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Release Info: Act - Laughter, Tears And Rage. The Anthology.
This has been going for silly prices on eBay lately, so I thought I'd dig it out for you. I've already posted a 12" from Act ages ago, but this limited edition 3 CD "Anthology" set contains everything (yes, everything) that they recorded during their brief time together.
Act were a duo comprising of long-time electro scenester Thomas Leer and ex-Propaganda vocalist Claudia Brcken. ZTT boss Trevor Horn and in-house studio boffin Steve Lipson were the producers. This being the tail end of the Eighties and as you might guess from the people involved, this music sounds MASSIVE! There are HUGE orchestra stabs, percussion that sounds like falling masonry and a sound so layered and over produced that you can sometimes hardly hear the song underneath.
They never achieved any sort of commercial success in their lifetime and it's not really hard to see why. This is music of the most pompous and ridiculous stripe, but it's endearing in it's towering ambition. It's certainly a testament to the skillz of Trevor Horn and his cohort, Lipson - It's an amazing sounding record.
The music is a mixed bag for sure, and some of it doesn't work at all. There a fairly horrific cover of The Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" done in a terrible lounge stylee. Once heard, never forgotten, and not in a good way.
When it's good, it's really good though. The singles (Absolutely Immune, Snobbery & Decay) still sound great, especially on the extended remixes featured on CD2. There are also great versions of "White Rabbit" and almost unbelievably, Lloyd-Webber's "I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You"!
For the curious, more information is available and here.
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