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All About Eve


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Folk-Rock: guitar-based rock with folky and psychedelic flavorings. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Status:

Most recent release, Keepsakes (compilation CD/DVD 2006)

See also:

Wikipedia's entry for All About Eve

All About Eve unofficial "but approved" site

Comparisons:

Not unlike most 80s folk/rock/pop. (Neile)

Covers/own material:

own, occasional trad. song

General comments:

The U.K.-based foursome started their career in the eighties, with gothic music and a few very obscure single releases. Their first album All About Eve was released in England to great critical & commercial acclaim. No less than 6 singles were released, most of which contained extra tracks on different formats (7", 10", 12" and later CD-singles), making them one of the more interesting "collectors" groups.
   Scarlet and Other Stories, a more mature-sounding version of their debut album, was released in 1989, with even more critical acclaim, but a little less commercial success. Three singles and a very hard-to-find live CD-single ("13") were released, again with extra tracks not to be found elsewhere.
   After this album a change in personnel followed, when lead singer Julianne Regan broke up with guitarist Tim Bricheno. He left the group (stating a few years later that the whole All About Eve-period was a "mistake"), and was replaced with Church-guitarist Marty Willson-Piper.
   A maybe logical result was the rather different-sounding third album, Touched By Jesus, filled with less "folky" tunes, and revealing a sound that was described as "more polished" and "commercial" by some fans. The album didn't receive many critical acclaim, and furthered the decline of All About Eve's popularity, causing the record company (Phonogram) to drop the band.
     However in 1992, All About Eve resurfaced on MCA records, with the "strange" album Ultraviolet. This album didn't sound anything at all like their previous work and resembled much of the guitar bands that were popular at the time in the UK, like Curve and others. Many fans felt betrayed that the band had broken all ties with the past and made this noisy collection of screaming guitars and vocals all mixed way back and way down in the tracks.
     Phonogram, anticipating the release of Ultraviolet, which, not surprisingly, failed to achieve any success at all, released a compilation album called "Winter words: hits and rareties" [including the typo] which is very interesting for the additional tracks: not only are all the singles contained on this CD, but also 4 B-sides and 2 demo tracks, recorded with The Mission's Wayne Hussey on guitar.
   KTS Italy released a bootleg live CD called "Blessed by Angels" in 1992, comprising 3 live tracks with Marty Willson-Piper and 8 with Tim Bricheno on guitar.
     The final All About Eve release was a BBC Radio One Live in concert CD, released in 1993 on Windsong Records, featuring 14 live tracks recorded in 1989 at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK.
     The group broke up after Ultraviolet, when MCA dropped them following the disappointing sales figures of that album. Julianne Regan has finished recording a solo album to be released early in 1997. It is said that the material won't be "folky" at all. It is not known what remaining members Mark Price and Andy Cousin are up to, but I hear Marty Willson-Piper is still with The Church as well as enjoying a solo career. (marcel@kimwilde.com)

Recommended first album:

Scarlet and Other Stories if available. Both All About Eve and Scarlett and Other Stories should be required listening for Ectophiles. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Scarlet and Other Stories. (Neile)

Touched By Jesus. (mjstevens@mindspring.com)

Recordings:

  • All About Eve (1988)
  • Scarlet and Other Stories (1989)
  • Touched By Jesus (1991)
  • Ultraviolet (1992)
  • BBC Radio One Live In Concert 526 (live, 1991)
  • Winter Words: hits and rareties (1992)
  • BBC Radio One Live in Concert (1993)
  • Best of All About Eve (1999)
  • Fairy Light Nights 1 (live, 2000)
  • Fairy Light Nights 2 (live, 2001)
  • Live and Electric at the Union Chapel (live, 2001)
  • Return to Eden - The Early Recordings (2002)
  • Iceland (ep with covers and remixes, 2002)
  • Cinemasonic (live cd and dvd, 2003)
  • Acoustic Nights (a combined 2 cd set of the Fairly Light Nights albums, 2003)
  • Keepsakes (compilation CD/DVD 2006)

All About Eve

Release info:

1988—Mercury (U.K.)—834 260

Availability:

wide, new & used

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Group members:

Tim Bricheno—guitars
Andy Cousin—bass guitar
Julianne Regan—voice, keyboards
Mark Price—drums

Comments:

Wonderful, ethereal vocals together with slightly folky rock music. Good throughout, and probably their best album overall, it is perhaps less consistent than Scarlett and Other Stories but its best songs soar above everything else they've done. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Scarlet and Other Stories

Release info:

1989—Mercury (U.K.)—838 965

Availability:

Available in U.K.; deleted in the U.S. (but it can be found used there).

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Group members:

Tim Bricheno—guitars
Andy Cousin—bass guitar
Julianne Regan—voice, keyboards
Mark Price—drums

Produced by:

Paul Samwell-Smith

Comments:

Probably not as consistent as the first album, but good throughout, and some of the songs are even better. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

I agree that Scarlet is more consistent than the first album. It's a very good album, with some outstanding tracks ("December" and "Silver and Gold" come to mind). I end up listening to Touched By Jesus more often than Scarlet, though, because some of the pretty songs on Scarlet got dosed (injected? inoculated? too much X-files?) with guitarzz (and they mutated into aliens :). "The Empty Dancehall" is totally ruined (for me) by a minute-long snarling power-chord thrash that sounds nothing like the rest of the song. Note that I'm not slamming power-chord thrashes in general; "Silver and Gold" is built on them. I'm only objecting to the ones that sound more like the guitarist wanted this hot lick used on the album somewhere. (mjstevens@mindspring.com)

While it's not essential, it's pleasant with some very good moments. Quite pop. "Scarlet" is a wonderful song. (Neile)


Touched By Jesus

Release info:

1991—Vertigo (U.K.)—510 146

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Recommended. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Group members:

Andy Cousin—bass
Mark Price—drums, percussion
Julianne Regan—voice
Marty Willson-Piper—electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin
Warne Livesey—keyboards

Guest artists:

Dave Gilmour—guitar
Gavin Wright—violin

Comments:

Not as consistently good as the first two, a little less inspired, but still contains some very good songs. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

The guitarist does *not* appear on Touched (and in fact there is a sly, good-riddance-to-egotistical-guitarists reference in one of the songs :). For me, this makes Touched a much more comfortable and enjoyable listen than either of the first two. "Are You Lonely" is worth the price of admission all by itself. (mjstevens@mindspring.com)


Ultraviolet

Release info:

1992—MCA—MCD 10712

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Medium. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Group members:

Andy Cousin—bass
Mark Price—drums
Julianne Regan—singing
Marty Wilson-Piper—guitar

Comments:

A fairly good rock album, but nothing as inspired as on the others. The least important to get. (anthony@mh1.lbl.gov)

Winter Words

Comments:

I've listened to two of the previously-unreleased songs; "Paradise" is wonderful—simple, melodious, rockin'. :-) (mjstevens@mindspring.com)

Further info:

Julianne Regan also played with the band, Mice.


Thanks to Anthony Kosky, Marcel Rijs, and Jens P. Tagore Brage for work on this entry.

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