Skip to content
twi096cd.jpg

Paul Haig \ Metamorphosis [TWI 096 CD]

Metamorphosis is an archive 2xCD collection of singles, demos and experimental tracks recorded by Paul Haig between 1981 and 1983, bridging the gap between his time as frontman with post-punk icons Josef K and signing to Island Records as a polished solo performer.

Disc 1 gathers together various singles recorded for Crépuscule in 1982, including Running Away, Justice, Blue For You and the EP Swing In 82, the latter a bold foray into Sinatra territory. The extended 12" versions of Running Away and Justice appear here on CD for the first time, along with compilation tracks such as Mad Horses and Christiania, and rare demo versions of Luck and On This Night of Decision.

Disc 2 features several projects recorded as Rhythm of Life, including four tracks recorded live on a Crépuscule package tour in February 1982, and two rare RoL singles. On Uncle Sam and Portrait of Heart Paul collaborated with infamous artist Sebastian Horsley, and for Soon and Summertime teamed with fellow Edinburgh musician Stephen Harrison. Also included are all eight tracks from Drama, a DIY cassette of experimental electronica issued by Paul in 1981.

Cover art by Benoît Hennebert. CD booklet contains archive images and liner notes by Paul.

Tracklist (Disc 1):

01. Chance
02. Running Away/Back Home (12" version)
03. Time
04. Christiania II
05. Justice (12" version)
06. On This Night of Decision
07. Blue For You (Interference Mix)
08. Luck
09. Justice (7" version)
10. Running Away (7" version)
11. The Song Is You
12. All Of You
13. Let's Face the Music and Dance
14. Love Me Tender
15. The Way You Look Tonight
16. Mad Horses II

Disc 2:

01. Soon
02. Summertime
03. Uncle Sam
04. Portrait of Heart
05. Christiania
06. Mad Horses
07. Feedback Moves
08. The Mouse
09. Drone
10. A Comment
11. Drama
12. Drama Pt. 2
13. Soundtrack
14. Drama Pt. 3
15. Chance (live)
16. Stories (live)
17. Glory (live)
18. Justice (live)

Available on 2xCD and digital download from July 2016. Mailorder copies of the CD are delivered in a special LDDC slipcase. To order CD please select correct shipping option and click on Add To Cart button below cover image, or else contact LDDC by email for other payment options.

Metamorphosis [TWI 096 CD]
2xCD shipping options

Reviews:

"Two CDs covering the ex-Josef K frontman's early 80s solo experiments: from the extended mix post-punk pop-funk (all reverby vocals, oily bass and jittery guitar) to lo-fi electronic ghostscapes and ectomorphic takes on the Great American Songbook. 4 stars" (Mojo, 10/2016)

"Haig had schizoid impulses, at once DIY electro terrorist, smooth crooner and synth-soul boy. The music on Metamorphosis marks his transition from scratchy guitar aesthete to artily modern electro-eclectic. 4 stars" (Classic Pop, 10/2016)

"This 2xCD comp aurally dots around all over the place, which is part of its charm and also an accurate portrayal of the restless artist at work that was Paul Haig during the two year period featured here. Metamorphosis is a very apt title, of course, at once tying the whole thing back to the Kafka roots of the Josef K name, but also referencing the radical change from Velvets influenced guitar mayhem to a more synthetic and less combustible sound... On Disc 2 Mad Horses acts as a bridge between the more pop tracks and the very experimental recordings issued on a C30 tape called Drama, with electronics and samples. It strikes me as similar to when Pete Shelley worked with an oscillator in 1976 (and with the Tiller Boys later), in tandem to his work in Buzzcocks - someone mostly identified with rock exploring areas of sound far away from the traditional. Though not everything quite came off, all of it is interesting enough and the broad spectrum on display here only serves to enhance the enigmatic charm of the talented Mr Haig. A thorough - and thoroughly intriguing - compilation" (Louder Than War, 09/2016)

"When the Postcard label's fastest flaring stars Josef K folded in 1981, frontman Paul Haig took himself, his chiselled flat-top hairdo and sharp suits to Brussels and made an array of recordings that spans cool dance music, ambient electronica and Sinatra covers, mostly under the Rhythm of Life banner, before Island records snapped him up. The more commercial music (including Justice, Blue For You and Sly Stone cover Running Away) still sounds anything but dated, and his Love Me Tender may out-cheese the King himself. It is the second disc that gathers the real rarities, including his backing musician role on the Uncle Sam single by Edinburgh's arty hedonist Sebastian Horsley, released on capital indie label Rational, which also stands up much better than it would be reasonable to expect. The collection rounds off with live recordings from early 1982 that were only ever released on cassette and described at the time as 'Vic Godard backed by Kraftwerk'. That maybe overstating the case a little, but is in the ballpark. James Nice has added those and other apposite commentary to Haig's own recollections for the informative booklet" (Glasgow Herald, 10/2016)

"Far from being just another round-up exercise, Metamorphosis a bejewelled treasure chest of rare sparkling musical trinkets with some concise sleevenotes from the man himself. Charting Haig's progression from the afterglow of his jangly itchy funk-pop with Josef K, through to the formative electro-dance that informed his first few releases on Crepuscule, it features key 12" and 7" version and remixes of key compilation tracks, as well as the focus of Benoit Hennebert's original artwork here, the Swing in '82 mini-album. Elsewhere there's the added bonus of the rare-as-hens'-teeth Drama cassette, a pre-cursor to his later Cinematique releases in the 90s and a fusion of chromatic electronica and unsettling dialogue-driven drones. On Drama there is very little singing, a certain amount of prose and barely any of the pretty melodies that Haig had become synonymous with. It's a curio, a moment in time and another box ticked" (Flipside, 09/2016)