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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - The Ultimate Linx [4CD]
Artist - Linx

For those not in the know, Linx were a British soul/Brit funk band consisting of David Grant (lead vocals), Bob Carter (keyboards), Andy Duncan (drums), Canute Edwards (guitar), Peter Martin (bass) (aka Sketch) and Junior Giscombe (backing vocals).

In truth, Carter and Duncan were session musicians who were better known for their contribution to Hazel O’Connor’s Breaking Glass album and movie.

After their first hit in 1980, the band slimmed down to a duo of Grant and Martin with Peter Martin (the bassist) joining the band 23 Skidoo and Junior Giscombe becoming a pop singer in his own right.

Featuring the band’s two studio albums, Intuition and Go Ahead for Chrysalis Records, plus a comprehensive collection of all the related bonus material from the period, Linx: The Ultimate Linx (releasing March 25th, 2022 via Cherry Pop / Cherry Red Records) is a delicious 4CD Box-Set sourced from the Chrysalis tape archives, utilizing the original production masters.

CD 1 – Intuition + Bonus Tracks
1. WONDER WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW
2. I WON’T FORGET
3. INTUITION
4. THERE’S LOVE
5. RISE AND SHINE
6. THROW AWAY THE KEY
7. TOGETHER WE CAN SHINE
8. COUNT ON ME
9. YOU’RE LYING
10. DON’T GET IN MY WAY
11. YOU’RE LYING (7” VERSION) (BONUS TRACK)
12. YOU’RE LYING (U.S. 7” VERSION) (BONUS TRACK) *
13. INTUITION (7” VERSION) (BONUS TRACK)
14. TOGETHER WE CAN SHINE (B-SIDE VERSION) (BONUS TRACK) *
15. THROW AWAY THE KEY (7” VERSION) (BONUS TRACK)
16. THE ICE IS MELTING (SHORT VERSION) (BONUS TRACK)
17. THROW AWAY THE KEY (U.S. ALBUM VERSION) (BONUS TRACK) *

* denotes appearing on CD for the first time!

CD1 features the original ten album tracks from the band’s debut album, Intuition and even bonus tracks, including the UK and US 7” versions of You’re Lying, the 7” versions of Intuition and Throw Away The Key plus the B-sides The Ice Is Melting and Together We Can Shine.

In truth, I loved the music, the sound, the upbeat positivity and funk/pop/soul blend of their sound and still do today. From 1981, this album was co-produced by the late Bob Carter (who also played keyboards) and it sounds as vibrantly alive, as melodically hooked now as it first did to my younger ears back some 41 years ago!

The opening track is the ’80s-synth dance pop of Wonder What You’re Doing Now and that is backed by the lovelorn balladry of I Won’t Forget, and then we get the pop brilliance of the highly-appealing title track Intuition, the winsome ballad There’s Love, the breakthrough R&B-synth track Rise and Shine, and then comes the flaring bass-driven Throw Away The Key.

Along next is the optimistic up-tempo jazz-funk in Together We Can Shine and then Count On Me, which sees Grant hit the falsetto trail for another strong ballad, and they are in turn backed by the infectious hit single You’re Lying and the original album closer, the insistent, pop-lock rhythms of Don’t Get In My Way (which, at some listenings, has always sounded a little like fellow-traveler Junior Giscombe’s carefree hit single Mama Used To Say).

Now made complete with seven (7) bonus tracks, all be they just 7” versions of the same songs that sound no different to me, sorry, but with the additional gems of a couple of B-sides The Ice Is Melting and Together We Can Shine, this first disc is musical flashback joy personified.

CD 2 – Go Ahead + Bonus Tracks
1. SO THIS IS ROMANCE
2. I DON’T WANT TO LEARN
3. I WANNA BE WITH YOU
4. URBAN REFUGEE
5. I WON’T PLAY THE GAME
6. CAN’T HELP MYSELF
7. ALL MY YESTERDAYS
8. KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE LONELY
9. TINSEL TOWN (YOU DON’T FOOL ME)
10. SO THIS IS ROMANCE (SINGLE VERSION) (BONUS TRACK)
11. SO THIS IS ROMANCE (THE RIO MIX) (BONUS TRACK)
12. PLAYTHING (SINGLE VERSION) (BONUS TRACK)
13. I WON’T PLAY THE GAME (REMIX) (BONUS TRACK)
14. DON’T HIT ME WITH LOVE (SINGLE VERSION) (BONUS TRACK) *
15. IT’S MY LIFE (SHORT VERSION) (BONUS TRACK)
16. CAN’T HELP MYSELF (REMIX) (BONUS TRACK)

* denotes appearing on CD for the first time!

CD2 is centered around the band’s second album Go Ahead with the nine original album tracks accompanied by seven bonus tracks. These include the single versions of So This Is Romance, Plaything and Don’t Hit Me With Love, plus the Rio Mix of So This Is Romance to compliment the selection.

Now down to just a duo, Sketch Martin and David Grant, aka Linx brought out their sophomore album, Go Ahead in the same year as their debut, 1981.

A bold move, but with their confidence flowing, and ever growing, Go Ahead proved to be a highly satisfactory follow-up to their hit debut Intuition (although, in truth, it didn’t really have much to set the charts alight at the top).

That said, the opening track is a right royal dancefloor belter in the form of So This Is Romance, which after a train-whistle intro, also provides notes of their hit single Intuition, but with its stand alone pop/soul breeziness still managed to make the UK Top 20.

Next up is the free flowing R&B of I Don’t Want To Learn which is itself followed by the funky soul of I Wanna Be With You, then comes the lyrical edgy re: social comment track Urban Refugee, the invitingly forthright R7b of I Won’t Play That Game and the second single Can’t Help Myself (where Grant’s falsetto vocal politely nods to Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough, in my humble opinion).

Next up is the smooth hipsway of All My Yesterdays and the soulful balladry of Know What It Is to Be Lonely and they are in turn followed by the so-called (at the time) anti-biz original closer, Tinsel Town (itself lifted greatly by guest superstar Nile Rodgers’ funky, but Chic guitar prowess.

In all honesty, for a what was at the time rushed out second album, I actually enjoy it (in parts) as much as Intuition. Now complete with another seven (7) bonus tracks, although as above, aside from the Rio Mix of So This Is Romance, they are just unflustered 7” versions of the same songs that sound no different to me, again, sorry, this follow-up was definitely more angled toward a formulaic jazz-funk vibe (which might well have brought about their ultimate downfall, and subsequently aborted recording of their third album a year later.

CD 3 – The 12” Mixes
1. YOU’RE LYING (12” VERSION)
2. YOU’RE LYING (INSTRUMENTAL) (THE RE-MIX) *
3. RISE AND SHINE (12” VERSION) *
4. INTUITION (12” MIX)
5. TOGETHER WE CAN SHINE (12” VERSION) *
6. TOGETHER WE CAN SHINE (U.S. 12” VERSION)
7. THROW AWAY THE KEY (U.S. 12” VERSION)
8. CAN’T HELP MYSELF (OUT FRONT MIX)
9. PLAYTHING (EXTENDED VERSION)
10. DON’T HIT ME WITH LOVE (EXTENDED VERSION)
11. I’M NOT JOKING (LONG VERSION)
12. IT’S MY LIFE (EXTENDED VERSION)
13. I WON’T FORGET (INSTRUMENTAL) *
14. LOVE WILL FIND A WAY (ORIGINAL 1982 VERSION) *

* denotes appearing on CD for the first time!

CD3 is crammed full of the 12” mixes of their much-loved singles, You’re Lying, Rise And Shine, Intuition, Together We Can Shine, Throw Away The Key, Plaything, Can’t Help Myself and Don’t Hit Me With Love, plus the US 12” versions of Together We Can Shine and Throw Away The Key.

With both the remaining two discs chock full of wondrous 12” mixes, remixes and rarities galore, the stands out for me here on this third disc include a vibrantly excellent Intuition (12” Mix) and a free flowingly magical flashback within You’re Lying (12” Version).

CD 4 – Remixes & Rarities
1. THE ICE IS MELTING (LONG VERSION) *
2. YOU’RE LYING (DISCO INSTRUMENTAL) *
3. YOU’RE LYING (7” B-SIDE INSTRUMENTAL) *
4. LOOK UP AND SMILE (ALTERNATIVE VERSION) *
5. LOVE WILL FIND A WAY (ORIGINAL 1982 VERSION) *
6. LOVE WAS NOT ENOUGH *
7. WE’RE HERE *
8. GOOD GIRLS *
9. THROW AWAY THE KEY (UNEDITED U.S. VERSION) *
10. WONDER WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW (AMERICAN REMIX)
11. YOU’RE LYING (RE-MIX) (AKA U.S. REMIX)
12. WONDER WHAT YOU’RE DOING NOW (UNEDITED U.S. REMIX) *
13. LOOK UP AND SMILE (7” VERSION) *
14. LOOK UP AND SMILE (12” VERSION) *
15. I FOUND IT IN YOU *

* denotes appearing on CD for the first time!

Once again, all be it the last disc in the Box-Set, we have another chock full of musical gems remixes and rarities from Linx and this one features, in my humble opinion, a few honest-to-God stand out quality mixes.

The first is soulful R&B of The Ice Is Melting (Long Version) which is backed by the gently different, but noticeably so Wonder What You’re Doing Now (American Remix), and the You’re Lying (Remix) -- aka U.S. Remix).

Official 4CD Purchase Link

www.cherryred.co.uk





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