Art of Noise were momentarily big in the 80s, partly because they had one good song, Close (To The Edit), which the Review Corner bought on a 12” picture disk that looked like a piece of candy Willy Wonka would peddle to small children.
They were odd even then, the label ZTT’s contribution to art, countering their cash cow Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s smutty but danceable hits. Art of Noise were what art students would (and did) do with synth-driven dance, all references to politics and philosophy, while FGTH merely questioned war, repeated Edwin Starr’s question of its usefulness and made a video in which Ronnie and Konstantin had a punch up. (Reagan’s voice on the single is Chris Barrie, aka Arnold Rimmer. Smeg!).
This double CD left us rather baffled. They were a bit arty farty back when arty farty was cool, in the same way that man buns are cool today. As in: you just know people with muns will look at old photos and hang their heads.
Anyway, for the fans, it’s most well-known Art of Noise songs except the good one (Close), including four versions of Peter Gunn, several ft Duane Eddy and one ft Max Headroom. (And there’s another name from the past).