RELEASED to celebrate the 30th anniversary of epochal 1980s record label Zang Tuum Tumb (ZTT for short), these two double sets are highly recommended for anyone who remembers that decade with any degree of fondness. Or, indeed, for anyone who doesn’t.
Beautifully packaged – ZTT always made a great looking record – with fabulous sleeve notes by in-house hype-merchant and former NME journalist Paul Morley, both are full to the brim of ambitious, driven pop.
In the 1980s, labels meant something and with ZTT it meant you could be getting anything.
From Frankie’s all-conquering mixture of the Sex Pistols and Duran Duran, Anne Pigalle’s chamber pop to Nasty Rox Inc’s Big Audio Dynamite-style hip-hop and Leilani’s proto Lily Allen, the label had a breadth of scope that made their releases unpredictable but always worthy of investigation.
Frankie’s back catalogue has been endlessly repackaged but this new deluxe edition supercedes all other available best ofs, not least for the DVD of the group’s essential promo videos, as controversial in their day (which is no mean feat) as their records.
The double label best-of, meanwhile, is astonishing: disc one mops up the hits but ignore disc two at your peril. Quite how the likes of Act’s Snobbery and Decay and Glenn Gregory and Claudia Brucken’s When Your Heart Runs Out of Time failed to reach the top 40 will always be a mystery.
Like this? Try these: Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City; Duran Duran: Notorious