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Adrian Borland - The Amsterdam Tapes review (MusicDash 17-07-2006)

date: Jul 17, 2006



Adrian Borland first made his mark in 1979 as the frontman of The Sound, who were signed to Korova alongside labelmates Echo And The Bunneymen. The bands sometimes aggressive but infectious stadium filling sound resulted in their classic debut "Jeopardy" (1980) and after two further albums the band were eventually dropped, but their music very much lives on, casting an influential light much further than their record sales may suggest. Unfortunately Borland, plagued by metal health problems, tragically died in 1999. 

As a result of his many admirers and friends, "The Amsterdam Tapes" came into being. A session in 1992 with Bart Van Poppel and various friends, created a set of demos, that Poppel has since remastered, re-recorded and reproduced. It sounds like a labour of love too. With Borland's vocals and guitars preserved, the era has also imprinted onto the songs. Tracks like "Ordinary Angel" are more reflective, but with guitars and the wider ambitions still intact. The darker sounds of "Sea Of Noise" still have shades of the Bunnymen and it's a record that would impress by any standard if produced by one of today's newer acts. "I just don't want to be there too " sings Borland, co-incidentally, but no less prophetic. 

"The Amsterdam Tapes" is not just a fitting tribute. It very much marks the sound of the times, bridging Borlands ambitions at a point when the stadium acts such as U2 had grown from the very same scenes that Borland had occupied in the late 70's. It's Poppel who should be congratulated too for contributing to and facilitating a worthy album.

By JA -

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