For many of us crowded around Top Of The Pops in the mid-80s, All About Eve were a welcome beacon of musical light, a glimpse of ethereal quality amid the bland pop that dominated the chart at that time.
Their gorgeous signature tune Martha’s Harbour hit the Top Ten in August ’88 and their eponymous debut album, which had first charted that February, would earn a – then-healthy – No.7 slot. All About Eve was produced by ex-Yardbird Paul Samwell Smith (who’d also produced Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens and Renaissance), and punters buying it on the strength of that gentle single might’ve been surprised by the spikier goth rock therein. Opener *Flowers *In Our Hair and earlier Top 30 single Every Angel proved that the striking Julianne Regan could, along with giving good plaintive, also give good banshee. (To add to the goth rock credentials, The Mission’s Mick Brown is listed among the album’s personnel) This reissue is worth a look if the memory of Regan (oh, okay, and Andy Cousin and Tim Bricheno too) still lours in your subconscious. Celtic beauty She Moves Through The Fair remains a highlight, but this double-disc set also comes with their six 12-inch singles (Our Summer and Wild Hearted Woman among them), along with all the single versions and B-sides.
Entering the Top 40 just a year later, Scarlet And Other Stories peaked at a highly respectable No.9 in the UK and garnered the slightly less successful singles Road To Your Soul, Scarlet and December. (They would go on sell out the Royal Albert Hall, headline Fairport’s Cropredy Festival, and tour with Simple Minds and The Cure.) This reissue includes songs from their Glastonbury set that year and also from their two sell-out shows at Hammersmith Odeon. Add to this a compelling set of demos produced by The Mission’s Wayne Hussey, and you have a comprehensive and worthwhile look at a band who were, by anyone’s standards, on a hot streak, and deserved it too.