Associates two-CD deluxe editions

BMG are to reissue Scottish post-punk band Associates’ first three albums as two-CD deluxe editions, along with a new double-disc anthology.

Formed in Scotland in 1976 by Billy MacKenzie (vocals) and Alan Rankine (synths / guitars / programming), the pair settled on the name Associates in 1979 after a short period as The Ascorbic Ones and then for a while in 1979 with the moniker Mental Torture. Their debut album The Affectionate Punch was eventually released (on the Fiction label) in August 1980. The following year the band issued six singles (on another label, Situation Two) whose A and B-sides were gathered on the next long-player, compilation Fourth Drawer Down.

The next album Sulk (on yet another label, Beggars Banquet) would be the commercial breakthrough, delivering two top 20 singles in Party Fears Two and Club Country. This would be the last album with founding multi-instrumentalist Alan Rankine.

The new 2016 reissues are curated by Associates bass player Michael Dempsey. These are remastered (from original tapes) with bonus discs full of rarities and some unreleased tracks. The booklets also feature new notes and rare photos. Only Sulk is seeing a vinyl reissue at this stage, and that’s album only without any of the bonus tracks.


Even if you’re buying the individual reissues, you should not discount the companion anthology Associates – The Very Best Of. This 26-track, two-CD set is issued on BMG’s Metro Select label, and features three previously unreleased tracks, along with their biggest hits and celebrated cover versions, including David Bowie’s Boys Keep Swinging.

The two-CD deluxe editions are due on 6 May, preceded by The Very Best Of, which is issued a month earlier on 8 April 2016.


The Affectionate Punch 2CD

Fourth Drawer Down 2CD deluxe

Sulk 2CD deluxe

Sulk vinyl reissue


Associates – Very Best Of (2CD)


The Affectionate Punch 2CD Deluxe

1/ The Affectionate Punch
2/ Amused As Always
3/ Logan Time
4/ Paper House
5/ Transport To Central
6/ A Matter Of Gender
7/ Even Dogs In The Wild
8/ Would I…Bounce Back
9/ Deeply Concerned
10/ A
All tracks produced by The Associates, Mike Hedges & Chris Parry

1/ Boys Keep Swinging
2/ Mona Property Girl `
3/ Schmoltz*
4/ Green For Grief
5/ Geese
6/ Saline Drips
7/ Galaxy Of Memories
8/ Double Hipness
9/ Big Waltz (aka Paper House)
10/ Janice (aka Deeply Concerned)
11/ You Were Young
12/ Bounce Back – Remix
13/ A – Remix
14/ Amused As Always – Remix
15/ The Affectionate Punch – Remix
16/ The End

Tracks 1 & 2 produced by The Associates
Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 16 produced by The Associates, Mike Hedges & Chris Parry
Tracks 12 & 13 produced by Associates and Mike Hedges
Tracks 14 & 15 produced by Associates/Mark Arthurworrey
*Previously unreleased

Fourth Drawer Down 2CD Deluxe Edition

CD 1
1/ White Car In Germany
2/ A Girl Named Property
3/ Kitchen Person
4/ Q Quarters
5/ Tell Me Easter’s On Friday
6/ The Associate
7/ Message Oblique Speech
8/ An Even Whiter Car

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 & 8 produced by Associates/Mike Hedges
Tracks 4 and 5 produced by Associates/Flood

CD 2
1/ Straw Towels
2/ Kissed
3/ Fearless (It Takes A Full Moon)
4/ Point Si
5/ Blue Soap
6/ The Tree That Never Sang
7/ Straw Towels (Demo)
8/ Q Quarters (Demo)

Tracks 1 & 2 produced by Associates/Flood
Track 5 produced by Associates/Mike Hedges
Tracks 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8 produced by Associates

Sulk 2CD Deluxe

CD1 (and vinyl track listing)
1/ Arrogance
2/ No
3/ Bap De La Bap
4/ Gloomy Sunday
5/ Nude Spoons
6/ Skipping
7/ It’s Better This Way
8/ Party Fears Two
9/ Club Country
10/ nothinginsomethingparticular

1/ 18 Carat Love Affair
2/ Love Hangover
3/ Club Country 12”
4/ Party Fears Two (Instrumental)*
5/ It’s Better This Way (Alt Version)
6/ And Then I Read A Book*
7/ Ulcragyceptimol
8/ Skipping (Alt Version)*
9/ Australia*
10/ Me, Myself And The Tragic Story*
11/ I Never Will (demo)
12/ Club Country (Demo)
13/ Grecian 2000

* Previously unreleased
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 13 produced by Associates

Associates – The Very Best of (2CD set)

1. Boys Keep Swinging
2. The Affectionate Punch
3. Tell Me Easter’s On Friday
4. Q Quarters
5. Kitchen Person
6. A
7. Message Oblique Speech
8. White Car In Germany
9. Kites
10. Party Fears Two
11. Club Country
12. 18 Carat Love Affair
13. Love Hangover

1. Eloise*
2. Jukebox Bucharest*
3. Window Shopping (inst)
4. Double Hipness*
5. The Affectionate Punch (demo)
6. The Room We Sat In Before
7. Galaxy Of Memories
8. Gloomy Sunday (Live – ICA 1980)
9. Waiting for The Loveboat (inst)
10. Stephen, You’re Really Something
11. Fear Is My Bride
12. International Loner
13. Edge Of The World
*Previously unreleased

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Does anybody know whether the new version of ‘Sulk’ SOUNDS good? I have a copy of the 2000 remaster and have always felt that it sounds compressed and a little ‘lifeless’, like gated effects were used during the recording or something similar. It just doesn’t sound “exciting”. I played an album by Puressence immediately after listening to the 2000 version of ‘Sulk’ and in comparison, it sounds much more exciting, more live, more everything.

I don’t want to do ‘Sulk’ an injustice, for I actually love the songs on it – ‘Skipping’ is amazing, for instance – but the album suffers in that it sounds like I’m listening to a C90 cassette rather than a remastered CD.

I’m keen to know whether they’ve made it sound more “open” during the latest remastering.


The Sulk reissue is glorious – and I was a doubter.
I put a full review on Amazon – it really is Better This Way.

Arild S.

For us who have followed Associates for some time there are very few new songs on the reissues- all the same, its going to be hard not to buy these…


Head over to PLEDGEMUSIC, they have multiple formats available… some of them signed!!!And they are cheaper than Amazon…
On another point, I can clearly remember them being on top of the pops (1982?) and that episode was the first and last time that I liked every song they played (New Order, Wah!, Soft Cell etc etc)

John Sayers

Buying the 3 cd reissues here cost less than Amazon UK and I assume more $ goes to Alan and Mike :


Paul Thomson

Damn. Wish I had known before the signed editions sold out :(

Keith Howie

Extra 100 signed bundles just gone on, but selling fast. You can update your order if you ordered unsigned copies (I did).

Paul Thomson

Thanks Keith, just ordered them and will head off to Amazon to cancel my pre-order there.


They have a Pledgemusic campaign going as with vinyl and signed editions as well as other goodies.

Paul Thomson

All four pre-ordered. Enjoyed a few of the comments on here (Joe MacPherson dashing around LA back in the day) and nice to see someone involved in the production commenting.

Personally I recall Ripping Records in Edinburgh being given an ‘exclusive’ promo of Party Fears Two on condition they played it on repeat for the weekend preceding release – which they did. Loudly. Also remember the gig at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh being rescheduled again and again, much to my chagrin. Later bumped into Billy regularly when studying in Dundee in the mid-80s with his beloved whippets. Or were they greyhounds? RIP Mr Mackenzie.



I fully agree with you. The (re)mastering on the V2 re-release was terrible. I gave up trying to listen to it and reverted to my original Sulk CD from WEA. There was a huge loss of dynamic range on many of the so called remasters from the 2000s (The Cure, Duran Duran, Heaven 17 etc.) so I hope that the remastering will be more in line with the original (non brickwalled) CD. If it sounds terrible, it can in any case be returned as faulty product. Amazon are quite good like that.

Rob Wilcock

Record Store Day also sees a 7″ blue-green vinyl release of Party Fears Two /Australia (Previously unreleased version produced by John Leckie)

Gary Russell

Question for Ian – if ‘And Then I Read A Book” and “Australia” are previously unreleased versions, does that imply the versions that appeared on the V2 version of Sulk are the only things from those reissues not ‘ported over to these new ones?


Still waiting for Sulk to appear on Amazon :-(


It’s there now…


I took the chance and listened to my CD copy of ‘Sulk’ again yesterday, I have the V2 reissue and I must say it really sounds terribly tinny and harsh. Really looking forward to a proper remaster which brings full glory to this and their other albums.
I’d also appreciate a deluxe version of ‘Perhaps’, imho it’s their most exalted piece of work and it may be a bit overproduced but it’s a great album nevertheless and musically catches some of the prevalent spirit of the mid 80s, a mixture of some decadence and cold war angst. The existing cd release unfortunately has no bonus tracks at all.

Johnny Law

Ian, thanks so much for the update. It sounds like so much care and attention has (rightly) gone in to these reissues and, despite any quibbling over exclusions, these are certainly the most comprehensive versions yet. So, many thanks to everyone concerned. I’m delighted regarding the press coverage too.
I, too, hope this leads to more. The Perhaps era, for example, is rich (even if the original recordings remain ‘lost’, Annie Lennox et al) there’s multiple remixes and instrumental versions, the Orbidoig single, Take Me to the Girl single (with the wonderful The Girl That Took Me b-side), Live at Ronnie Scott’s etc.


Perhaps, EW99. Maybe my memory is faulty – I don’t have access to my vinyl here – but I am sure that the original promo 12″ (from 1982?) I have says Club Country Club. I can check next month and update you.

I understand from various comments that this release is limited by master availability. That said, Johnny Law is pretty spot on with the omissions cited. Adding them would make a stronger package and doubtless increase sales.

+1 to Ian for his comments. He is right – of course – and I for one will be buying all of them. I just hope that the mastering gives us back the dynamic range lost on the V2 releases.


Maybe, Tarquin, but I don’t have the promo so you may well be right. The original 12″ that I have (or maybe had, I’m not even sure myself which 12″s I kept and which I’ve lost over the years) just says ‘Club Country’.


Strange how The Affectionate Punch is quite a bit cheaper on Amazon Germany than it is on Amazon UK (£11.80 vs £18.40)

John Sayers

It’s 16.99 now at Amazon Germany.


Great to see these. That said, these re-releases could definitely be improved and should be better.

1. Sulk

I too hope that they include the proper version of Club Country again. It would also be nice also to get back the dynamic range that we lost on the V2 re-release. I have the original Warners CD – audio is actually surprisingly good – and the V2 re-release audio quality was dire by comparison. Do we know anything about the master source?

Rather than this so-called “deluxe” I’d actually prefer a definitive edition of Sulk. By my calculations there’s at least 30 minutes available for the many missing tracks and versions. Instrumental of Party Fears 2 is nice indeed but we’re missing basic stuff like other extended, remixed or single versions. This could all be very easily appended to the release. I might actually buy it then. Also, the 12″ of Club Country is not Club Country 12″ it’s actually called Club Country Club ;)

2. Perhaps

I second the call for a 2CD of Perhaps. I’d happily pay top dollar for the cassette version on CD. How about a deluxe version with a satin inlaid box and 5.1 mixes? I’d love to hear 5.1 mixes of tracks like Breakfast, Those (Extended) First Impressions, 13 Feelings etc. It seems incredible that this was only released on CD with The Glamour Chase back in 2002. Hopefully, they will do something worthwhile for Perhaps this time around.


Nope, Club Country Club was a remixed b-side for the Poperetta EP some years later.

Vince Williams

Not much to add except for agreeing that there are too many exclusions to call these deluxe editions. But then there are so many versions out there of tracks it is hard to keep up!
When Sulk was last rereleased in 2000 a music industry sampler CD called The Tipsheet featured Party Fears Two that was a unique extended mix.
Also the magnificient version of Breakfast live at Ronnie Scotts which featured on a NME free single has never had a CD release so that would be awesome.

Gary Anderko

Didn’t they do a Blondie cover version? I could be wrong.

Ian Gilchrist

The Blondie cover was ‘Heart of Glass’, released long after Alan had departed the group and while it has its fans, it is considered more of a curiosity than a high point in Billy’s career.

Remember that Alan Rankine left the band in’82; Billy carried on using the name Associates with Alan’s blessing for what was effectively the first part of his solo career for a number of years.

To the various people complaining about exclusions etc on this thread: perhaps at some point EVERYTHING can be gathered in one Billy MacKenzie career defining collection.

However, this series of reissues celebrates the unique collaboration of Billy and Alan (with able assistance from others including Mike Hedges, Michael Dempsey, the late John Murphy, and Martha Ladly (now Dr Martha Ladly of Toronto’s Ontario College of Art and Design)), so any releases Alan wasn’t involved with don’t qualify for inclusion.

The track selections on all four releases were made by Associate Michael Dempsey, with the approval and input of Alan Rankine.

As a collaborator on these I can attest to the thoughtfulness and care that has been put into them – but as always, there will be nay sayers criticising the exclusion of tracks (even if some of those DO fall outside the parameters of the BM/AR Associates Mk I era), the re-mastered sound, the photo selection and anything else one might care to take exception with.

I firmly believe everyone is entitled to his opinion.

Dedicated fans should help spread the word on social media if they truly do want to see further releases following these ones (not necessarily by us, but other rights owners will look at the performance of these reissues and gauge whether they should give what they own the same treatment).

I think many fans will be pleased at the amount of Associates media coverage they will see/hear in the coming couple of months (in the first day following the dissemination of the press release last week we confirmed a major feature AND review in Mojo, a lead review and Q&A in Record Collector, and more).

Alan is THRILLED (his word was ‘flabbergasted)’ at the attention to detail and care that went into these – he honestly feels these are the best versions since they were first released. One can’t please all the people all (any) of the time, but if in my role we have succeeded in satisfying an artist and many fans, then I feel we have succeeded in what we set out to do.


Ian, I shall almost certainly be buying all three of these. I’m always more than happy when a CD is restricted to the original album and any extra tracks are put on to a separate CD so these are perfect. Likewise card sleeves are a huge attraction over jewel cases so top marks from me again.

But are you able please to confirm what version of Club Country is on the Sulk CD?

Ian Gilchrist

I believe it is the album version of ‘CC’ on the Sulk CD EW….


Thanks for getting these releases together Ian! Upset to hear about the death of John Murphy who was a fantastic drummer and was a major component of the Associates live sound. I remember talking to him at the bar of a Fall concert at North London Poly and he complained about how he wasn’t allowed to play how he wanted to in the Associates. Though when I mentioned this to a friend, he said he played drums alongside him in a band formed by mates who worked in the Virgin shop on Oxford St (including other Australian Jim Foetus) and John’s drumming style was exactly the same as his contribution to the Associates!

Paul English


Your attitude is ridiculously close-minded. So much for liberal tolerance.

Johnny Law

It’s fantastic to have these albums reissued – they should never be out of circulation. V2 and (original Associate) Michael Dempsey made a superb job of the 2000 reissues, and these new versions by and large augment and expand on those so they should sound great. However, it should be noted there are a few songs from rarities compilation Double Hipness that don’t appear to have made the grade.
New inclusions that I’m looking forward to include Schmoltz (or Schmaltz?), The Tree That Never Sang and the alternate Skipping. I’m really hoping that the version of Australia is the unreleased funkier mix which could have been a single – it is fantastic. And perhaps the version of Ulcragyceptimol is the original B-side version (the version on the 2000 issue was an alternate version).
Inevitably, as a fan, I’m a bit disappointed by the exclusions, among which, for Sulk, are B-sides A.G. It’s You Again and Voluntary Wishes Swap it Productions, both of which are alternate versions themselves (the first being Arrogance Gave Him Up, the second being a heavily-treated largely instrumental Australia). And if you want to dig even deeper, also not included are Mark Arthurworrey’s ‘controversial’ remixes of Party Fears Two and It’s Better This Way from the U.S. album version.
From the earlier years, there’s still a few Mental Torture-era tracks to see the light of day (though admittedly Eloise and Jukebox Bucharest are among the better remaining) as well as alternate ‘rock’ version/ demos of Logan Time and Double Hipness.
The Associates back catalogue is full of marvels and is a surprisingly deep well, considering the MacKenzie/Rankine era only lasted three albums. It’s great to have them back.


In addition to the exclusions to the new round of reissues already mentioned, including B-sides “A.G. It’s You Again” and “Voluntary Wishes Swap it Productions”, and “It’s Better This Way” (“Party Fears Two” 7″ & 12″ B-side version), there is also the Club Country 12″ B-side “Ulcragyceptimol”, which is in fact a very different mix compared to the version that was included on the last V2 reissue of “Sulk”.


Totally agree with you Johnny,

The b-sides and the USA versions should be included in this expanded 2 CD re-issues.
Why making a a double Cd and not include almost “everything” from the Sulk era?

I’m afraid the Ulcragyceptimol version here is the same as the V2 2000 Cd, not the b-side never been on a cd :-(
The Mark Arthurworrey remixes are worth too


Where is the extended mix of Party Fears Two ?


Was there a 12″ extended mix of Party Fears Two? I know Club Country 12″ was on one of those 12″ 80s comps from a few years back…

Giovanni Linke Casalucci

I may be wrong but some of the “unreleased tracks”here looks released yet… I guess Associates fans deserve a bit more than this.

Ian Gilchrist

The tracks labelled as released are in some instances alternate versions that were not previously released Giovanni.

John Madden

I’m up for any release that keeps The Associatesa In the spotlight. These albums are extraordinary , exceptional and underappreciated. I’m happy to buy them all again (this will be my third time!).

Joe Mac Pherson

Now I know, at last, some dreams really do come true. I’ve waited decades for The Associates complete catalogue of music to be available, at last. I do hope all of their albums get this treatment!!
I’m guessing most of you writing comments for this column live in the UK, or on the Continent. In the 1980’s as well as the 1990’s. you could actually hear The Associates on the radio, see them perform on television, watch their videos on television, or see them on the screens in a myriad of bars or dance clubs. You became instantly familiar with them. Buying their music was as easy as going to any record store, and the selections were there, readily available to you.
It wasn’t like that in the USA. The Associates essentially got close to zero radio airplay, with the exception of a small number of scattered college radio stations across the nation. Here in L.A., across the FM dial, only 2 stations actually played their music, and it wasn’t often: 88.9 KXLU, out of Loyola Marymount College, and 89.9, KCRW, broadcasting from a basement in Santa Monica College. A few enlightened, sympathetic DJs on these 2 stations would play The Associates. It didn’t happen often, but I was overjoyed when the rare moment occurred that I was hearing Billy MacKenzie’s voice reach to the stratosphere.
The only reason I knew of The Associates, was because every single week, I went into Hollywood and bought the UK music papers Melody Maker, New Musical Express and Sounds. Through these papers, with their insightful reporting and obsession on always seeking out the very latest in UK music, I read interviews with The Associates, learned of the live performances, discovered yet another new 45 RPM or 12″ record was being released- and they actually got reviewed! Amazing! When a new album was in progress, or finally released, thanks to the UK music press, I knew. I was ready to buy. And I DID.
NOT SO EASY, even in Los Angeles. I’d traverse any number of miles, avenues, boulevards across the city, week after week, year after year, to the record shops I knew I could count on. Straight to the Import Section, and there on display on the wall, or in the New Releases bin, I’d find the latest from The Associates. Because their music was all UK import, prices weren’t cheap but my money was gladly handed to the cashier. Once home, I could play a record I’ve never heard before, until that moment. That’s how it was. And I loved what was playing!!
I had a vast library of their music, by 1990. Almost no one I met at concerts, when discussing music at the time, had heard of them. Sad, but not surprising since they had almost zero exposure here. To anyone who’d give me at least 3 minutes of their time at a concert, while waiting for The Church, The Cocteau Twins, The Motels, Duran Duran, Romeo Void, Siouxie & The Banshees, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Nina Hagen or so many others to take the stage, I’d extol the miraculous music this band from Scotland were creating.
Year after year I waited, hoping The Associates or later, Billy MacKenzie, would perform here. They never arrived to our shoreline. Essentially, if I wanted to hear The Associates, my living room stereo was where it happened.
I’ll buy ALL of their reissued catalogue, deluxe editions. Who says dreams aren’t for sale?

Ian Gilchrist

Now the magic of e-commerce means that, despite the band’s low profile in the U.S., you’ll easily be able to acquire the CDs or the Sulk vinyl LP if you wish with a couple of clicks of your mouse.

martin farnworth

hmm. was excited when i first read this. sadly it feels like a rehash of previously released material with a sprinkling of unreleased stuff. not exactly enough to open my wallet to buy a 4th copy of Sulk. of course it would be too much to ask to stick all the unreleased stuff on one cd. obviously doesn’t work like that!

Jonathan Reeve

Very kind of Ian to provide information about packaging. He noted, “CDs are packaged in 3 pocket (no ugly plastic hub trays! No jewel cases!) digis”. I view this as awful news. Yet another instance in which immortally great music is packaged in such a way as to ensure that the CDs are scratched over time (if not immediately).

Ian Gilchrist

I grant the person complaining about digis with pockets that some are rather tight fit, but if being careful there is no reason that discs should get scratched.


Some CDs are scratched already in digipaks by the manufactures. So if they scratch them, you can to (they may have light scratches that you have caused that can only be seen under bright light). Also, you say you prefer jewel cases but digipacks and cardboard deluxe editions are more pron to getting damaged, tatty, indented…etc, where as a jewel case can always be swapped for a new replacement (once a card package is damaged, worn, tatty….etc, that is how it will stay).


If you don’t care for nice design and prefer boring jewel cases I really wonder why you’re even here.
If it’s just the music you care for you may as well buy digital downloads.

don cooper

“I’ve got a little cd
With jewel-case scratches upon its lip”


(not really) ;-)


I throw away jewel cases the moment I’m getting a CD and put the disc, insert and booklet in one of those plastic wallets with cloth lining on the inside. This is a huge space saver on my shelves. In case of a digipack or other non-jewel case release, I put the CD and booklet in a wallet and keep the packaging on a different shelf. If you’re affraid of damaging your discs, why keep them in there?


Sulk is an amazing LP, Party Fears Two is an all time classic. I bought it on cassette because it had the UK version of the LP on one side and the U.S. version on the other. I can’t remember the difference anymore and will certainly be digging it out for a refresher.

Ally knox

Great news for music lovers young and old.

Keith Howie

“And Then I Read A Book” & “Australia”, listed here as previously unreleased, were on the 2000 version of “Sulk” on V2. So I make that 6 actually unreleased tracks across 4 double CDs.
Still, if the remastering quality & booklets are good, I’ll be buying.

Ian Gilchrist

The version of ‘Australia’ included is from an unreleased session recorded with Radiohead etc producer John Leckie.



It says “Australia” is previously unreleased, but it was included on the 2000 version of “Sulk”. Unless it’s an alternate version.

William M

They could release Billy Mackenzie singing Donald where’s yer troosers in the bath and I’d be interested, loved the associates and loved Billy, he really was a class apart vocally and the tragedy of his passing is that he would have flourished in the 90’s and noughties collaboration wise, I have all the associates cd releases but I’ll still be buying these unquestionably. I’m even teaching my young daughter the alphabet using ‘A’ to entertain her :)

Ian Gilchrist

‘Donald Where’s Yer Troosers In The Bath’? Answer – in the bedroom waiting for him to get out…


“Let the wind blow high, let the wind blow low….”


Blue Soap was recorded while Billy was still in that bath.


Extremely excited for these. If I’m not mistaken these albums have never received this kind of treatment. I bought the Singles compilation that came out in 2004 so I could get the best of the later Associates albums and the sound quality was great on that. Hope they can bring something similar to Sulk, Affectionate Punch which could benefit.


This new so-called “The Very Best Of” is nowhere as good as “The Singles” 2CD compilation which has 28 tracks (2 more than this latest release) and certainly does have some of their “very best” songs which this latest releases is lacking, such as ‘Those First Impressions’, ‘Waiting For The Loveboat’, ‘Breakfast’, ‘Take Me To The Girl’ and ‘Ice Cream Factory’ (Mackenzie Sings Orbidöig).


I think their best “BEST OF” was POPERA


Great news! One of my favourite bands on the 80s receiving the Deluxe treatment. These will be an instant purchase. Thanks for the info!


Two of my favourite songs EVER off The Glamour Chase, because You Love and The Rhythm Divine. Would like to see a Super Deluxe of all of their releases, maybe PledgeMusic type.


Is that the same Rhythm Divine as recorded by Yello with Ms Bassey singing? Her singing on that is enough to test the tweeters of the very best speakers! An absolutely amazing vocal range she employs, it even sounds like it was recorded distorted at the end due to the high note she gets – one of the greatest ever female vocal performances put to tape surely. But Billy M did some great vocals for Yello too, I presume that is the link back to the song? That’s how they met up?

Steve F

Has/will the 12″ mix of Those First Impressions ever appear(ed) on CD? From the post-Rankine album so probably not in these releases, but I have the 12″ single and it’s great.


I would love to see a deluxe version of Perhaps as the cassette I used to own had great extended and instrumental versions of the tracks.
The 12″s of Waiting for the Loveboat and Those First Impressions are both phenomenal..


Yes that acapella intro is pure magic.


Looks promising but I wonder if we have the original LP version of Club Country on Sulk and the full length version of Straw Towels on the second Fourth Drawer Down CD? Those would be the clinchers for me.

And is that the 12″ version of It’s Better This Way? That would be nice.


Double Hipness was previously released on the, em, Double Hipness 2 CD (2000)…


I hope the remaster of Sulk is better than the 2000 version. The sound on that is quite harsh although I’m not sure if that’s to be expected from synths and jangly guitars. However the songs shine through so if consensus is that it is a better remaster then I will certainly purchase again. And £6.99 for a 2CD compilation is a snip so maybe I’ll make my judgement from that.


Well, the 2000 V2 Cd was also remastered by Michael Dempsey

Are there any differences for the new ones remastered by the same Michael Dempsey?

Lost of the additional tracks on the 3 reissues came from de Double Hipness.
Re-issue, re-package???

Ian Gilchrist

These new remasters were only supervised by Michael – actual remastering of the original Sulk and The Affectionate Punch LPs (CD1 in both sets and the Sulk vinyl) were done by Tim Turan from 1/4″ analog LP master tapes.



Although i do own almost everything fron the Associates discography, i really have to yell yes, yes, yes. Billy MacKenzie’s voice is equivalent to elizabeth fraser’s voice (for a man I mean). The Moon Is On Ice…


Another rehash with the token handful of unreleased tracks salvaged from the bin. Need to see a deluxe of Perhaps, not enough here to justify albums that have already been covered.

Rob Wilcock

Hasn’t the original album version of Club Country never been rekeassed on CD?

jan burnett

nice to see, and I know a couple of labels that have been aiming to do a box. Alan once told me the Affectionate Punch masters were “lost forever”, so they’ve either found them or are using a second generation.

Paul Martin

Excellent news and not before time. Billy MacKenzie’s octave spanning singing voice needs to be heard by a new generation. Glad to hear Mike Dempsey is involved with these. His bass playing on the ‘Sulk’ album and on the two hit cingles ‘Club Country’ and ‘Party Fears Two’ esepcially is superlatively beautiful and melodic. I have a Yr 2000 reissue of Sulk on CD on the V2 label (17 cuts in all) and I believe that was the last time it was ever reissued until now!

From what I gather from those (admittedly now pretty old) liner notes, the ‘Sulk’ session tapes were so re-mixed. dubbed over, recorded over etc due to indecision on what sounded best that it was (at least in 2000), that it was nearly impossible to get a decent re-master out of them. I shall be very keen to hear the results 16 years on.

I suppose being BMG these will be in tedious slimline jewel cases (yawn!). Other than that I am looking forward to these very much.

Ian Gilchrist

A few more details from the co-producer of these releases:

– 28 page booklets in all 3 2 CD deluxe expanded editions, featuring new liner notes and previously unpublished photos and memorabilia from the Associates’ collections and the collections of fans
– CDs are packaged in 3 pocket (no ugly plastic hub trays! No jewel cases!) digis
– Original LPs (housed on CD 1) of The Affectionate Punch and Sulk are re-mastered from 1/4″ tape (as is the Sulk vinyl, of course)


Could you confirm what source was used for CD1 of the “Fourth Drawer Down” reissue please?


I could never love The Associates for their pro – Thatcher/Tory statements. Pity because their music could be sublime.


Billy MacKenzie’s “pro-Thatcher” comment was a single joke made to the NME that lost all its irony and context when put into printed form. He was never a Tory.


Richie – could you elaborate on the Thatcher comments. I don’t recall any at the time (my memory possibly) but I did a quick search and only came up with this which isn’t what I would call “pro”.

If you had a hotline to Margaret Thatcher, what would you like to say to her?
Alan: I don’t really know. I think politics is the height of boredom. I’ve never voted in my life.
Billy: Nothing. I think politicians come and go, they’re all personalities, and she’s just another media personality as far as I’m concerned. She’s a lousy actress, too.


Sorry EW99 I cannot remember exactly what was said but as a striking miner at the time I did not take kindly to a `pop star` whose music I had previously admired making pro-Thatcher comments.

I do not want to get into any arguments about how/why the comments were made, but they were and at the time I did not appreciate what was said. I also had more important things to occupy my mind and moved on, mumblings of a `pop star` not important

As I stated above, pity really and these are my last comments on the subject.


Swoop in and make accusations without backing them up without ANY proof (against a dead man, I might add), and then say you don’t want to discuss it. Pure class.

D B Parkes

Let me help.
The Thatcher quote was published in the NME edition dedicated to the 1987 general election.
Cover star was Neil Kinnock if you must know.
They phoned a load of people and asked them who they were voting for.
Billy said Thatcher, as she was his kind of woman.
He was taking the piss. He knew how the ne’er do well bothering him would write it up too.
I was appalled when I read it; but young and that. When I first bumped into billy, three years later, I referred to said quote.
He was joking
On a lot of levels, with a lot of things.

And he hated the bitch

D B Parkes

By the way
Robert Smith said he was voting Lib/ SDP alliance….
And was fucking serious!!

Jon T

If you’re upset by something a dead person said in passing half a lifetime ago then the problem is yours, not his.


Oh and being slightly pedantic – I believe the last track on Sulk is called ‘nothinginsomethingparticular’


Hmmm –
I’m away from home (and thus my music collection) at the moment but I seem to recall already buying extended/deluxe reissues of at least The Affectionate Punch and Sulk. Will be interesting to compare the track listings to see if they really are worth the extra investment.

As I (and others) have said on here previously, I can’t escape the feeling of repeatedly buying the same thing in slightly different versions (of course I realise and accept that no-one is forcing me to buy :-)