It’s been a few years in the planning but The Exponents have entered into a new deal with Universal Music that will see Universal digitally re-issue and re-master the band’s first six albums, making many tracks and recordings available on iTunes and other digital services for the first time ever. The catalogue includes the long out of print Live at Mainstreet and Amplifier albums and standard and special deluxe editions of Prayers Be Answered, Expectations, Something Beginning With C and Grassy Knoll which feature b-sides, live recordings, rarities and some never before heard recordings.
The albums will all be available on all New Zealand digital services including iTunes and Spotify from May 10th 2013. On the same day, Sony Music New Zealand will also make available digitally the last two albums, Better Never Than Late and Hello, Love You Goodbye.
Full details of the Universal special editions can be seen in the updated albums discography HERE, but here’s a summary of what you can expect:
Long out of print and never completely available on CD this re-mastered digital EP has the six Dance Exponents tracks from the 1983 album they shared with The Legionnaires.
The deluxe edition of Prayers Be Answered has twelve extra tracks including the two early Lee Connolly produced singles and b-sides. It’s got the second single Airways Spies and Lee’s versions of Victoria, Your Best Friend Loves Me Too and Poland, which captured the energy of the band at the time much better than the subsequent versions that made it to the album. The Exponents recently discovered the lost tapes of the demos they made at Azimuth Studios for the Prayers Be Answered album. Taken from those tapes are the demos for Perfect Romance and My Date With You Was A Date with No-one, both of which never made the album. Walk Around the Roses didn’t make it either but you can hear the original demo here. This great song has finally been recorded 30 years later for the Eight Days At Roundhead album. Initial copies of the All I Can do single were mis-pressed with the wrong b-side and those copies are now a collectors item. The official b-side was The Empty Bunk in Bunkhouse, which closes out this deluxe edition but here, for the first time, is I’m Not The One, the track on the mis-pressed single.
The brilliant 1985 album Expectations was the first to feature Chris Sheehan on guitar. The deluxe edition features 6 extra tracks including Chris’s debut recording with the group on the Sex & Agriculture single, plus the very fashionable at the time, extended 12” mixes of Christchurch and Sex & Agriculture. From the demo recordings made for the album come a quite different version of My Love For You and There’s Only One Love For This Love which didn’t make cut for the final album. There’s Only One Love was a live favourite at the time and wouldn’t appear until six years later when it was recorded for Something Beginning With C.
The Zulu Records album Amplifier has been long out of print and the 1992 CD version messed with original album quite a bit, changing the cover and track listing and editing Worldwide Wireless. This re-mastered extended edition brings it back to the original LP format with the full version of Worldwide Wireless and adding three tracks to the end – the Zulu version of Victoria, the stand alone single Brand New Doll and it’s beautiful b-side One Sad River.
Fittingly for the band’s biggest studio album, this is the biggest of the re-mastered deluxe editions with an additional 13 tracks. After 4 years in London when Jordan was at his most prolific, the band arrived back in New Zealand with dozens of songs to choose from for the album. Many quality songs that didn’t make the album eventually became b-sides for the five singles taken from the album. They also appeared on the “Hidden Gems” disc of the band’s 2005 Best Of Sex & Agriculture, which is sadly now deleted but are available here digitally for the very first time. The previously unreleased gem on this deluxe edition is the original demo recording of Why Does Love Do This To Me, which was recorded at Strawberry Studios in Kent in the UK. Beautifully restored by Steve McGough at Stebbing Studios from a cassette tape, this is the demo that got them the deal with PolyGram and brought them back to New Zealand in 1991.
The extended Grassy Knoll features the Phil Judd song So This is Love, which was recorded by the band for inclusion on a Split Enz tribute album that never got off the ground. Featuring the guest vocal of the Pterodactyls’ Ken Stewart, So This Is Love became the b-side to the album’s first single House of Love. Some great live recordings from the b-sides of Like She Said and Don’t Say Goodbye round out the extended edition.