THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF MARC ALMOND (Part 26-28)

Open All Night, released in March 1999, was the tenth solo studio to be released by Marc Almond. It was on Blue Star Music, a new indie label that he himself had founded and on which all his UK releases would appear for the next decade

It’s a fascinating album with a couple of guest contributions, not least from The Creatures (aka Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie), and in songwriting terms was a continuation of the partnership forged with Neal X (aka Neal Whitmore) on Fantastic Star.

Some six months prior to the album, Marc had issued a single on Echo Records, a subsidiary of major label Chrysalis. I’m assuming both parties were testing each other out and decided there would be no point in any long term relationship, for it proved to be his only release for the label.

(26) Black Kiss b/w Satan’s Child b/w Black Kiss (Live at The Almeida) (October 1998 – #84 in the UK charts)

I think it’s worth giving you Ned Raggett‘s review of this single from the All Music website:-

Though the only single released via his abortive deal with Echo Records, “Black Kiss” proved to be the signal of Almond’s full artistic renaissance. The first offering from what would become Open All Night, “Black Kiss” blends spare, jungle-touched production with spooky, Brazilian-derived music and vibes (heightened by the inclusion of Henrique da Silva’s muffled backing vocals). It’s a magnificent performance from Almond and his band both, continuing his night-prowling lyrical vibe with surprising, intriguing new results. A live version also appears, with da Silva briefly explaining at Almond’s prompting the voodoo-derived background of the mysterious “queen of the night” who figures in the song. A separate stand-alone track also crops up which surfaced on Open All Night’s American release — “Satan’s Child,” a finger-snapping, brassy number that finds Almond tackling his Eartha Kitt/Vegas cabaret side with a tech-sharp edge. It’s not quite Foetus, but it’s a calmer kissing cousin.

The move to a self-financed indie brought to an end the idea of Marc Almond being someone who would bother the singles charts given the costs involved in issuing, promoting and hyping any such releases, but two tracks from Open All Night were nevertheless issued, one of which accompanied the album and the other much later in the year.

(27) Tragedy (Take A Look and See) b/w Beautiful Losers (March 1999 – did not chart)

(28) My Love b/w Threat of Love b/w One Big Soul (October 1999 – did not chart)

The former is a slow-paced number at which Marc tends to excel, although this one has a bit of a pop-tune feel rather than it having the kitchen sink thrown at it….it’s almost the sort of thing that boy bands have hits with.  The b-side is a blend of trip-hop and pop and the fact that it didn’t make the final cut for the album just highlights how much of a good listen it is…..it certainly shouldn’t have been the monumental flop it turned out, not even cracking the Top 100 in the UK.

The latter is a great listen.  The lead track could well have been a tune composed by Beck with Marc adding a lovely camp lyric on top.  The first of the b-sides is the album track on which The Creatures guested, and it’s every bit as wonderful as you’d hope and Almond/Sioux collaboration would sound.  The final track is a happy upbeat number, and again it’s a bit of a mystery as to why it was left off the parent album.

JC

One thought on “THE SINGULAR ADVENTURES OF MARC ALMOND (Part 26-28)

  1. Black Kiss has a lot of power to it. Maybe it’s the Voodoo vibe, but it’s a Pied Piper of a track in that you want to just keep listening to what it’s offering.
    Much of Open All Night has a cinematic or soundtrack quality to it. I think it is a fully realized album from Marc. You can tell he is artistically satisfied with the album and was certainly enjoying the writing process since the b-sides all compare with the album itself. The trip hop influenced Beautiful Losers is one of my favorite moments from Marc over the last 20 years . The fun you just imagine Marc had with Siouxsie and Budgie on Threat Of Love makes the track that much more special.

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