It’s Immaterial / Life’s Hard and Then You Die reissue track listing revealed

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We’re pleased to confirm the full track listing of the forthcoming 30th anniversary deluxe reissue of the It’s Immaterial album Life’s Hard And Then You Die

As you will see below, the first disc contains the remastered 10-track album plus a whopping nine bonus tracks including B-sides and single versions. There are some fantastic tracks amongst these, including the seven-inch, shorter version of Washing The Air (which surely should have been on the album) and Only The Lonely. Those tracks were the B-side to the original Ed’s Funky Diner and then the reissued Ed’s, respectively.

Washing The Air (Rub A Dub Mix) features on CD 2 of the reissue

The second CD includes the band’s (previously unreleased) last Peel Session (where they played four tracks from the album), all the remixes and mops up a few further extra tracks, ending with the 4-track demo of Driving Away From Home. In fact there are five versions of Driving, on this deluxe set, along with three versions of Ed’s Funky Diner. If you’re already a fan, you’ll know he 12-inch versions are epic, and in some cases, very different from the seven-inch/album cuts.

In total, 12 tracks have never been issued on CD, but none of them have ever sounded this good. This new edition of Life’s Hard And Then You Die comes packaged as a gatefold card wallet and features a 16-page booklet with a track-by-track commentary by the band.

This is due for release on 1 July 2016. If you are interested in It’s Immaterial and/or this reissue, make sure you’ve added your name to the mailing list (see below) because there is more to tell you in the next few weeks (I’m considering organising an event in London, for example).


Disc One – Original Album Remastered, plus B-sides & single versions

  • 1.     Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune) [4.12]
  • 2.     Happy Talk [5.28]
  • 3.     Rope [3.34]
  • 4.     The Better Idea [5.41]
  • 5.     Space [3.58]
  • 6.     The Sweet Life [4.38]
  • 7.     Festival Time [3.52]
  • 8.     Ed’s Funky Diner [3.04]
  • 9.     Hang On Sleepy Town [4.20]
  • 10.   Lullaby [6.25]
  • 11.   Washing The Air [3.23]
  • 12.   We’ll Turn Things Upside Down (The Enthusiasts Song) [4.29]
  • 13.   Only The Lonely [3.46]
  • 14.   A Crooked Tune [3.40]
  • 15.   Trains, Boats, Planes [3.49]
  • 16.   Hereby Hangs A Tale [4.07]
  • 17.   Kissing With Lord Herbert [2.59]
  • 18.   Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune) (single version) [3.51]
  • 19.   Space (single version) [4.04]

Disc Two – Peel Sessions & Remixes

  • 1.     Space (John Peel Session) [3.47]
  • 2.     Hang On Sleepy Town (John Peel Session) [4.10]
  • 3.     Festival Time (John Peel Session) [3.30]
  • 4.     Rope (John Peel Session) [3.30]
  • 5.     Ed’s Funky Diner (The Keinholz Caper) [5.53]
  • 6.     Washing The Air (Rub A Dub Mix) [5.29]
  • 7.     Driving Away From Home (Wicked Weather For Walking) [7.11]
  • 8.     Ed’s Funky Diner (Friday Night, Saturday Morning) [8.05]
  • 9.     We’ll Turn Things Upside Down (When The Revolution Comes) [4.06]
  • 10.   Driving Away From Home (I Mean After All It’s Only ‘Dead Man’s Curve’) [6.29]
  • 11.   Space, He Called From The Kitchen [7.10]
  • 12.   Rope (Extended Mix) [6.07]
  • 13.   Space (Instrumental) [4.02]
  • 14.   Jazz Bo’s Holiday Transatlantique [4.47]
  • 15.   Driving Away From Home (Original 4-Track Demo) [3.13]

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Just a heads up – third album House For Sale finally set for release on 9th September and available to pre-order through Burning Shed on vinyl and CD.


I received this 2-cd today, and I love it! The sound is great. Several songs are present in different versions, but unlike with some other artists, you don’t have the feeling you’re listening to the same songs all the time. The various versions are really quite different from eachother.
I guess the cd’s won’t leave my cd-player for a while.

D. Martin

I had this on pre-order for so long before it was released. It arrived a few months back, but I only got a chance to play it today. Disc 2 is flawless, but Disc 1 has a pressing flaw, visible in the substrata, a line/ripple about 3/4 inch, that renders tracks 2 thru to five unplayable. The disc is not scratched in any way or otherwise damaged.
As I have forgotten who I did the pre-order with, what would be the best way to obtain a replacement disc???
Paul, anyone???.

Post-Punk Monk

Well, I received this for my birthday from a thoughtful friend and this is well nigh perfect. Superb mastering. As much brilliance as could fit on 2 CDs. Illuminating liner notes with not just the band but the producer and A+R exec as well. A great album has been made definitive. I listened to my copy of this 5-6 years ago and decided that I needed to master a disc of all of the B-sides and mixes since the album was so excellent. Fortunately, I only bought a few of the singles form this before your efforts rendered the time and considerable expense moot. I still need to get the rest of the pre-Circa singles though! That’s still a going projects, that, due to the licensing issues, will probably never happen professionally. I have the “Young Man” single and the road ahead beckons.

[…] and a half months after the SDE-curated reissue of It’s Immaterial‘s debut album Life’s Hard And Then You Die, comes the news […]

Colin Young

Always loved this band and have ‘most’ of their singles. Just missing ‘Imitate The Worm’ from the non-Siren catalogue.
I’m a professional audio-restorer specializing in vinyl transfers… and of course I’ve done all my I.I. material for my own enjoyment over the years. Nice to se an official re-issue though. Long overdue.
HOWEVER! If anyone’s seriously interested in doing a compilation of I.I.’s non-Virgin material… If the master tapes for those recordings are absent or missing or damaged, I have very high quality examples of everything except ‘Imitating The Worm’ and that could be also sourced pretty easily. They are good enough for reissue – I say!
Anyone? Contact me via my site seewhyaudio dot com. Serious enquiries only no downloads. Cheers all. Colin
PS Hope I’m not breaking any rules here…

David Morgan

One of the most greatly underrated albums of the 1980s. A much longed for reissue, finally my battered vinyl copy can have a rest. Thanks Paul.

Justin Isbell

Ordered…thanks to your article, an allmusic review, some distant faded memories of a couple of their songs and some YouTube listens. Now looking forward to pretending to wife and children that they’re a new band that I’ve just discovered :-)

Christopher V

Thanks for helping with this release Paul S. Just pre-ordered it on Amazon and excited to hear the new tracks. Great job!!!


£12.89 GBP/$17.16 USD from Amazon UK incl. shipping to the USA. Can’t beat that!


This is available to buy on Burning Shed now but still no sign of it on HMV.


I’m waiting patiently on a preorder from HMV appearing on that widget lol.


Brilliant job with the tracklisting Paul. Sometimes I can look at a really good re-issue but bemoan the fact that the odd related track is missing but as far as i can tell everything related to this LP is here.


The Better Idea (Push The Boat Out) is not on this but then it was on a different label.


Just dragged out my original Siren cd, its gone gold! Good time for a replacement then.

Bob White

Love what’s here. Juat a shame that we couldn’t have all 4 peel sessions and the non album singles, Young Man (Seeks Interesting Job), A Gigantic Raft (in the Philippines), Imitate The Worm. White Man’s Hut, Fish Waltz


Interesting comment Paul. I only expected the stuff from Virgin on here but to also comment it was down to space gives me hope that a compilation of pre-Virgin stuff could be on the cards at some stage.


Andrew – JazzyB Thanks for clarifying that. I thought I was pretty up to date with most of the official releases. Do either of these two tracks have vocals?


Looks amazing, thanks! And nice to see the Peel sessions on there too, just out of interest how easy/costly is it to licence Peel Sessions, I see so many reissues omitting BBC sessions and always figured it was because of money & red tape or is it just laziness on behalf of the people doing them?


I had pretty much not cared to buy any CD anymore because I’m more interested in Vinyl these days. But this release is Essential. This album has always been a Top Ten Desert Island pick. I just pre ordered from the UK amazon. thanks for the heads up. I always prefer to order from the UK as I have never had a problem with the UK Amazon. They ship just as fast as if I had ordered from the USA Amazon. And in most cases, I get a cheaper price too. thanks again.


Jazz Bo’s Holiday Transatlantique was originally featured on the Space 7″ double pack (disc 2 side A) and so far as i can remember was Tarrant Bailey Jr playing his banjo without any of the It’s Immaterial guys accompanying him. It’s his tune from way back when. There is some great old Pathe footage of Bailey on YouTube that’s worth a watch. I’m not aware that Kissing With Lord Herbert was previously released but I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.


Kissing With Lord Herbert is from Ed’s Funky Diner 7″ double pack.


I was familiar with everything except Jazz Bo & Kissing with Lord Herbert. Where were those from Paul?


I signed up for a special email regarding this release and a day after I am emailed the track listing it appears on here, so that sign up was a waste of time and a con.


No it is not. I signed up for emails to give me details about this release when I could have just waited and read all the same information on here.

Steve Ferguson

I’ve always loved this album so good news indeed that its reissue is being lovingly and respectfully curated. Any news as to a North American release?

Paul English

Looks great, well done Paul. Can’t wait to hear this.


I believe it has everything I want on it. Excellent!
Still keeping my 12″s (and 7″ doublepack) though.

Charles K.

Wow, that is one amazing album. Not sure how I missed them back in the day, Thanks for spearheading this, sold!

Tom of FIN

Exactly, Charles! A forgotten gem for many regardless of age. Paul indeed deserves recognition for putting this much effort to reissuing this too much underrated masterpiece with loads of bonuses.

A must buy especially now to support your economy, that an arctic fishing nation with 170 times less population just made Brexit 2.0 to team England in your national sports. – “It is happening again…”

tyrone tudor

Hellpp.. can someone tell me how to log in?


‘five versions of Driving’
my fave 4 words ;)

looks epic Paul. well done.


I wish HMV would get their act together and get this up for preorder because i want it on the release date.