Sunday, January 30, 2011

Virgin Prunes - A New Form of Beauty (1981, Rough Trade)

While Bono was making a name for himself as the leader of a Dublin teenage gang on O'connell Street, some of the other members were up to something that would be quite different than a world famous musical supergroup.

Before Gavin Friday was a slightly ridiculous Irish pop star, he founded The Virgin Prunes with Dik Evans (The Edge's brother) and Guggi. These kids weren't interested in the accessible sounds of the then current Post-Punk phenomenon.

The Virgin Prunes are darkness. This is ritualistic Goth, No Wave and sackcloth n' ashes sado-masochistic chants of sorrow. There is no hope here. These are mournful tomes and sarcastically religious themes of violence and death.

A New Form of Beauty was originally released as a series of three singles (7", 10" and 12") and was supposed to include a fourth release of a cassette but that never actually happened. Finally everything was released on an Italian version as a double album.

This is an underrated band that deserves its cult following. Many later Goth, Experimental and Pop fans included musicians from Coil and J.G. Thirlwell to Bjork and Trent Reznor.

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