RECALLING LUXURIA

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I didn’t find out about Luxuria until a few years after they had come and gone. I’d loved Magazine and I have a soft spot for the very short solo career of Howard Devoto (two singles and one LP in 1983) and was delighted to hear that he was making a musical comeback in 2001 with Buzzkunst. But the press around his reunion with Pete Shelley talked about a band called Luxuria which he’s been in from 1988 – 1990, which just happens to be, for the most part, my musical wilderness years in which I failed miserably to keep up with contemporary music.

I know now that Luxuria was a duo consisting of Howard and Norman Fisher-Jones, aka Noko who, in just over two years released four singles and two albums on Beggars Banquet Records. Over time, I’ve picked up three of the singles, all of which have some merit (it is the god-like genius of Devoto we are talking about here) but not enough to make me desperate to hoover up everything in sight.

Much of my lack of enthusiasm is around the way the music has been produced – it is very much of its era and as a consequence the songs sound a bit dated these days. It’s annoying as I’m sure I’d have appreciated them more back in the day. Here’s what I have, all on either 7″ or 12″ vinyl:-

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The debut single, on 12″ vinyl, with a cover version of a Bob Dylan number on the flip side:-

mp3 : Luxuria – Redneck (extended version)

mp3 : Luxuria – She’s You Lover Now (Part 1)

mp3 : Luxuria – She’s Your Lover Now (Part 2)

 

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The third single, on 12″ vinyl :-

mp3 : Luxuria – The Beast Box Is Dreaming

mp3 : Luxuria – Beast Box

mp3 : Luxuria – Useless Love

 

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The fourth and final single, on 7″ vinyl, :-

mp3 : Luxuria – Jezebel

mp3 : Luxuria – Smoking Mirrors

 

 

To be honest, the final single doesn’t have much going for it. It’s a cover of a song, originally written and released in 1951 and a huge hit for Frankie Laine; in later years many others would have a go at it, either as a single, b-side or album track.  Oh and its b-side is a very limp and annoying instrumental.  Feel free to pass on both.

Worth mentioning too that after Luxuria split, Howard left music and built a career as a photo archivist while Noko, found a bit of fame with dance act Apollo 440.  The two would come together again in 2008 when Magazine finally reformed and Noko did a very fine job of replacing the late, great John McGeoch on guitar.

Enjoy.

4 thoughts on “RECALLING LUXURIA

  1. I can agree with your assessment of the production values attached to much of Luxuria’s music, but there are really some memorable songs in there. Redneck, which was the debut single, still makes me smile an earnest smile. They decided to tour the first album and I did get to see them at The Ritz in NYC…seem to remember that maybe The Fall was also on the bill, but it might be that they played there the same week.

  2. There was a very nice double CD set on Cherry Red a few years back which collected up pretty much everything they did

  3. I was fortunate enough to glom onto Luxuria from the get go, thus abating the horrifying, five year Devoto drought following “Jerky versions Of The Dream.” We thought five years was bad! I bought all of the singles; a mix of 12″ and CD to get everything. Noko’s solo on “Redneck” is still spine tingling 28 years later and remains my favorite guitar solo form the last half of the 80s. Not a great time for the instrument, but that solo… wow! In advance of the Cherry Red volume discussed above, I made my “Devoto Companion” 2xCD-R edition of every track with Devoto not on album CD back in 2009. [memo to self – must post about that!] Note: the 7″ edit of “Redneck” almost totally misses the point of the song as the barb in the outro is among the portions of the song deemed superfluous by the brains at Beggars Banquet. Must to avoid!

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