This album means a lot to me, I was actually in France when it was released and my mum got the tape the day it was released and sent it to me, I listened to it non stop for the next few weeks!

Quite appropriate that it is called Bilingual I suppose, although I wasn't myself at that time. Every album I own comes with memories, most good, most bad but memories none the less and this one takes me back to what feels like yesterday. Quite emotional actually. Another one I remember well is yes, it leaked whilst I was in Egypt and I was staying on a boat on the nile with awful internet connection that was only turned on for a few hours at a time, I downloaded it and put it onto a cdr which I played as I had a cd walkman at the time (hate changes and did finally get an mp3 player shortly afterwards). I remember listening to The way it used to be whilst going over the nile in a coach, Yes is my Egypt album!

True that the b-sides are fantastic, the album itself is pretty good too, It Always Comes As A Surprise is a true PSB classic in my opinion and I play it often, brilliant start with Discoteca too.

Can't believe it's 20 years!

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#11 Post by daveid » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:07 pm

Shame it didn't go gold then it could be called BLINGUAL. HA HA HA...HA
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Coat time

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#12 Post by Tom Angel » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:44 pm

Foxbase alpha is also 20 years old!!

http://www.albumism.com/features/tribut ... base-alpha

Shame no one has written a tribute to Bilingual - I wish I'd thought of it
in suits or sequins/or twin sets and pearls

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#13 Post by daveid » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 7:52 pm

Tom Angel wrote:Foxbase alpha is also 20 years old!!

http://www.albumism.com/features/tribut ... base-alpha

Shame no one has written a tribute to Bilingual - I wish I'd thought of it
25.

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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#14 Post by Tom Angel » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:28 pm

oops! 25. That gives me 5 years to write the 25th anniversary tribute to Bilingual then
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Re: 20 Years of Bilingual

#15 Post by Old Soak » Fri 02 Sep 2016, 8:40 pm

Really at or near the bottom of PSB album output. All the Latin flavoured songs are broadly 5/10, I describe them as 'busily overproduced'. It's an uneven ride too as the likes of Metamorphasis and Electricity are weak and stylistically don't mesh with the Latin tracks. Ah yes, then there's the steaming turd of To step aside, one of only four PSB tracks I actively loathe. No redeeming features. Whatsoever. Not an easy listen for me.
And at the end/ Your funny Uncle staring / At all your friends / With military bearing

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