ABC “The Lexicon of Love”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#524 in the Series) is ABC,  The Lexicon of Love

When I pulled this one out for a listen I was really curious as to how it would sound, it’s been many years that I’ve listened to it. Sometimes these 80’s synth-pop or “New Romantics” genre bands don’t stand up so well.

This stands up quite well I must say. I think that the bands high raw musicianship level has much to do with that.  Just listen to Brad Lang’s bass push and highlight the opening number “Show Me,” or even on the hit “Poison Arrow.” It’s a shame that he was a guest musician and not an actual member.

I’ve read some reviews that call this a concept album. That it tells the story of a man who hasn’t had the best of times with his relationships. I never knew that when I was a fan nearly 30 years ago. Hey Martin Fry, maybe it was the gold lame suit?

ABC, and also bands like Icehouse, Simple Minds, Talk Talk, Ultravox, Human League were bands that formed the New Romantics genre. They were in many ways direct decedents of Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry. In fact, Roxy Music’s one time drummer also joined ABC for a short while.

As mentioned before, “Poison Arrow” was one of the hits on this album, but the bigger hit was “The Look of Love.”  It was produced by Trevor Horn.

This version of ABC would release four albums with most of the original lineup, and six with Martin and Mark White.

Martin Fry was stricken with Hodgkin’s disease and stopped performing for a while. After winning that battle, he would return with a new ABC band and a new ABC album, called Traffic in 2007.

If you have this album somewhere in you collection I’d suggest pulling it out and giving it a listen. It still sounds good to me.

— Larry Carta

 Track listing

All songs written by ABC except where indicated.

Side One

  1. “Show Me” – 4:02
  2. “Poison Arrow” – 3:24
  3. “Many Happy Returns” – 3:56
  4. “Tears Are Not Enough” – 3:31
  5. “Valentine’s Day” – 3:42

Side Two

  1. “The Look of Love” (Part One) – 3:26
  2. “Date Stamp” – 3:51
  3. “All of My Heart” – 5:12
  4. “4 Ever 2 Gether” – 5:30 [co-written by Anne Dudley]
  5. “The Look of Love” (Part Four) – 1:02

Personnel

  • Martin Fry: vocals
  • David Palmer: drums and percussion
  • Stephen Singleton: alto and tenor saxophones
  • Mark White: guitars and keyboards

Guest musicians

  • Anne Dudley: keyboards and orchestration
  • Brad Lang: bass guitar
  • Mark Lickley: bass
  • J. J. Jeczalik: Fairlight programmer
  • Kim Wear: trumpet
  • Andy Gray: trombone
  • Luis Jardim  percussion
  • Tessa Webb: female vocal lead on “Date Stamp”
  • Gaynor Sadler: harp

Links



Posted by Larry Carta

2 Comments

  1. ABC Michael (07 Mar 2012, 13:34)
    Reply

    ABC Martin Fry –
    The Lexicon Of Love

  2. ABC Michael (09 Mar 2012, 2:01)
    Reply

    Happy Birthday to Martin Fry!



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