John Foxx / The Virgin Years 1980-85

John Foxx / The Virgin Years 1980-1985

The Virgin Years 1980 – 1985 is a new John Foxx five-CD box set that features the albums Metamatic, The Garden, The Golden Section and In Mysterious Ways.

Each CD features bonus tracks including B-sides and out-takes with more gathered on a fifth CD, Fusion/Fission (see full track listing below).

We are promised a new ‘analogue master’ of Metamatic and the B-sides have been remastered too. This set also includes five postcards with various single artwork.

The Virgin Years 1980 – 1985 is out on 11 August 2014

Track listing

Disc: 1

  • 1. Plaza
  • 2. He’s A Liquid
  • 3. Underpass
  • 4. Metal Beat
  • 5. No – One Driving
  • 6. A New Kind Of Man
  • 7. Blurred Girl
  • 8. 030
  • 9. Tidal Wave
  • 10. Touch And Go
  • 11. Film One
  • 12. This City
  • 13. Burning Car
  • 14. Glimmer
  • 15. Mr No
  • 16. Young Love
  • 17. 20th Century
  • 18. My Face
  • 19. A New Kind Of Man (Alternative Version)
  • 20. He’s A Liquid (Alternative Version)

Disc: 2

  • 1. Europe After The Rain
  • 2. Systems Of Romance
  • 3. When I Was A Man And You Were A Woman
  • 4. Dancing Like A Gun
  • 5. Pater Noster
  • 6. Night Suit
  • 7. You Were There
  • 8. Fusion / Fission
  • 9. Walk Away
  • 10. The Garden
  • 11. Swimmer II
  • 12. This Jungle
  • 13. Miles Away
  • 14. A Long Time
  • 15. Swimmer I
  • 16. Swimmer III
  • 17. Swimmer IV

Disc: 3

  • 1. My Wild Love
  • 2. Someone
  • 3. Your Dress
  • 4. Running Across Thin Ice With Tigers
  • 5. Sitting At The Edge Of The World
  • 6. Endlessly
  • 7. Ghosts On Water
  • 8. Like A Miracle
  • 9. The Hidden Man
  • 10. Twilight’s Last Gleaming
  • 11. Annexe
  • 12. A Kind Of Wave
  • 13. A Woman On A Stairway
  • 14. The Lifting Sky
  • 15. Shine On Me
  • 16. Wings And A Wind
  • 17. Dance With Me

Disc: 4

  • 1. Stars On Fire
  • 2. Lose All Sense Of Time
  • 3. Spin Away
  • 4. Enter The Angel II
  • 5. Enter The Angel
  • 6. In Mysterious Ways
  • 7. What Kind Of Girl
  • 8. Shine On
  • 9. Stepping Softly
  • 10. Morning Glory
  • 11. Lumen De Lumine
  • 12. To Be With You (Alternative Version)
  • 13. And The Sky
  • 14. This Side Of Paradise
  • 15. Hiding In Plain Sight
  • 16. City Of Light

Disc: 5

  • 1. Cinemascope
  • 2. To Be With You
  • 3. Like A Miracle (Alternative Version)
  • 4. Fog
  • 5. Fusion / Fission (Early Version)
  • 6. Dance With Me (Early Version)
  • 7. A Woman On A Stairway (Early Version)
  • 8. Endlessly (Single Version)
  • 9. My Wild Love (Early Version)
  • 10. A Long Time (Alternative Version)
  • 11. Sitting At The Edge Of The World (Alternative Version)
  • 12. Twilight’s Last Gleaming (Early Version)
  • 13. Young Man
  • 14. The Hidden Man (Alternative Version)
  • 15. Enter The Angel (Alternative Version)
  • 16. Magic
  • 17. Shine On (Alternative Version)

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I just received my copy and have to say that it’s a really nice set for what it is. As a bonus, I can confirm that all of the tracks from the 2008 2 disc Metamatic and In Mysterious Ways issues are included in the set between the album “bonus” cuts and the fifth disc.

As near as I can tell, this box is only missing three tracks from the 2008 run of issues:

-Miles Away (Alternate Version) – The Garden
-Running Across Thin Ice with Tigers (Extended Version) – The Golden Section
-Endlessly (Extended Mix) – The Golden Section

I can’t speak to what is unique to this set, but that’s not a bad batting average for a budget set when most of these skimp out on the majority of previously-issued bonus material.


I got my copy of this the other day…it’s a fairly bare-bones reissue, akin to the recent Beggars Banquet 5CD sets. Clamshell box, discs in individual replica LP sleeves, postcards of some single sleeves, no new liner notes, musician credits, etc. If you have all of the individual Foxx reissues you probably don’t need it, although there are a few songs that don’t show up anywhere else. My Virgin reissues of Metamatic and The Garden have been played to death, and this is a more than suitable upgrade.


Actually my copy arrived on Monday and I was waiting to see what others thought.
Personally, despite having various reissues of his already I really like this set for two reasons:

1 – The postcards showing off the artwork from some his early singles (I had all of these once – sigh…)
2 – It is interesting seeing the album covers shed of their typography. All the albums have omitted all the front cover titles and John Foxx’s name (I think the backs are as they should be – I don’t have my copy in front of me to verify this). Doing this presents them as mini works of art almost…
It reminds me of the Joy Division reissues where Peter Saville decided to omit all the type from the album covers.

Admittedly not worth buying jus for the two reasons above (unless you are an obsessive like me :-)


I for one will be getting this. I only have Glimmer: The Best Of John Foxx (Excellent Compilation). It’s nice to have all his early 80s stuff in one place.


Hang onto Glimmer, though, as it has some 7″ versions that aren’t on this set.


I will.


Unfortunately some things defy logic and for me John Foxx is one of them :-)

Despite owning at least four different versions of Metamatic and Th Garden on CD and two versions on Vinyl (the original and the Record Store Day reissue) I can’t resist the lure of this package (especially at this price).

I’m glad that he is still making music although I do agree that Metamatic and The Garden + the first three Ultravox albums (particularly Systems… ) represent his imperial period.
I do think the Shifting City album comes pretty close though.


£14.99 including free delivery at spincds.com based in Newcastle, UK.


Apparently you can already get this through Darla Records in the USA, at a price somewhat cheaper than Amazon ($33 with priority shipping for me.)

Mark A

I second what Dean says above. This is a great budget-priced introduction and is ideal for someone who is coming to John Foxx for the first time or has never purchased the albums. Fans are likely going to have all of the songs here; personally, I lack only “Young Love” because I did not buy any of the select reissues of Metamatic which contain it.

I believe that all the bonus tracks have appeared somewhere or other, either as bonus tracks on expanded versions of albums or on the second CD of the 2 CD releases of the Golden Section and Mysterious Ways.

Yes, some are remastered, so technically they have not been released before, but I wonder if the remastering has resulted in noticeably different sound for those tracks, and for Metamatic as well, for that matter.


This is a decent set for those who have held off buying the early Foxx titles. I have each of the main albums on CD already, so it’s not something I think I can go for. It’s all down to personal taste, but the first two albums “Metamatic” and “The Garden” are the jewels in the crown, sadly it’s downhill from there.

The bonus tracks on those first two CD’s have already appeared on the individual releases, and Metamatic has been “remastered” more times than Led Zepellin titles. –lol–

The plus here is the fifth disc, and those eager for “Mysterious Ways”. The individual CD for that sometimes goes for more than the price of this entire set, so it’s good news for some.

Foxx continues on, and you should check out newer material. However, while it may simply be nostalgia on my part, nothing he’s down matches those first two solo albums. And don’t everyone simple must own the first three Ultravox albums too – all with Foxx.