Virgin’ On The Ridiculous?

As today, Friday 6th November, is another “Bandcamp ‘fee-free’ Friday“, we have just added two more albums to our Bandcamp page! They are A Night To Remember, last year’s CD, BluRay & DVD release now also available to download, and Virgin On The Ridiculous an alternative double-take on the album released by Virgin Records back in 1986.


Here’s some history…. back in 1986 Virgin Records released (on LP & Cassette) the album we had recorded for them, albeit without a proper title! Somebody (and it certainly wasn’t any of the band) decided that calling it Twelfth Night would be a good idea. It was actually the very last album issued on the much-lamented Charisma label (the label that released early Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator and many others). It was also one of the very last albums issued by Virgin without a CD release. The album subsequently became known as the Virgin album, and then as XII, being the title we gave the expanded release issued on CD for the first time back in 2005.

So what is new about the album this time? Well, as the rights to the album remain with the label, we present here an alternative take comprised mostly of studio demos and live performances recorded prior to the involvement of Virgin Records.

With the help of the indefatigable Mark Hughes (and the indescribable Andy Wild…) we have searched through the extensive TN archives to put together this compilation, unearthing some real gems along the way… In total there are 26 tracks of which over 20 are previously unreleased!

In fact we are happy to present two complete and very different versions of the album!

The first version (tracks 1-10) make up a version that is not too far removed from how the final album ended up, although there are quite a few differences in the arrangements and lyrics in many of the songs. Nearly all the versions are studio demos recorded in 1984 & 1985. However there are two spirited live performances: Theatre (recorded at the Marquee in Nov 1986) and This Is War (performed to our management team at our rehearsal studios in Dec 1985). We have added Blondon Fair to the ‘album’ as this was the other track released by Virgin (as the B-side to the Take A Look single).

The second version (tracks 11-20) sheds further light on the development of the album with several of the original ideas for the songs being present in instrumental form, although still easily recognisable. It is perhaps interesting to note that despite the subsequent involvement of Virgin and producer John Walters that many of the original musical themes and structures remained in the versions released on XII. This second version also includes a live performance of Blue Powder Monkey from the Corner Of The World tour in spring 1985.

To round off the release we have also included six musical ideas that were not developed any further by the band. It is not hard to imagine how any of these previously unheard pieces could have been expanded or incorporated into completed Twelfth Night songs. With one piece each from Rick, Rev and Andy it is clear that although Clive was responsible for the bulk of the initial writing, there was no shortage of input from the other band members.

Further details on each track can be viewed on Bandcamp by clicking on the individual track names.

Huge thanks to Spencer Rowbotham for designing the artwork for this release.

The madness that means spending hours and hours over many weeks painstakingly listening through to multiple versions of the same tracks in order to compile two whole versions of the album, and then choosing just six from literally dozens of possible extra tracks, is the primary reason for the title of the album!

Posted Nov 6th 2020