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Moss Side Story

Barry Adamson

1989

Moss Side Story
Album Summary

Moss Side Story is the debut album of British musician Barry Adamson released in 1989. The album is a concept album, a soundtrack album to a non-existent crime film. The music is almost completely instrumental except for occasional screams, vocal samples and a choir. To achieve the soundtrack effect, the song titles are descriptive of a film noir plot outline. The inner sleeve came with a short story written by Dave Graney which added to the concept. This complemented outer sleeve which displays the tag line: "In a black and white world, murder brings a touch of colour...". In a 2017 interview, Adamson reported that he recorded Moss Side Story due to his fascination with film music and as "a calling card [to] send it around to people" in hopes of being hired to write music for actual films. The overall style is reminiscent of the work of Angelo Badalamenti who often collaborates with the film director David Lynch. Adamson would go on to contribute music to Lynch's film Lost Highway (1997) Moss Side is a neighbourhood in the city of Manchester, Great Britain, where Adamson was born. The album title is a play on words and a reference to Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. The title of "The Swinging Detective" plays on Dennis Potter's series of television plays The Singing Detective, while "Round Up The Usual Suspects" is a line made famous by Claude Rains in Casablanca.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.6

Votes

9362
Genres
Rock

Reviews

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Mon Feb 15 2021
1

Who is this for? Who is sitting around listening to this? People who listen to this need to be on a registry.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
1

I have neither the time nor the inclination to listen to the soundtracks of movies that do exist, let alone ones that don’t. An absolute chore.

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Thu Mar 17 2022
5

Weird album. Weird in the best way though. I might not revisit this album in a long time but it definitely left an impression on me. That is a big contrast from other albums on this list that I forget about after I click on the 3 stars.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
2

This sounds like what it is, a soundtrack for a film that doesn't exist. Some nice bits but fairly pointless

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Thu Aug 18 2022
1

la musique d’ambiance du purgatoire

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Mon Sep 14 2020
4

Loved the idea of an album created as a film soundtrack

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

My initial reaction to this was 'why haven't I ever heard of this?' closely followed by 'what the hell am I listening to?' The longer it went on, the more I enjoyed it. This album is like nothing I've ever heard. 'A soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist' as one article put it. It's probably no coincidence that upon further exploration I discovered this guy used to be in the Bad Seeds, who I love. I'm not sure I understand this album. It's definitely something you could only listen to as a complete album, it would make no sense at all to pick out individual tracks. It's more like an hour-long soundscape than music. I'm not sure why, but I think I love it.

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Thu Nov 24 2022
2

Fuck me, another Barry Adamson record on the list? This surely has to be the last. This one is starting off promisingly enough, very avant-garde and soundscape-y, but I’ve got my trench coat and fedora handy, ready to skulk through dimly lit alleyways. The second track brings us into more familiar Adamson territory: repetitive lounge music layered with experimental sound effects and vocal samples. …and there it is! By track three, the trench coat comes on and we’re in a darkened alley, likely there to meet with a foxy dame who’s in over her head or maybe witness a jewel heist gone wrong. Ok, I’m gonna curb the shit-talk, this time. Wait… one more…”Suck on the Honey of Love” is giving “Set Controls For the Heart of the Pelvis” (from Adamson’s 1996 record, Oedipus Schmoedipus) a run for its money as worst song title on earth. Here’s the thing, Barry Adamson isn’t a bad musician. He is clearly talented and you can tell a lot of thought went into his records to make them cohesive, storytelling instrumental records - that’s no small feat, in my opinion. He creates an overall mood and I don’t think it’s stretch to call them “soundtracks”. If these records are supposed to be soundtracks for imaginary films, though, I’m not sure they are films I’d want to see (and I love David Lynch, who Adamson would later collaborate with). I mean, I never heard of Barry Adamson prior 2 months ago, when I reviewed Oedipus Schmoedipus, and I knew going in to this record exactly how it would play out. This one’s better than Oedipus Schmoedipus, but only by a little. Honestly, they’re basically the same record, just 7 years removed from each other.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
1

I don't know, is this pulled from a clips of a movie or something. It doesn't belong here, it belongs at a 20 year old art students weed party

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Verging on hints of The Avalanches, what would be perfectly acceptable background music to a moody train ride is elevated to a straight up five star rating purely due to the involvement of Dave Graney in writing the accompanying short story in the liner notes of the album. Hell yeah Dave so happy to see your new pop up in this list.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Weirdly, I never knew of the existence of this before (despite knowing Adamson's work). Some interesting ambience. Disturbing and creepy, but sometimes becomes a bit hackneyed. Some amazing production work. A bit like a classic noir / Hitchcock soundtrack as presented in the mind of someone genuinely disturbed.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Pretty banging for an album with no words

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Would watch this movie in a heartbeat. Started out creepy on the wrong side of relaxation and settled into classic Hollywood scores. Interesting listen.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
4

Oliver Blunt, Archangel City's best detective, is a man motivated by one thing: revenge for his son, Charles a.k.a Chucky, killed by the mafia, the heart of the city's hideous underbelly. Blunt won't rest until he's put Don Carlo, the mysterious leader of the city's shadow underworld, behind bars - or killed him with his bare hands. But at the center of the case that Blunt thinks could lead to Don Carlo's destruction once and for all is a teenage boy with striking similarities to Blunt's dead son - even the same name. On his quest for revenge, Blunt will be forced to confront both Archangel City's all-powerful underworld and the turmoil that sits deep within his heart. honestly, huge points to this album for the concept and theme, even though i didn't enjoy all the songs i still love the idea. super fun to listen to while walking around at night and think of fake noir plots to. in terms of theme, a definite five, but obviously this is a music rating too so it'll be a four. fun fact: the wikipedia article for this album lists just one professional review.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
2

Didn't really "get" it. Sure, nice enough concept, but one of the best 1001 albums ever?

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Fri Aug 12 2022
1

They never made the movie to go with this soundtrack just in case the movie sucked as badly as this garbage.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

This is intriguing! A soundtrack to a crime movie that does not exist. This concept isn't new anymore, but maybe Bazza was the first to ever do it. Moss Side Story is at its best when it doesn't feel like a straight film soundtrack, when instead it takes the tropes and upends them. Like "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" with its pizzicato strings turned up to 11, evoking such stresses of emotion, before turning into flowing streams of love - but that's flowing like hot lava. You know what I mean? This soundtrack doesn't need a film - it creates plenty of cinematic drama on its own.

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Thu May 12 2022
4

This fellow's schtick is so odd, but I think the "soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist" idea works much better here than on Oedipus. The back half of this album is straight up full of jams. Disappointed it's not an album about Maurice Moss.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
2

So he wrote a sound track to a movie that was a figment of his imagination. imo,  that means he should go on a vacation to a place where all the people he talks with will be wearing lab coats. 

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Wed Oct 20 2021
1

I'd like to image I hadn't wasted 54 minutes of my life listening to this soundtrack to an imaginary film. Unfortunately I did and I regret that. It has no redeeming qualities at all and completing it was a chore. It sounds like a music student's composition project. And not a good one. Never again.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
1

A soundtrack to a movie that was never made, which is a win for modern day society since it sounds like a movie no one in their right mind would want to watch.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
1

This guy again? My first thought is how the fuck did this guy get two albums in this list when there are thousands of other artists who deserved at least one! Anyway, another soundtrack to film that doesn't exist? So postmodern. If the music was actually interesting then it wouldn't be half bad. The music isn't however. I bet he sniffs his own farts. Best Tracks: Under Wraps; Everything Happens to Me; The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Great instrumental concept album

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

Pretty excellent background/soundtrack music, Jazz devil is great!

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Thu Mar 11 2021
5

Really enjoyed the weirdness.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
5

I really like the thumping industrial drums on Sounds from the big house.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
5

En algún momento me topé con la música de Barry Adamson hace muchos mucho años y desde el inicio quedé enganchado. Creo que cualquier persona que tenga alguna apreciación por la música ambiental/instrumental/soundtracks puede encontrar cosas interesantes aquí, incluso si no se le hace brillante. En mi caso siempre me ha fascinado la manera en que trabaja y el tino que tiene en crear historias y narrativas enteras aun cuando los guiones e historias no existan. Este tipo de trabajo de hacer una banda sonora de una película inexistente, aunque no es lo único que hace, lo ha realizado un par de ocasiones y siempre con efectos en mi opinión espectaculares. Todo un arco, desarrollos, elipsis, un climax y una resolución totalmente imaginarios y en perfecta sintonía con la temática.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
5

Brilliant. Gets a bit saxy about halfway through.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

Great soundtrack to no movie. Does sound like it could easily fit a mike mann movie.

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Thu May 05 2022
5

5/5 dope ass soundscapes!!! amazing in surround sound. Very eerie

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

This album is incredible. Always have just kind of known this dude's name more for being adjacent to Lynch contributing to "Lost Highway" and know he's worked with a lot of rad people. First time I've sunk my teeth in to one of his singular works though, and it's absolutely incredible and rewarding.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

One of the greatest soundtrack albums for a film that will only ever be made in our imaginations

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

I feel like I watched the movie

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

this has completely sideswiped me. i had no idea anything thoughtful or conceptual came out of moss side but it turns out in 1989 before it gained its guns and gangs reputation it was a place where someone wrote a film score to a nonexistent noir crime film and accompanied it with a conceptual short story.

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Thu Dec 29 2022
5

Never heard of this guy but loved it. A blend of weird and wonderful sounds creating a funkscape so precious and beyond, spent all day listening to his music. Wot a ledge

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

10/10 Barry Adamson is easily one of my favorite musicians he is just so incredibly talented and diverse, it’s crazy I love all these songs so much, it’s very difficult for me to choose a favorite, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be The Man With the Golden Arm just because it’s such a beautiful and crazy way to end the album

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Fri Apr 07 2023
5

5 stars because the concept and execution are perfect.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

I really enjoyed this. He did a good job capturing the noir feeling. Would definitely listen to it again.

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Mon Jul 31 2023
5

I caught glimpses of the Matrix and NiN. It's interesting how the Noire type aesthetic ties into the sounds of Industrial music. Replace the instruments with more synths and you're basically there. Alfred Hitchcock Presents is pretty trippy. Great example of an album that belongs on this list.

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Thu Aug 24 2023
5

Both Moss Side and West Side are very important to me.

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Mon Aug 28 2023
5

Wasnt sure what this was when it started. It sounded like I was listening to a horror/film noire movie. Sure enough, I read about it after listening to it and its written as a soundtrack to a nonexistant noire movie. Awesome and unique concept. Its experimental without being too avant-guard-y. Im a sucker for anything noire, will revisit this for sure.

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Thu Aug 31 2023
5

First thoughts: Noise? Now on Central Control and I'm intrigued as ****... what is this?? Need the back-story to this. Sounds from the Big House: Sax! 😎😎 I'm all in. The piano in Everything Happens to Me! Glorious. Autodestruction, no. Lost me for a bit but finished strong with Man with a Golden Arm. Well, that was a piece of art, I don't care what anyone says!

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Fri Oct 06 2023
5

Wow! What an incredible album! Barry apparently wrote this album to be a business card for anyone looking for movie scores, and boy did he succeed. I can easily imagine the movie this goes to, and the baseline under the tracks are absolute bangers. I didn't expect to have a faux-movie soundtrack be a workout power song, but The Swinging Detective really brings it. Same with The Man with the golden arm. Auto Destruction and Suck On the Honey of Love are incredibly evocative songs for me. My music tastes are driven by a search for novelty, and that's what has drawn me to electronic music in the past. I did not expect a movie score album featuring standard instruments to scratch that itch so well, but it did. I said it before, but man what a cool album - from start to finish I feel like I experienced a murder mystery and I'm glad I heard this album.

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Fri Oct 20 2023
5

Possibly the most interesting album I heard today.

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Mon Oct 23 2023
5

Elokuvissa on se ongelma että niissä selitellään ja tehdään virheitä. Musiikissa ei taas välttämättä ole virheitä, kaikelle löytyy syy ja artistin visio. Elokuvissa visio peittyy yleensä tuotantoon liittyvien ongelmien takia. Suuri paha on myös kuluttajille suunnatun sisällön tuotto, jota on ollut elokuvissa aina. Elokuvista harvoin tulee kauniita kun kuvataan leikataan ja käsikirjoitetaan palkan takia. Musiikkialbumiin artisti voi taas itse vaikuttaa enemmän jos haluaa ja kykenee. Joskus ei tarvitse ajatella nykyhetkeä, ja voi itsekkäästi tuottaa musiikkia josta itse pitää, ja tehdä se niin hyvin kuin vain osaa. Nykyhetki voi kuitenkin piirtyä teknologian takia ja joskus eivät ajalliset tyylisuunnatkaan pääse karkuun itse artistia. Joskus artisti syö sisäänsä näitä suuntia ja paskoo niitä musiikkiinsa. Kuitenkin kun artisti itse ne paskoo pönttöön on se parempi kuin toisten pökäleiden keruu ja niillä herkuttelu. Omat pökäleet ovat kallisarvoisia. Tämä albumi on magnifisentti pyyttoni, oikea kuningaskobra. Tästä tehty elokuva olisi varmaan sekasiittoinen mätä paska. Mutta tämä.. hyvä paska..

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Wed Nov 08 2023
5

Never heard of Berry Adamson before this. I did not know what to expect but it was fantastic!

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Thu Dec 21 2023
5

As opposed to yesterday's album, this one was quite perfect for driving to. My usual boring commute was filled with emotions, thrills, and intrigue. Exciting and fun, I enjoyed this imaginary soundtrack very much.

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

Excellent soundtrack to imaginary movie. Varied instrumentals.

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Sun Dec 31 2023
5

J’ai adoré cette fausse trame sonore qui préfigure son travail avec David Lynch. J’hésite entre 4 et 5

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Mon Jan 29 2024
5

Definitely can feel the influence in terms of cinema and scores - moody, creepy, unsettling at times - effective!

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Tue Jan 30 2024
5

God dang it I've had this thrust my way before in a poll although for the life of me I can't think what the category was. This is one of the strangest and compelling albums I've come across- strange noises and tunes that predated Portishead's 'To kill a dead man' (although they DID make a short film for that). There is no such film created apart from one in Barry's head. Genius.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

Incredibly unique album. I lovet the concept. On personal enjoyment, its more like a 3, but Im giving a 4 just for how unique the concept is

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Wed Oct 07 2020
4

Really interesting concept and surprisingly modern sounding for a 30 year old album

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Quite a stupendous piece of work here. First song was huh? But everything afterwards is *chefs kiss*

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Thu May 06 2021
4

I was surprised and very much enjoyed this film noirish album.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Moss Side Story is the debut album of British musician Barry Adamson released in 1989. The album is a concept album, a soundtrack album to a non-existent crime film. The music is almost completely instrumental except for occasional screams, vocal samples and a choir. To achieve the soundtrack effect, the song titles are descriptive of a film noir plot outline. The inner sleeve came with a short story written by Dave Graney which added to the concept. This complemented outer sleeve which displays the tag line: "In a black and white world, murder brings a touch of colour...". In a 2017 interview, Adamson reported that he recorded Moss Side Story due to his fascination with film music and as "a calling card [to] send it around to people" in hopes of being hired to write music for actual films.[2] The NME review of the albums describes it as a "Grand filmic suite intended as the soundtrack to a "provocative film thriller set in Manchester's Moss Side" and that Moss Side Story is "one of the best soundtracks ever, the fact that it has no accompanying movie is a trifling irrelevance."[4]

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Pretty good! Noir soundtrack with some contemporary sounds at points, worth listening to again for sure.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

Saved Prior: None Saved Off Rip: Under Wraps, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World Cutting Edge: None Overall Notes: I wanted to be a hater so bad but it wont me over. An album I never would've listened to if it weren't for this site and though it's not for casual listening, as an album experience it was actually super cool. Differed from Nick Cave in that I didn't get tired of his voice after a while because there was no voice, the narrative is carried through the music, song titles, and my imagination. Sounds super pretentious when I put it that way but this was super cool. Almost gave it a 5 lowkey.

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Wed May 05 2021
4

Första låten var jobbig, sen blev den riktigt cool

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

nice jazzy bluesy film music

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

Conceito muito bem executado. Quando não precisa tero filme para fazer a trilha sonora.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
4

"Finally, some good fucking food." Memes aside, this is the type of album that gets me on concept alone: imaginary score to a noir thriller set in Manchester. Love the idea, let's see how the execution goes... UPDATE: Loved it.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Interesting idea for an album. That being said, I'm not sure that this needs to be on the 1001 list. In fact a few of these songs gave me a headache.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

I found this really exciting and ambitious

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

A bit of a revelation - I'd never heard of this. It's interesting & intriguing.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
4

This is the album I have been most excited about until now. I love everything about the album cover and it makes me so intrigued! Is this som dark noir crooner with an 80's production? What is it? I'm so excited and I'm really setting myself up to be severely disappointed. But I'm not! It's quite good. A trippy homage to neo noir soundtracks. And actually some accidental dungeon synth sprinkled in there.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

Love this album, possibly his best. Evoking a cinematic universe of danger, love and shadows.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

Muy raro e inesperado. Creo que musicalmente es excelente, lleno de juegos con los sonidos que logran el objetivo de Barry Adamson: transportarte a escenas de películas de detectives. Sin embargo, es algo que me costaría trabajo escuchar así, voluntariamente, pero si me deja la curiosidad de checar sus otros discos.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

Gran disco en la forma del soundtrack de una película inexistente. Las atmósferas que crea te permiten imaginar la escena y las piezas tienen coherencia. Creo que logra transmitir una historia como lo haría un soundtrack.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
4

Why has nobody made the film?

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Sun Dec 19 2021
4

very different to most things on here, extra star for innovation

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

Pretty good, easy background music. The radio static at the start of the album reminded me of 'Songs for the Deaf', maybe Queens of the Stone Age took some inspiration there, maybe not

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Mon Jan 17 2022
4

Don’t know what I just listened to but I liked it

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

A polarising album - but I like soundtracks and I like the concept

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Mon Feb 07 2022
4

Trippy, spooky, more vibraphone and it would be the Twin Peaks soundtrack.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

I was partway through the album, thinking it sounded like a movie soundtrack, before I googled the album and found it was soundtrack music to a nonexistent movie!

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

This particular album stressed me out because of the horror theme. was a great gateway to a bunch of stuff i like better like jazzier music so raised a star.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
4

Based on the cover I'm expecting something political. Based on the name I'm expecting show tunes. Diving in, I couldn't be more wrong. The name of the first song, On the Wrong Side of Relaxation, is super evocative. The song itself is very tense, sounds like the opening to a scary sci fi thriller. Panning over a cold alien landscape into a lab with knocked over beakers and other troubling signs of something gone wrong. No people in sight just whispering in the distance getting louder as we move more and more quickly through the facility to finally arrive at a yawning hole in the floor. Suddenly we cut to a shot fading in like we are opening our eyes and our vision clears to see a lovely nurse talking to us lying on the floor. This music super sounds like a film score. The song titles imply a crime drama, possibly gritty, or even, as the album cover implies, black and white and raining, maybe in the style of Sin City. The second song sounds somewhat mod so maybe set in the early 70's. I've never heard of the movie though does it exist? ...Wikipedia explains no, this is the soundtrack to an imaginary movie. Which is fantastic. Love the premise. Loving the music. Tracks 6 and 7 are particularly lovely. 10 is a great mood piece. 2 and 11 and 13 are so fun. 15 makes me think of James Bond. Overall a little weird, but in a good way. I like it.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Horror movie meets Pink Panther, which made sense when I went back and looked at the title of the album. So, well done.

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Fri May 06 2022
4

A concept soundtrack album to a non-existent crime film. Alright, I'm in. The song titles are descriptors for a film noir outline. Adamson recorded this for his film noir fascination and as a sort of a resume to film directors to hire him for their soundtracks. Well, it worked and he was hired for film soundtracks including David Lynch's The Blue Highway soundtrack. As strange as this sounds, I thought this album and concept completely worked. All instrumental as you would expect, except for some women screams (obviously needed). The songs are pretty cool, somewhat creepy at times like they should be and most importantly they do a great job portraying the actions I think they are trying to portray. By the way, Moss Side is a neighborhood in Manchester, England. Some song highlights: the first song "On the Wrong Side of Relaxation" - A nice creepy, proper way to start and has a woman panting, "Central Control" - you need a song with a xylophone in a film noir and "Autodestruction" - my favorite song on the album sounding like vintage Nine Inch Nails. No wonder Trent Reznor has had a lot of success with soundtracks. Overall, a fun and different experience with this soundtrack music for a film never made.

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Thu May 12 2022
4

At first I was like why is this? but then read the Wikipedia article. Cool concept and therefore +1 star

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Fri Jun 10 2022
4

As something that should be looked at as more of cinematic piece of music that has no partner in film, I think it's an interesting work of art. Perhaps the artist envisioned took inspiration from such idea that it would be featured as a soundtrack. Although it seems to be just that, I do think it is harder to pick out what "scenes" it would have had because there were no actual situations to imagine. I'm impressed with it, but in terms of replay value it's difficult to think about whether I'd like to give it a 3 or 4. But I'll give it a 4, because I believe it deserves at least some credit. Highlights: -

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

Well that was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting much from reading the Wiki page, but I got the much - and some more. And now I'd like someone to make the film, please.

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Wed Jul 13 2022
4

Not something I'd listen to everyday, but a very cool instrumental album. Bordering on avant garde.

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Sun Aug 07 2022
4

Interesting. I read a little bit about the album before listening so I knew that it was created to be a soundtrack to a film that didn't exist. Pretty cool concept and the music had a dramatic flair to it, but i can't see myself listening to it in my free time.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Good Soundtrack, a little unorthodox and off but very fitting. Trent vibes

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Weird and surprisingly great

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Decent soundtrack type album, definitely got some Angelo Badalamenti vibes from it. Sax got a little grating at points.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

This album is both fascinating in concept and very well executed. This is what I come to this list for, albums that I've never heard of that expose me to cool new musical ideas. Yesterday, my album of the day was a Limp Bizkit album that I think was called "Buttholes and Hot Dog Water" and it was the worst goddamned thing I've ever heard in my life. This album was a tremendous palate cleanser after that, and it helped give me the will to go on living after hearing two different versions of the song Rollin' on the same album. Lots of cool bits of music on this album interspersed with sound effects and ambient music. I think it would be easy to fuck up this concept, but Adamson did a great job with it. Considering that this was made in 1989, I would describe this as a real achievement, and I'm surprised that it's not more well-known. I guess everyone was too busy listening to Whitesnake to care 4/5

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Thu Nov 03 2022
4

An album that's a concept album, a soundtrack album to a non-existent crime film. Conceptually I am 100% in. I love the idea that he made this partly as basically an album as a CV to folks saying "See, I can do this. Hire me!" Looks like it worked considered he worked on a few movies later. Only part that is kind of meh is the screaming of women which is pretty damn cliche, but then again maybe the time period this supposed movie would have been made would have been full cliche. I wouldn't say I loved listening to it, but nothing was bad and it was a decent background listen. Rated it high for the concept and execution, it definitely sets the tone well.

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