Beat out that Rhythm on a Drum - Marc Almond, Bizet, Georges
1997 reissue on Some Bizarre of this highly acclaimed 1983 album for the label by former Soft Cell leader Marc Almond with the Mambas. Housed in a double slimline jewel case, it features the original artwork and all 18 ori... more »ginal tracks, which include 'Boss Cat', 'The Bulls' and 'Catch A Fallen Star'.« less
1997 reissue on Some Bizarre of this highly acclaimed 1983 album for the label by former Soft Cell leader Marc Almond with the Mambas. Housed in a double slimline jewel case, it features the original artwork and all 18 original tracks, which include 'Boss Cat', 'The Bulls' and 'Catch A Fallen Star'.
"There is a lot of music in the world that might be considered "depressing". Pink Floyd's masterpiece, *The Wall*, immediately comes to mind, as do Joy Division's *Unknown Pleasures* and The Cure's forever haunting *Faith*. But even while it is true that those and other works can make almost anyone sad, I have to hold up *Torment & Toreros* (*T&T*) as the most profoundly depressing album I ever owned, a work capable of unmercifully wrenching tears from my eyes.I remember that somewhere on the album cover was written something like, "Remember, little snakes, if you're going to wallow, wallow deep!" And wallow Marc does, and in a way that only he could.Fans of Soft Cell and Marc's later solo efforts know that his voice is versatile, unique, and frequently beautiful. *T&T*, released in 1983, finds his voice at its theatrical limits, reaching depths and heights of poignancy untouched virtually anywhere else. Not that he crosses the line, but it may be discerned throughout the album that he is on the verge. This perfectly lends itself to the beautifully raw and pained feel of *T&T*, where the visceral meets the poetic on equal footing.Musically, the songs are seasoned with a Spanish opera's sensibility (mostly in evidence in the first few songs) over a base of universal emotion. The musicians perform with theatrical flourish and energy in some places ("Boss Cat", "Million Manias"), while in others ("In My Room", "Black Heart") the music is more subdued to give Marc's voice the operating room to pull your heart out.Lyrically, the depths of sadness, loss, grief and hurt are plumbed with an unmistakable sense of veracity..."In my room
way at the end of the hall
I sit and stare at the wall
Thinking how lonesome I've grown
In my room..."In my room
Where every night is the same
I play a dangerous game
I keep pretending she's late
And I sit
And I wait..."Navigating a course between the Scylla of camp and the Charybdis of melodrama (though threatened by both on occasion), *T&T* is a masterpiece. It is a work dedicated to heartbreak at its most damning, burying itself in heartbreak's most despairing and bleakest moments like a long, ornate, theatrical dagger. Audiophiles who might otherwise eschew such "gothic" excess would do well to forego their prejudices here and buy this work, as it transcends pigeonholes to hover like a darkly beautiful but evilly cunning angel over the ruins of lost love.If *T&T* has any weakness, it is, in my humble opinion, in the very last song, "Beat Out That Rhythm on a Drum", which fails to accomplish what The Cure did with their song, "Fight". However, the weakness is negligible, and perhaps might even be necessary for some people, who might find themselves needing something, anything, to break the spell of desperate sadness cast by this recording."
Magnificent and dark
roy avni | amsterdam, holland Netherlands | 12/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this album findse marc in his rebellious (heroin abuse )period
a dark and wonderful album that hasn't been touched up too much, you can almost feel that your in live performance in a dark and atmospheric venue ,a nice follow-up to the first album (untitled ) a perfect album for winter night,"
Dark in a fascinating way
Carl Johnson | Rensselaer, NY USA | 12/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I haven't heard the CD version so I can't speak to the quality of the remastering, but the LP is the finest dark work of music I've ever heard. Heartbreaking but never depressing, the music touches on torch songs and even some strange martial tones, especially the unsurpassable "Beat Out That Rhythm on a Drum". His version of "If You Go Away" is the saddest song ever recorded. In a good way. I once had a Flexi-Pop disc (old magazine with a flexible 45 inside), before this album came out, and I heard Marc singing, "Oh baby, my hair's on end about you" -- from that day forward, I was in a desperate search for Marc and the Mambas (that song is actually on "Untitled")."
High point of a brilliant career
Anomalek | NYC, USA | 01/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Marc Almond's career has had its musical ups and downs, but this album, alongside "Mother Fist", ranks at the very top of his work. I remember hearing it when it was first released, and it was an incredible shock. "Black Heart" in particular remains one of my favorite songs of all time, by any artist - it's all very strange, and yet it has a determination and focus so strong that you can feel without question that he had his own particular musical destination in mind & knew exactly where he was going. Marc's cover of "Caroline Says" was quite an eye-opener. This album and its untitled companion release feature first-rate contributions from Matt Johnson of The The.
Great Era For Music Fans
Dennis A. Brown | Davenport, FL | 06/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a Marc Almond fan for more than 20 years and, thanks to the digital age, we fans can now purchase all of Almonds 'hard to find' CD's. I now own "Torment and Toreros", "Violent Silence/A Womans Story", and "Vermin in Ermine". I waited so many years. With the age of digital music everything, it seems, is being re-issued. What you would have to look for in a used record store is available at a keystroke.
"Torment and Toreros" is an Almond masterpiece. Recorded in 1983 when Marc was suffering a nervous breakdown, the music dark, moody,implusive, and brilliant! The height of Almonds creativity. Unlike Soft Cell, the music on "Torment", as well as most of Almond solo work, is played with a real band. I believe this suites Almonds' voice better than the electronic stuff. Listen to this CD late at night after a few drinks."