Saturday Deluxe / 28 May 2016

It's Immaterial-Unknown-002
Jarvis Whitehead and John Campbell of It’s Immaterial

Thanks for the good vibes and enthusiasm about the forthcoming It’s Immaterial reissue (more here). To recap, the British ‘indie-pop’ band’s (a loose description) first album, Life’s Hard And Then You Die – they thought ‘life’s a bitch’ was too vulgar – is being reissued as a two-CD 30th anniversary deluxe edition in July. I’ve put this together for Universal’s Caroline International imprint, hence the shameless promotion on SDE :)

To give you an insight into the process, I put forward the suggestion back in May last year and after it was agreed in principle, the full track listing was submitted around July time. It took over six months for this to be fully cleared for release and it wasn’t until Jan/Feb 2016 that we could finally get on with getting tapes baked, transferred, remastered and get going on the design and artwork.

I went up to Liverpool in March this year to meet up with frontman John Campbell. We had lunch and I interviewed him about the album, some of which is included in the booklet. He then gave me a mini-tour of Liverpool city centre, which was lovely since, shamefully, I’d never been the city. John still sees Jarvis Whitehead regularly and he actually ‘interviewed’ his friend about the album. Quotes from this conversation are featured in the booklet.

Finally, I popped down to Battersea late in the same month to rack the brain of producer Dave Bascombe who has fond memories of working on the record and some interesting and amusing insights into the recording process and working with the musicians, one of whom was octogenarian banjo player Tarrant Bailey Jnr (“This bloke had never been in a studio. He didn’t know what headphones were”).

I’ll be revealing the track listing exclusively to those on the It’s Immaterial mailing list next week, so if you haven’t already do sign up. And don’t forget about the competition.


Richard Ashcroft does very well and nabs the number one position on this week’s UK physical album charts with his fourth solo album These People. Meanwhile Eric Clapton‘s I Still Do enters at number four (one behind Bob Dylan‘s Fallen Angels). Not bad at all, considering the two deluxe editions are hard to get hold of outside North America/Canada and they’re not even released until early June.

Parlophone’s reissue of David Bowie‘s CHANGESONEBOWIE is new at number 17. One wonders how much their ploy of issuing this on ‘random’ vinyl (black and clear) helped increase sales. It also came out on CD too, although curiously in the USA that is packaged in a jewel case, whereas in the UK/Europe it comes as a little gatefold card wallet. If you want a close look at the vinyl, check out this SDEtv ‘unboxing’ video.

Sony’s 20th anniversary reissue of the Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go album debuts appropriately at number 20 (video here) while the pricer, but frankly better, box set of Adam and the Ants Kings of the Wild Frontier lags a little bit behind at number 37 (watch the video).

Finally BMG’s Associates reissues are represented by the band’s commercial breakthrough Sulk, which slots in at a creditable number 55.

SDE helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It would be nice to see Bowie’s ChangesTwo given the same treatment, although a shame One wasn’t expanded in any way.


Great Paul, this is a guaranteed buy. Since other people are at it, I’m putting in Nr. 1 from my wishlist: Loz Netto’s Bzar with the amazing “Fadaway”. I transfered the 12″ from vinyl. It’s nowhere to be found on CD.

Rare Glam

I’m getting shades of The The and even Dead Can Dance (on parts of the vocal on Washing The Air)

Paul Murphy

Paul, any chance you can work your suggestion magic on any of these: Scarlet Fantastic – ’24 Hrs’ [the Cherry Red re-issue shamefully omitted the stunning ‘No Memory [No Technology]’; Bliss – ‘Loveprayer’; The Beautiful South – ‘Welcome To’ ?

Rare Glam

Thanks for getting this project off the ground Paul. I’ve been sampling the album from an earlier reissue on Youtube. Both ‘Hang On Sleepy Town’ and ‘Washing The Air’ are excellent, I’m definitely getting this! Brings to mind a meld of The Associates and Soft Cell. I liked the opening remarks from an Amazon reviewer of an earlier reissue in 2001:

‘It’s Immaterial represent a brilliant musical dead-end. No-one bought their records, no-one copied them and so what could have been the beginning of a fine tradition of English song fizzled out with their second album.’

I really like the creepy clown design as well (reminds me of Ride’s ‘Going Blank Again’ cover art). Hope this is successful so the second album ‘Song’ might get the same treatment?

Mike the Fish

Thanks for the insight into the It’s Immaterial release. Such a long process!


Sulk is an excellent reissue, has beaten Lexicon of Love 2 in my house this week!