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Music Review

Book Cover


Artist: Martha and the Muffins
Cherry Red Records
RRP: £10.99
ISBN: 5 013929 136427
Available 04 August 2008

It's been 25 years since it's original release on vinyl, but now finally Martha and the Muffins fans can get their hands on the CD release of their 1983 Danseparc album.

But instead of simply reissuing the original album, we get a re-mastered CD with an additional three tracks. The fourth Muffins album, Danseparc was the second of three production collaborations by the now legendary and critically acclaimed producer Daniel Lanois (U2, Peter Gabriel).

The album was digitally re-mastered in January/February 2008 by Peter J. Moore at The E Room in Toronto. Moore is best known for his production and engineering work on the Cowboys Junkies’The Trinity Sessions album as well as albums with Chris Spedding, Wild Strawberries and Ian & Sylvia Tyson.

The 25th anniversary edition of Danseparc features three bonus tracks including the original 12" inch dance mix of 'Danseparc', plus the accompanying b-side 'These Dangerous Machines', plus a previously unreleased live version of 'Sins of Children' taken from the band's July 1983 concert at Toronto's Ontario Place Forum, featuring Michael Brook (creator of the infinite guitar which featured on U2's multimillion-selling 1987 album The Joshua Tree) on guitar.

This is the first of two major releases from Martha and the Muffins this year. November will see the release of their new studio album Delicate, mixed by David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Tool). With songs written and performed by the band's original line up Martha Johnson and Mark Gane.

Martha and the Muffins hail from Canadian and were a new wave synth pop band in the '70s/'80s. Most famous for their 1980 song 'Echo Beach', the band renamed themselves M + M between 1983 and 1986, finally reverting to their original name in 1987.

The tracks on Danseparc embody themes from the urban jungle, mainly down to the fact that the group had an obsession with parks when they originally recorded the album. Apparently, 'Several Styles Of Blonde Girls Dancing' was inspired by Mark Gane’s dream of walking through a park, looking at trees inhabited by copulating monkeys, merged with seeing Indian fertility symbols carved on a rock face.

It goes without saying that if you had this in your vinyl collection, then you really should go out and purchase this CD edition. For the ultimate in nostalgia, this is one of the those '80s albums that everyone of a certain age should have in their collection.


Nick Smithson

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