Go West – Go West (4CD/1DVD Super Deluxe Edition)

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The 1980’s were a decade studded with great duos: Blancmange, Soft Cell, The Style Council and Yazoo all livened up those Day-Glo years. In that age of fluorescent blues and pinks, Go West, with their stripped back aesthetic, made for strange bedfellows, yet they defined 1985 with their eponymous debut album Go West. Scooping up a host of awards it was a record that perfectly walked the thin line between rock and soul and made the band household names. Now reissued as an expanded 4CD set and a DVD loaded with goodies there’s never been a better time to rediscover this gem.

Disc One: Go West

I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t tinker with perfection but the remaster of Go West (by original producer Gary Stevenson) has added a sparkle that makes it fizz with a new character. Could any album opener be better than ‘We Close Our Eyes’ and it’s here that Gary’s remaster comes into its own with the industrial sound of metal and metal brought to the fore and when married to that insanely catchy beat the result is an instant earworm. As Go West gate-crashed the charts the album was ransacked for single after single (five in total) and it’s an anomaly that only ‘We Close Our Eyes’ made the Top Ten. ‘Call Me’ was part of the two-song demo that won the band a deal with Chrysalis and, when rerecorded and released as a 7”, should have followed in the footsteps of its predecessor. However, Go West has deep album cuts too and tracks such as ‘Missing Persons’ and ‘Haunted’ add an emotional edge which will stay with you long after the disc’s stopped spinning. Unlike much music from the 1980’s Go West has aged very well, and this 2022 remaster ensures it’ll still sound superb many years from now.

Disc Two: Bangs & Crashes

The whirlwind that surrounded the success of Go West left the band little time to record a follow up hence, released as a stopgap, the remix album, Bangs & Crashes. Featuring cuts from their debut (and a few other goodies) this is a strange album that doesn’t flow as evenly as Go West. There’s nothing wrong with the songs and the remixes don’t detract from their majesty in any way but there’s a reason why ‘The Man In My Mirror’ was a B-side and it’s strange that it should appear on their sophomore long player. On paper Go West were a strange combo; singer Peter Cox came from a blues/hard rock background while multi-instrumentalist Richard Drummie was more in tune with contemporary sounds. However, tracks such as ‘S.O.S.’ finds them meeting somewhere in the middle and the resulting sound could be described as rock n’ soul. When Bang & Crashes was released in 1986 it had the feeling of a filler release but viewed from the present it’s an intriguing curiosity.

Disc Three: Unreleased & Rare

Go West scored their record deal with Chrysalis on the strength of a demo (recorded on their manager’s credit card!) and judging by the quality of the demo tracks contained on Unreleased & Rare the label scored a winner. The six demos contained here are peeled back versions of those which appeared later and without the bells and whistles and production trickery they highlight what great songsmiths Peter and Richard were. The stripped ‘Missing Persons’ makes for a more haunting listen while ‘Don’t Look Down’ brings the bouncy beat to the fore. This disc also contains a host of hard-to-find remixes and, as with those found on Bangs & Crashes, reveal other facets that were once hidden but now exposed.

Disc Four: Live At Hammersmith Odeon 21/11/85

Capturing Go West in the very eye of the tornado Live At Hammersmith Odeon 21/11/85 finds the guys rocking a venue filled to capacity. The band were always dubious about attracting a younger, teenybopper crowd and their fickle ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ tastes. But that’s just the audience they found themselves playing to on this previously unreleased live set. Recorded late November it finds Go West playing to a rabid crowd and their unique brand of blue-eyed soul transfers very well to the live environment. A pair of female backing vocalists give real depth to tracks such as ‘Eye To Eye’ and a cover of The Temptations’ ‘Ball Of Confusion’. However, this disc works best when it rocks out, especially on ‘Hideaway’ and spirited closer ‘We Close Our Eyes’.

DVD:

In the age of MTV (when they used to actually play videos) an innovative promo could do wonders for a band’s profile. Directed by Godley & Cream the video for Go West’s debut single ‘We Close Our Eyes’ was a cornucopia of cool images and was one of the reasons the band came to prominence so quickly. This DVD contains all the promo videos from Go West along with their Top Of The Pops appearances and other BBC jaunts from that era. Perhaps the most interesting item for the Go West fanatic is a previously unseen concert from Japan. In a strange quirk of fate Japanese fans saw the band live before their English counterparts and the reception Go West received in the land of the Rising Sun verged on Beatlemania.

An often-overlooked gem gets the luxury reissue treatment it finally deserves. Housed in a slipcase with booklets containing unseen pictures and a track-by-track commentary this set is a must for the casual and obsessive fan alike. Take note that a single clear vinyl version is also released at the same time. Go West, ladies and gentlemen!

  • Reviewed by Peter Dennis.
  • Go West (Super Deluxe Edition) is released via Chrysalis on 6th May 2022.
  • Official Website

Track List:

Disc One: Go West

  1. We Close Our Eyes
  2. Don’t Look Down
  3. Call Me
  4. Eye To Eye
  5. Haunted
  6. S.O.S.
  7. Goodbye Girl
  8. Innocence
  9. Missing Persons

Disc Two: Bangs & Crashes

  1. We Close Our Eyes (The Total Overhang Mix)
  2. The Man In My Mirror
  3. Goodbye Girl (7” Edit)
  4. S.O.S. (The Perpendicular Mix)
  5. Eye To Eye (The Horizontal Mix)
  6. Ball Of Confusion (Live)
  7. Call Me (The Indiscriminate Mix)
  8. Dreamworld
  9. Missing Persons (Live)
  10. Don’t Look Down (The Stratospheric Mix)
  11. One Way Street
  12. Innocence (The Desperation Mix)
  13. Eye To Eye (The Credibility Dub Mix)
  14. Call Me (The US Dance Mix)

Disc Three: Demos & Rarities

  1. Special Girl (Demo) *
  2. One Way Street (Demo) *
  3. Don’t Look Down (Demo) *
  4. Missing Persons (Demo) *
  5. Partners In Crime (Demo) *
  6. The Man In My Mirror (Demo) *
  7. Goodbye Girl (Early Mix) *
  8. Call Me (Secret Solo Mix) *
  9. Don’t Look Down (The Sequel) (7” Mix)
  10. Innocence (The Desperation 7” Edit Mix)
  11. Eye To Eye (The System 7” Remix)
  12. We Close Our Eyes (The Total Overhang Mix) *
  13. Call Me (The Longer Indiscriminate Mix)
  14. Eye To Eye (The Credibility Mix)

Disc Four: Live At Hammersmith Odeon 21/11/1985

  1. S.O.S. *
  2. The Man In My Mirror *
  3. Eye To Eye *
  4. Time Heals *
  5. Hideaway *
  6. Haunted *
  7. Missing Persons *
  8. Ball Of Confusion *
  9. Don’t Look Down *
  10. Innocence *
  11. We Close Our Eyes *

DVD:

Promo Clips:

  1. We Close Our Eyes
  2. Call Me
  3. Goodbye Girl
  4. Don’t Look Down
  5. Call Me (Extended)

Live In Yokohama 1985:

  1. S.O.S. *
  2. The Man In My Mirror *
  3. Eye To Eye *
  4. Missing Persons *
  5. Haunted *
  6. Goodbye Girl *
  7. Don’t Look Down *
  8. Call Me *
  9. Innocence *
  10. We Close Lour Eyes

At The BBC:

  1. We Close Our Eyes (Top Of The Pops, 14/03/1985)
  2. Call Me (Top Of The Pops, 25/05/1985)
  3. Goodbye Girl (Wogan, 22/07/1985)
  4. Don’t Look Down (Top Of The Pops, 5/12/1985)
  5. Don’t Look Down (Whistle Test, 23/04/1985)
  6. Goodbye Girl (Whistle Test, 23/04/1985)

* Previously Unreleased