July 28, 2012 – 5:30 pm

There was a flash and Tom Verlaine’s London album disappeared.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Vanity Fair: The 1986 London Sessions [no label, 1CD]

UK sessions from 1986 intended for an album but later shelved. Ex SBD stereo.

“Sometime in 1986 or early 1987 Verlaine and Dave Bascombe produced at least 10 tracks intended for an LP that was shortly thereafter rejected by Phonogram/Fontana. The known 10 tracks from these sessions are sometimes called the ‘Bascombe sessions’, the ‘1986 London sessions’, the ‘Lost Album’ - or the ‘10 b-sides’ (as the tracks later appeared on b-sides of various Verlaine UK single releases).

“Subsequently, Verlaine recorded the album Flash Light (1987). A version of The Scientist Writes A Letter from the Bascombe sessions ended up intact on Flash Light; the non-Flash Light, b-side version of Scientist is known as the ‘Paris Version’, has a different spoken section in the middle and lacks, to my mind, the power of the album version. Another of the 10 b-sides, One Time at Sundown, was re-recorded in a different version for Flash Light. Caveman-Flashlight, Circling, Smoother Than Jones, One Time at Sundown (The 1986 London Version) and The Scientist Writes a Letter (Paris Version) do not exist in a CD format.

“Anna, Circling, Call Me The and Vanity Fair certainly rank with the best of Verlaine’s recorded work and we can only guess at why these tracks were not acceptable to the record company. Not ‘commercial’ enough? Well, surely no-one would sign Tom Verlaine in the mid-’80s and expect him to make an album that would outsell, say, Dire Straits or the Police (or The Thompson Twins or whatever else was passing for popular music back then). Would they?

“In any case, someone turned down a pretty good album. So here it is.” - thewonder.co.uk

Although released as b-sides, the singles, the album Flash Light and even the 1996 The Miller’s Tale: A Tom Verlaine Anthology are all out-of-print. Our copy of “Vanity Fair” arrived via snail mail trade all those years ago. Thanks to whoever shared it with us.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Sixteen Tulips (7.9MB)
Track 02. Caveman/Flashlight (5.1MB)
Track 03. Anna (8.3MB)
Track 04. The Scientist Writes A Letter (oop Paris Version) (6.7MB)
Track 05. Call Me The (5.8MB)
Track 06. Circling (4.1MB)
Track 07. Smoother Than Jones (5.6MB)
Track 08. Vanity Fair (9.5MB)
Track 09. One Time At Sundown (the London 1986 version) (7.4MB)
Track 10. Marquee Moon (Live) (16.9MB)

This 1996 compilation with CD1 offering a live concert and CD2 gathering Verlaine’s post-Television works is hard-to-find. Try here and here.

The album that replaced Vanity Fair, Flash Light is available as an MP3 digital download. Buy it here.

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Update: July 29, 2012

Thanks to original compiler Phil Obbard for the artwork and all the efforts.

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  1. 4 Responses to “LET MY PEOPLE GO”

  2. Thanks to original compiler Phil Obbard for the artwork and all the efforts.

    By bigozine2 on Jul 29, 2012

  3. Terrific!

    By Psyclist on Jul 29, 2012

  4. Great post. Thanks very much for this one. I think that just about completes my Verlaine collection apart from the the two instrumental versions of Let Go The Mansion… Don’t suppose you could add them to this if you’ve got them?

    By styreneboy on Aug 2, 2012

  5. A million thanks!

    By ansina on Feb 20, 2013

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