Pale Saints / The Comforts of Madness remastered & expanded reissue

Pale Saints / The Comforts of Madness remastered & expanded reissue

Late ’80s British indie band Pale Saints see their 1989 debut album The Comforts of Madness expanded and reissued on CD and vinyl formats, in January.

The band were very much part of the so-called ‘Shoegaze’ scene and the debut album was issued on 4AD in 1990. Newly remastered, this new edition is available as a 2CD set with 15 unreleased tracks on the second disc, made up of unreleased demos and a 1989 John Peel session.

A special 2LP clear vinyl package mirrors the CD track listing, while a standard single LP black vinyl edition sticks to just the album.

The Comforts of Madness will be reissued on 4AD on 17 January 2020.

2LP & 2CD

Way The World Is
You Tear The World In Two
Sea of Sound
True Coming Dream
Little Hammer
A Deep Sleep For Steven
Language of Flowers
Fell From The Sun
Sight Of You
Time Thief

Sight Of You (Original Woodhouse Studio Version) *
Way The World Is (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
Language of Flowers (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
You Tear The World In Two (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
Fell From The Sun (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
A Deep Sleep For Steven (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
Time Thief (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
Sea of Sound (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
Insubstantial (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
Little Hammer (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
True Coming Dream (Woodhouse Studio LP Demo) *
She Rides The Waves (John Peel Show Version) *
You Tear The World In Two (John Peel Show Version) *
Way The World Is (John Peel Show Version) *
Time Thief (John Peel Show Version) *

* = previously unreleased

Vinyl LP

Way The World Is
You Tear The World In Two
Sea of Sound
True Coming Dream
Little Hammer
A Deep Sleep For Steven
Language of Flowers
Fell From The Sun
Sight Of You
Time Thief

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Great to have the peel session and to a lesser degree the demos but the booklet lets this reissue down somewhat… no sleevenotes, a couple of almost pointless brief quotes (three to be precise, and only one of those is from a band member!) and although producers and studios are listed it’s not exactly clear who did which recording. Surely 4AD could have found someone to write a few paragraphs on the band’s history, interview the band and given this reissue some context?


Got mine today too and agree the whole package is pretty basic. From a label that at one point prided itself on high quality artwork its v average.
Cardboard sleeves inside a flimsy slip case with v poor reproduction of the original artwork, blurry and none of the original sharpness.
I haven’t listened to it yet but hope the remastering is better than the packaging, surely 4AD could do better than this, another case of cds getting short thrift maybe.


Very glad to see this get a deluxe reissue. They were trailblazers in the shoegaze scene, and even the original CD is hard to find at a decent price. Looking forward to hearing the demos as well. Wonder if there will be a reissue of the Japanese “Mrs. Dolphin” compilation as well…?


Maybe heretical to mention on this site but Mrs Dolphin is available as a lossless download from Juno Download (assuming readers are not interested in MP3s offered elsewhere) along with other PS releases including some of the odd EPs mentioned in these comments.


Terrific. The only album by these folks I have is called In Ribbons, and it is magnificent. My LP came with a 7” of the Tintwistle Colliery Band playing a couple of the songs, it is rather wonderful too (and should be included on any reissue). Never a better time to check the rest of their work.


Lovely news. I have been hoping for this reissue for a long time, one of my most treasured shoegaze bands. I shall be ordering the 2CD version. Hope that we can also look forward to a reissue of “In Ribbons”…


Ordered but I’m a big fan of In Ribbons over this one. Was that 4AD as well? If so I can’t imagine why they didn’t do that one as well.

Tim Joseph

I’m in the “In Ribbons is their classic” group, so looking forward to that more. “Hunted” was my favourite track of the 1990s! Nice to see the band haven’t been forgotten.

The Peel version of Time Thief isn’t previously unreleased, by the way. It was on a Strange Fruit compilation (though sadly I’ve forgotten the title).

O(+> Peter B

A great album – time to upgrade from my cassette.

Dr Volume

This is great news. Such an unsung band, and hopefully ‘In Ribbons’ will follow which for my money is a lost classic…in a similar style to the debut but a bit proggy, a bit bewitching and more epic sounding.


It’s funny – I’ve read quite a few responses to this release saying that the band “fell-off” very quickly and I can’t agree – I love “Flesh Balloon”, “In Ribbons” and the “Throwing Back The Apple” EP and I’d be thrilled if this was followed by a similar 2 disc for “In Ribbons”.

(the third album is another matter – it’s not unpleasant but it is essentially a different band)

Dr Volume

I didn’t get around to picking up the third, but chanced upon a CD in a charity shop for a couple of quid. It’s alright put agree just not the same without Ian Masters eerie Choirboy on magic mushrooms voice.
Glad there’s some love for PS and support for an ‘In Ribbons’ reissue. They were a great live band too, suspect a reformation for live dates is unlikely but who knows…if Slowdive, Ride and Lush (temporarily) can do it?

Steve Miller

I saw them supporting this album when their tour and the Lush tour coincided for one glorious night in Norwich. MM said that Lush were the winners, but to my mind, the Pale Saints were glorious then, and they’re still glorious now.

Ian Gair

Purhased this in 1989 when it came with free tea towels (postcards) & poster :) was surprised 4ad had a sense of humour. However the 2 extra 7″ flexi discs you receive when purchasing Gene Clark deluxe box set from them are a joke. No covers just in plastic sleeves :( Hope there is a compilation of Pale Saints rarities eg Children Break which came on a flexi. Perhaps this could be an 4ad exclusive with this LP reissue?

Larry Davis

Cool…saw the band open for Ride on their 1992 tour, which was awesome…for me they fit in nicely with Lush & MBV…will get the 2CD…


I liked the Pale Saints a lot when this album was released. Same for lots of 4AD bands, amazing label when it was run by Ivo Watts-Russell. I used to play “You Tear The World In Two” almost everyday at the time ! Then I lost interest for two decades until I found all their albums and most of their 12″ singles in mint condition at a record fair in London Victoira about 10 or 12 years ago. The LPs were priced £1 and the 12″ 50p. I bought them immediatly and didn’t regret it.

Curious about the Peel Session and the demos. Will probably buy the 2CD edition. About the 12″ singles, as suggested, I suspect 4AD will release a compilation of all the 12″ 1989-1994 (just like Sony did with My Bloody Valentine’s Creation EP’s 1988-1991).


This is good news; my original vinyl of this is rather worn and scratchy. I take Richard’s point about Mrs Dolphin but maybe a compilation of their EPs will happen covering Flesh Balloon and Throwing Back The Apple as well?


2 lp it shall be! and yes, this news gave me a shtiffé : – D


This is fantastic news, such a great album, nice to see 4AD starting to allow more expanded reissues of their catalogue.
One gripe is that they probably should have made it a 3cd release and included the Mrs Dolphin compilation cd which was only available in Japan and has numerous other tracks from the time like the Barging Into The Presence Of God & Half-Life eps

mark turrell

A bit strange unless there’s another set coming out with the EP’s on them. colors and shapes only appears on mrs dolphin, the demo version of that is on C88, so clearly predates the first LP.
They were such an odd band. The first lp is stunning but then there’s a pretty quick dropoff in quality for the next two.
They could also vary from the brilliant; ‘kinky love’ to the awful: ‘fell from the sun’ with covers.
The article is also incorrect as the peel session of ‘time thief’ was released on a Strange fruit compilation called ‘new season’ in 1991.


I spent an evening in the company of the pale saints many years ago in Leeds. I remember Meriel singing “there’s no lyrics” to 2 unlimited’s “no limits” while drinking Beer. That doesn’t have much to do with this article but bought back a nice memory for me