For some of us, Sheffield based experimental post-punk band Rema-Rema is a hidden gem in the early catalog from legendary label 4AD.
I myself stumbled across the band when realizing that the label’s collaborative project with Ivo Watts Russell, This Mortal Coil, was comprised mainly of cover songs. “Fond Affections”, sung by Cindy Talk’s Gordon Sharp (aka Cinder), was originally recorded by Rema-Rema 40 years ago, featured on the band’s Wheel In the Roses ep.
Big Black also famously covered the band’s self titled track on the ep, which was sadly the only release from the cult band, which was as of August of 1980, one of the first records issue by then fledgling label 4AD.
“It was the first point I knew that we were actually doing something serious,” reminisces 4AD’s Ivo Watts Russell, who was immediately struck by the band’s avant-garde sound.
Consisting of Gary Asquith (guitar/vocals), Marco Pirroni (guitar), Mick Allen (bass/vocals), Mark Cox (keyboards) and Dorothy Max Prior (drums), Rema-Rema featured former members of The Models and Siouxsie and The Banshees, going on to form or join bands as diverse as Renegade Soundwave, The Wolfgang Press, Mass, and Adam and the Ants, and Psychic TV.
Now, 40 years after the Rema-Rema disbanded comes Fond Reflections, an album that never was, culled from the band’s rich archive of reel-to-reel and cassette recordings, with member Gary Asquith and mixing engineer Takatsuna Mukai painstakingly working through the material to make this collection as cohesive as possible. The ten tracks pretty much reflect the band’s live set and is the closest to what their debut album could have sounded like.
All of the tracks featured on Wheel In The Roses are present on this album, but are featured with different recordings.
The CD edition comes with a second disc entitled Extended Wheel in the Roses. As its title suggests, it’s the four EP tracks as they were plus “Entry” (taken from the same studio session as the EP’s A-side of “Feedback Song” and “Rema-Rema”) and “No Applause” and “Murdermuzic”, two more tracks recorded at the same Albany Empire, London show in 1979 as the EP’s B-side, “Instrumental” and “Fond Affections”.
Fond Reflections is out March 1st on CD and Vinyl (see track listing below).
Fond Reflections Double LP Edition
- A1. Feedback Song (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
- A2. Rema-Rema (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
- B1. Gallery / Oh Rock ‘n’ Roll
- B2. Lost My Way
- B3. Short Stories
- C1. International Scale
- C2. Fond Affections (Portobello Road Version)
- C3. Why Ask Why
- D1. Instrumental (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
- D2. Entry (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
Fond Reflections / Extended Wheel in the Roses Double CD Edition
Disc One: Fond Reflections
- Feedback Song (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
- Rema-Rema (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
- Gallery / Oh Rock ‘n’ Roll
- Lost My Way
- Short Stories
- International Scale
- Fond Affections (Portobello Road Version)
- Why Ask Why
- Instrumental (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
- Entry (Halligans Live Rehearsal Version)
Disc Two: Extended Wheel in the Roses
- Feedback Song
- Fond Affections
- No Applause