Well well well. This is a blast from the past and pressed on a chunky piece of plastic as well it’s the 25th anniversary of ‘Retrosexual’ so what better way to celebrate than to stick it out fully remastered and on the old deluxe 180g black circle. Very nice indeed.
Man, I’m feeling a little down holding this record in my hand thinking its been twenty-five years since this was originally released that is until I chuckle at the cover art in the form it was originally intended to be. I never was concerned about the fact that there was a lady dead or alive underwater but what a ghastly jumper they’re wearing is that wrong of me? Anyway, any blues I might have had quickly blew away once the needle dropped.
Firstly I notice there are no bells and whistles added or bonus tracks etc which is cool because ‘Retrosexual’ set the bar for Last Great Dreamers and to tinker with the original formula would have been wrong so I’m pleased with that. Secondly, remastering is like the Harry Potter of Rock and Roll acts sort of the dark arts it’s not like remixing its more than that. Making a record sonically better for record over CD or fit for radio is a whole dark art and once the needle drops on ‘Chrome Tonic’ I’m taken back to a simpler time when rock and roll wasn’t so instant it was harder to find and you had to be in the club to get to know about the new bands and visit venues to catch support bands to see what was out there people seemed more committed to their cause and stumbling across this after reading a review wasn’t a disappointment at all. The chorus and hook on ‘Chrome Tonic’ is still twenty-five years on such a rush and an instantly gratifying hook. Bring it on.
I’ll fess up and admit the last time I played this record was when they released ’13 Floor Renegade’ to contrast and compare but I thoroughly enjoyed it then and I’ll admit now hearing the Acoustic vs Electric riff-a-rama on ‘Last Great Dreamer’ in all its trashy delivery is a beautiful thing. What a tune! It drew from the ’70s glam through the mid-’80s Hanoi rocks years and beyond but it wasn’t just copying it was being inspired and inspiring and that’s the difference, top tune then and top tune now its lost none of its charm and class.
‘Save You’ was a bit tougher but mopped up what was a super strong opening three tracks. Some albums from years ago never live up to the memory I’m not on about your favourite albums that always stay with you but the ones that bubble under. ‘Paper Crown’ was always a beauty with its Bolan meets Bowie glamness with a welcome dose of Ian Hunter – this record should have been a popular hit that much is a tragedy. I’m glad they are back and going strong and this wasn’t a one-off. They weren’t afraid to soften things like ‘Kings And Keepsakes’ alongside the out and out rockers like ‘Charlie’ and they could boogie-woogie as well like on ‘Only Crime’ and I always liked the Hanoi Rocks DNA that ran through ‘Streets Of Gold’.
Don’t take my word for it go and treat yourself and pick this one up on vinyl. If you’ve not heard it in a while then it’ll be a treat and if you’ve never heard the band then what are you waiting for? Jump in ignore the tartan trews and platform boots they were never cool but the music is first class and ‘Retrosexual’ is the sound of a band living and loving it and pouring their heart and soul into the grooves of a great record, Buy it!
Buy ‘Retrosexual’ 25th remastered edition Here
Author: Dom Daley