One of the most popular postings round these parts was last October when I offered up some thoughts on twelve singles released by The Monochrome Set between 1979 and 1985.
I mentioned that the version of The Jest Set Junta released in 1983 as a 45 was different from that which could be found on the album Eligible Bachelors, with it instead being a radio session version dating from December 1981. It was put out as a single to accompany Volume, Contrast, Brilliance….. a Cherry Red compilation of radio sessions and hard-to-find B-sides from earlier singles dating back to the era when the band was signed to Rough Trade.
I tracked down a decent copy of the single a few weeks back for the simple reason that the two b-sides, from a John Peel Session that dated back to February 1979 hadn’t been included on Volume, Contrast, Brilliance…
It was the latter of the two that I was really keen to get my hands on as it is an earlier take on Eine Symphonie des Grauens, which I’ve long regarded as my favourite of all songs by The Monochrome Set. It turns out that the Peel Session is shorter (by almost 30 seconds) and is a slower-paced version than the eventual studio recording – it also ends with one of those tricks whereby the needle slips into a repetitive groove which prevents the song coming to a natural conclusion – it took me a while to realise what was actually happening and I’ve kept the recording intact so that you too can enjoy the manic, almost mocking, laughter conclusion.