Q: When is nostalgia not nostalgia?
A: When a record was destroyed by its producer, was available only on vinyl and only briefly, and is finally re-released in listenable form twenty-five years later, on CD.
That's the case with the long, long, looong-delayed release on CD of the seminal 'Toy Love' album featuring Chris Knox. "This ain't nostalgia, this is right now," says Chris Knox, and who can blame him. Not me. He's never heard his songs sounding this good either!
Those, like me, who have bought and replaced and bought and replaced and bought and replaced our old vinyl copies of this album can now get their hands on a reliable copy on CD, and for the first time we will be able to hear the songs as we hear them in our heads because most of the production balls-ups have been fixed. Apparently.
Great stuff! But there's more! No, not steak knives, but a whole second disc with demos - some of them from the Harlequin sessions that found their way on to AK79 - and a bold new cover, the title of which according to today's Russell Brown/Chris Knox interview originally had one letter more than it does now ...
It was said by Brian Eno of the first Velvet Underground album that only a thousand people bought it at the time, but they all went out and formed a band. This 'Toy Love' album is New Zealand's equivalent.
For anyone who ever liked Toy Love, this release is great news - wherever your tastes might have wandered since. For those who were once fans of Toy Love, probably no explanation of what made them great is possible; for those who don't know them, I suspect that no explanation of the enthusiasm of their fans is possible.
UPDATE: Russell Brown has put up a link archiving his interview with Chris Knox here. It's 10MB, so you have to be patient.