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:-
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)
The third single, on 12″ vinyl :-
mp3 : Luxuria – The Beast Box Is Dreaming
mp3 : Luxuria – Beast Box
mp3 : Luxuria – Useless Love
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.