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Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls [TWI 016]

Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls is the debut album by post/punk icon Pauline Murray, co-produced by revered sonic architect Martin 'Zero' Hannett in 1980.

Recorded at the famous Strawberry Studios, the album offered 11 slices of modern electronic pop written by Pauline and partner Robert Blamire and marked a radical departure from their shared past in pioneering punk band Penetration. As well producer/arrangers Martin Hannett and Steve Hopkins (aka the Invisible Girls), the album features a stellar cast of guest musicians including John Maher (Buzzcocks) and Vini Reilly (Durutti Column). Indeed Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls presents almost as a Factory record, exquisitely sleeved by Peter Saville and Trevor Key.

Stand-out tracks include popular singles Dream Sequence and Mr X, with the newly remastered album now augmented on CD (TWI 016 CD) by a wealth of bonus material including non-album singles, live recordings (from tours in 1980 and 1981) and a John Peel session from March 1980. The vinyl version (TWI 016) augments the album with singles, the Peel session, and an exclusive bonus CD of instrumental versions - a must for Hannett scholars!

"It's a bit of a missing link album," says Pauline today. "Written and recorded after punk, but before Martin Rushent and the Human League made airy pop respectable again. We chose the other Martin in 1980 because we wanted the incredible sounds he achieved for Joy Division and Magazine. Thundertunes, basically."

Cover art by Trevor Key and Peter Saville. Detailed liner notes. Available on double CD, gatefold double vinyl + bonus instrumental CD and MP3 copy, and digital download (MP3).

Vinyl tracklist (TWI 016):

Disc 1:
A1. Screaming In the Darkness
A2. Dream Sequence
A3. European Eyes
A4. Shoot You Down
A5. Sympathy
A6. Time Slipping
B1. Drummer Boy
B2. Thundertunes
B3. When Will We Learn
B4. Mr X
B5. Judgement Day

Disc 2:
C1. Searching For Heaven
C2. The Visitor
C3. Animal Crazy
C4. Dream Sequence II
C5. Two Shots
D1. Shoot You Down (Peel 3/1980)
D2. Sympathy (Peel 3/1980)
D3. When Will We Learn (Peel 3/1980)
D4. Dream Sequence (Peel 3/1980)

Bonus instrumental CD:
1. Two Shots (inst.)
2. Mr X (inst.)
3. Judgement Day (inst.)
4. Thundertunes (inst.)
5. When Will We Learn (inst.)
6. Time Slipping (inst.)
7. Sympathy (inst.)
8. Shoot You Down (inst.)
9. Drummer Boy (inst.)
10. European Eyes (inst.)
11. Screaming In the Darkness (inst.)
12. Dream Sequence (inst.)
13. Animal Crazy (long version)
14. Searching for Heaven (demo)
15. Mr X (7" edit)
15. Dream Sequence (Amazon version)

2xCD tracklist (TWI 016 CD):

CD Disc 1:
1. Screaming In the Darkness
2. Dream Sequence
3. European Eyes
4. Shoot You Down
5. Sympathy
6. Time Slipping
7. Drummer Boy
8. Thundertunes
9. When Will We Learn
10. Mr X
11. Judgement Day
12. Searching for Heaven
13. The Visitor
14. Animal Crazy
15. Dream Sequence II
16. Two Shots
17. Shoot You Down (Peel 3/1980)
18. Sympathy (Peel 3/1980)
19. When Will We Learn (Peel 3/1980)
20. Dream Sequence (Peel 3/1980)

CD Disc 2:
1. Screaming In the Darkness (live 1981)
2. Searching for Heaven (live 1981)
3. Time Slipping (live 1981)
4. Dream Sequence (live 1981)
5. Two Shots (live 1981)
6. When Will We Learn (live 1981)
7. Mr X (live 1981)
8. Animal Crazy (live 1981)
9. European Eyes (live 1981)
10. Thundertunes (live 1981)
11. Animal Crazy (live 1981)
11. Time Slipping (live 1981)
12. Dream Sequence (live 1981)
14. Two Shots (live 1981)
15. Sympathy (live 1980)
16. Dream Sequence (live 1980)
17. Time Slipping (live 1980)
18. Drummer Boy (live 1980)
19. European Eyes (live 1980)
20. Thundertunes (live 1980)
21. Shoot You Down (live 1980)
22. Judgement Day (live 1980)
23. When Will We Learn (live 1980)

Available on 2xLP with bonus CD, 2xCD and digital (MP3 or FLAC). To order any format please first select the correct shipping option (UK, EU or Rest of World) and then click on Add To Cart button below cover image, or else contact LDDC by email. Digital copies are delivered by email link to you.

Or, you can order with the option of tracked shipping from our friends at Burning Shed (click here to order)

Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls [TWI 016]
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"Like Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley's disco-literate solo debut Homosapien, this 1980 outing from the eternally breathless Pauline Murray represented a stylistic bridge between the new wave and the new pop of The Human League and beyond. With a timelessly chiselled Peter Saville sleeve adding to its reputation as a Factory release manqué, the clean lines, sparkling surfaces and elegant details of Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls bear the hallmarks of Joy Division producer Martin Hannett, and such stylishly unobtrusive guests as Vini Reilly and Buzzcocks drummer John Maher. Murray concedes that she absented herself from the studio for a time, convinced that she was losing control of her own album. Letting go, though, is a thrilling option on Dream Sequence, with Thundertunes and the Ultravox! Eurofunk of Mr X marking further giddy steps into the future. 8/10. Extras include single tracks, a Peel session and a second disc of live material, while an extra CD appended to the vinyl edition boats an instrumental version of the album, and more proto-versions of key tracks" (Uncut, 11/2014)

"A futuristic but highly accessible record which didn't adhere to the industry conventions of group or solo artist, major or indie, pop or post-punk. It was - is - sublime" (The Quietus, 1/2015)

"Sparkling pop-tronica - 4/5. Martin Hannett's production wizardry echoes his work for Magazine rather than Joy Division, big on treble and clarity. Murray's effervescence is high in the mix with sessioneers Vini Reilly, John Maher, Robert Blamire and Steve Hopkins providing a tightly meshed springboard. European Eyes echoes Penetration's coarse energy, and overall it's rougher than the clean lines of Dare by the Human League (that was the other Martin, Rushent), but it's still the essence of pop, and non-album single Searching for Heaven is the finest of the lot" (Mojo, 11/2014)

"Accustomed as we've become to instant availability, the notion of the 'lost classic' has long since tipped over the precipice. Odd then that this recording - bar a limited 90s re-press - has remained doggedly unavailable. Taking stock of punk's dissipation and their own band's unravelling as the 1980s dawned, Penetration's Pauline Murray and Robert Blamire embarked on a musical tangent, with Martin Hannett and a distinguished cast on board to craft a one-off album of darkly sophisticated pop tunes. Transplanting Penetration's twin guitar assault with Vini Reilly's dextrous fretwork, the cascading keyboards of Steve Hopkins, and, no least, Hannett's textural flourishes, Murray and Blamire were uniquely enabled to make an astonishing quantum leap from their past. Songs of emotional unease unfurl, striated with glimmers of fragile optimism, through the eerie opening notes of Screaming in the Darkness, the otherworldly pop of Dream Sequence and Thundertunes, and the claustrophobic soundscape of closer Judgement Day. Slipping through the cracks, both in terms of commercial success and Sister Lovers-level retrospective cult adulation, I'd argue this album is richly deserving of both. A luminous wonder which, as Pauline herself points out in the liner notes, can never be repeated. 10 out of 10" (Vive le Rock, 12/2014)

"Now expanded to two CDs - one of studio and session material, the other of various live cuts from early '80s tours - PM+TIG sounds enriched after all these years festering in a dark cupboard. Musically less raw than Penetration, songs like Dream Sequence, Shoot You Down and Thundertunes are cheery new wave pop gems that still sparkle thirty-odd years later, all given that slightly gritty sheen by Martin Hannett. Murray's voice is by turns expressive, wide-eyed and unique (comparisons to Siouxsie are unfounded, frankly) and suit the musical uppers and downers presented here. And there aren't many of the latter - Mr X, one of the band's obvious highlights and one of the greatest singles issued at the time, brims with haunting menace, Judgement Day recalls early Psychedelic Furs or The Cure's dimmer moments and Drummer Boy is a stark, spatial melodrama that actually sounds a little out of place amongst its heftier peers on here. As for the uppers, surely one song that should have been a single and a subsequent hit is Time Slipping. A slower, swirling, almost funky, dark-wave pop song worth cherishing, it's a great conclusion to side one (speaking in vinyl terms here) and acts as something of a centrepiece midway through the running order. I bloody love it. You also get non-album single Searching For Heaven and a host of b-sides including the pulsing Animal Crazy, a pre-cursor to earlier Factory attempts at indie-dance (New Order or Section 25, for example). The 1980 Peel Session is also all present and correct, with Sympathy almost bordering on indie-disco - in 1980" (Flipside, 10/2014)

"Unquestionably a musical highpoint of this year or any other. An exciting new area of electronic pop where Motown meets the modern world" (Melody Maker, 10/1980)

"Murray and Blamire have produced something that's a mighty long way from punk. Lovely songs of anxiety, malaise and self-doubt. Pauline Murray sings of the love of love, fear of fear, or suspicion and retribution, and consistently captures the drama in a dream. Hannett's production is cracking, ornate yet never opaque, discretely echoed and gently warped to the point of hallucination... This is sophistication, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. There is no pretence that a ragged edge of a discordant solo is the password to credibility. The music is wildly eclectic - look for Chic slick, Springsteen hope and glory, Wonder resource, gothic spaciousness, post-punk passion... Murray's personal touches, the quiet fire of her bewilderment and almost lullaby-like disillusionment transforming it into a great work of passion" (NME (Paul Morley), 10/1980)

"Think of the most addictive Abba and the most positive Joy Division, and these songs have an effect somewhere in between, very pretty but very hard. Hannett's drum snap is there, but it's also among his warmest, most sympathetic works, providing the airy, breathy support a voice like Pauline Murray's cries out for" (Record Mirror, 10/1980)