Asylum

THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS

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Cover ImageRelease date and tracklist

1985
BE/NE 2xLP Play It Again Sam BIAS12

1987
GR LP Penguin Records 30002

side a

  1. Echo Police – [MP3]
  2. Gorgon Zola’s Baby – [MP3]
  3. Fifteen Flies In The Marmalade – [MP3]
  4. Femme Mirage – [MP3]
  5. The Hill – [MP3]

side b

  1. Demonism
  2. Prisoner
  3. So Gallantly Screaming – [MP3]

side c

  1. I’m The Way, The Truth, The Light – [MP3]
  2. Agape – [MP3]
  3. Golden Dawn – [MP3]

side d

  1. The Last Straw – [MP3]
  2. A Message From Our Sponsor – [MP3]
  3. Go Ask Alice – [MP3]
  4. This Could Be The End – [MP3]

***

1988
BE CD BIAS12CD

2002
US CD Cacciocavallo CAD14
PL CD Big Blue SPV-L 0082  (different cover)

27 August 2014
CA CD Jnana-001

  1. Echo Police
  2. Gorgon Zola’s Baby
  3. Fifteen Flies In The Marmalade
  4. Femme Mirage
  5. The Hill
  6. Demonism
  7. Prisoner
  8. So Gallantly Screaming
  9. I’m The Way, The Truth, The Light
  10. Agape
  11. Golden Dawn
  12. The Last Straw
  13. A Message From Our Sponsor
  14. Go Ask Alice
  15. This Could Be The End
  16. My Baby Likes to Hurt Me*

* Jnana reissue only

***

08 June 2012
NL MP3 self-released on Bandcamp

  1. Echo Police
  2. Gorgon Zola’s Baby / Fifteen Flies In The Marmalade*
  3. Femme Mirage
  4. The Hill
  5. Demonism / Prisoner*
  6. So Gallantly Screaming
  7. I’m The Way, The Truth, The Light
  8. Agape
  9. Golden Dawn
  10. The Last Straw
  11. A Message From Our Sponsor
  12. Go Ask Alice
  13. This Could Be The End

* These 2 songs grouped together to preserve the link on the actual album.


Credits

  • Patrick Q Paganini – violin, keyboards, vocals
  • Poison Barbarella – bass, keyboards, vocals
  • The Silverman – keyboards
  • Stret Majest – guitar
  • Adantacathar – keyboards
  • The Prophet Qa’Spel – voice, keyboards
  • Steven Stapleton – tape editing (uncredited)

Notes

Some vinyl copies include a lyric sheet.  GRALNEZH KHAZH

“A place to escape to, a place to escape from”. We recorded this in the tiny bedroom of violin player Patrick who was the only Pink Dot to own an 8-track tape recorder and a “real” mixing desk back in 1985. I’d moved to The Netherlands in December 1984 and it had all gone terribly wrong. My first home was with a couple who ran the first label that released “The Lovers”, who were effectively dissolving yet simultaneously syphoning off the crumbs that were thrown our way. Ultimately I fled to a friend’s floor in Amsterdam on the train with a synthesizer under one arm and a bag of clothes over the other shoulder. The bizarre events which occurred in the next weeks belong with the story of the “The Lovers” so i’ll pass them and go on to the sessions where a 5 piece band slowly turned into a 3-piece via a 6-piece as the pressure all became too much. Graham Whitehead actually joined the Dots during the long protracted sessions as he was the second decent keyboard player in a band that was now used to 2 ivory tinklers for some time, and he was also Patrick’s flatmate. Steve Stapleton (Nurse with Wound) gave a little assistance with a couple of tracks as we waded through the mountain of recordings. Still mostly it was a time of people disappearing. Julie, who joined the Dots from Attrition dropped out from the recordings quite early and then Barry disappeared without answering the phone or the doorbell for maybe 10 days. Ultimately I completed the album with Patrick and Phil, and strangely the result turned out to be a small pearl in our history. Better still, EVERYBODY turned up again when it was finished for the first listen to the album in it’s entirety…. No murmurs of discontent, just the occasional (approving ) tear. Julie threw a Tarot at the end of the session (we were using a special pack ,the name of which is now lost in my memory) and the top card was “Asylum”. A perfect fit and inevitably the title for this album. – Edward Ka-Spel

From Bandcamp:
1985. The band limped back from the Netherlands, destitute and emotionally crippled after a series of events that could have finished them. The decision to record once more in Patrick’s bedroom studio after the experience in the high class radio outfit in Holland was a conscious one. This remaster is pretty dramatic, but listen closely and the odd buzzes and clicks are still there- they were simply part of it.
Asylum: A place to escape to, a place to escape from….


Press Release

Jnana Records is proud to reissue the The Legendary Pink Dots’ Asylum, originally released as a double-LP in 1985. The CD comes in a gatefold card sleeve with an eight-page booklet featuring new liner notes by Edward Ka-Spel as well as the only two photos of the group’s first lineup. Asylum was remastered in 2014 by Ka-Spel and features a rare bonus track making its debut on CD.  “We recorded this in the tiny bedroom of violin player Patrick [Wright] who was the only Pink Dot to own an 8-track tape recorder and a ‘real’ mixing desk back in 1985. I’d moved to The Netherlands in December 1984 and it had all gone terribly wrong…. Ultimately I fled to a friend’s floor in Amsterdam on the train with a synthesizer under one arm and a bag of clothes over the other shoulder…. Graham Whitehead actually joined the Dots during the long-protracted sessions as he was the second decent keyboard player in a band that was now used to two ivory tinklers for some time, and he was also Patrick’s flatmate. “Steve Stapleton (Nurse with Wound) gave a little assistance with a couple of tracks as we waded through the mountain of recordings. Still mostly it was a time of people disappearing. Julie [Niblock Waller], who joined the Dots from Attrition, dropped out from the recordings quite early….  “Ultimately I completed the album with Patrick and Phil [Knight], and strangely the result turned out to be a small pearl in our history. Better still, everybody turned up again when it was finished for the first listen to the album in its entirety…. No murmurs of discontent, just the occasional (approving) tear. Julie threw a Tarot at the end of the session (we were using a special pack, the name of which is now lost in my memory) and the top card was Asylum. A perfect fit and inevitably the title for this album.” —Edward Ka-Spel


Lyrics

Echo Police

The Echo Police shoot twice and ask you Zero Zero questions. Shady sessions in the backroom… Double spotlight, they whistle tunes. They hole you up, a hollow wall… They hear you call. The needle’s in the red. Thr print-out scribbles [[ OVERLOAD ]] in code. No-one shows an ounce of mercy; no-one turns a hair. You scream, you shout and they shout back. Exact, in tune…. no room for argument. The Echo Police just don’t know how.

Gorgon Zola’s Baby

Gold chain. Bronze skin. Cheese brain. Holes. Yes, Gorgon Zola rules the beach. She strolls, she kicks some sand – the mild man winces, clears his eyes. Despises her. She’s tall and cruel and cool as sour cream. His dreams are dry. She’ll paralyze – an icepick in his spine. She’ll fine him when his wheelchair’s parked on double yellow lines. He takes it because he has to… because he’s built like stale spaghetti. Zola’s pointing the machete – so he jumps!

Fifteen Flies in the Marmalade

Fifteen flies in the marmalade. Klaus drank all the lemonade. The guests ate all the bread and I’m hungry… nearly dead! But will you dance with me my little pickled herring?

Femme Mirage (Lyrics by Julie Niblock)

I rise from sleep, as a ray strokes my shoulder. Wishing to walk unveiled to the world – my flesh on view. These things stand in our way – the cold of the earth, the state of our minds. And the camouflage. The sticky threads that communicate the meaningless in a thousand different ways. My voice shuns your honey words on hour glass shapes. On the fragile, unreal, objects of desire. The words don’t flow, neither the feelings. No more ink on wood to betray my thoughts. Just this – a cry on the dark side.

The Hill (Lyrics by Patrick Q. Wright)

Michael couldn’t understand why people shook him by the hand then laughed at him and talked behind his back. Michael didn’t know the rules. Abused, confused at all the schools they sent him to – gave him the view to leave.

Michaels’ got a gun. Now he’s living on the hill. Watch the people run, shooting down the kids at play. He’ll teach them all to stay away. Mothers screaming, running round… No-one laughs at Michael now!

Out the classroom window stood a hill which made him feel so good. He thought he’d like to have it as a home. People never spoke to him. Ignored, deplored, he got so bored. He ran away and bought himself a gun.

Michael lay down in the sun. Perhaps he’d put away the gun if only they would leave him quite alone. No-one heard his point of view, the crowd of vigilantes grew so Michael used the gun just one last time. Now he’s buried on the hill.

Prisoner

Roaming spores and running sores and scorching fever. Score a pill to maybe ease the pain. But there’s more to come. The thunder’s in your brain, the lightning dances. Stars explode and spit. A foaming fit suck in a litt. Press [[ ground floor ]] but IT RISES! Bursts the ceiling, peeling clouds and fleeing for the sun where maybe there’s just a little peace. Oh please God… Just a little peace. A small release.

So Gallantly Screaming

d’archangel rises with eyes that accuse. A bouquet of black orchids for you as you weep in the ruins of all that you knew, of all that you cherished, of all you possessed. It’s a mess! And the message is scrawled on the wall. It says [[ God bless America ! ]] God bless what’s left. And what’s right ? And what’s wrong? Well, we still have the songs – but where are you Gershwin now that we need you? God how we need you… And down in the city of heartbreak and needles, a needle is rammed and a new dream begins. And the subway’s a hospital – beds on the tracks. And the victims are cracked under bandages, wrapped in their oxygen tents. Looking tense because the doctor’s demented and holding a pin… and if they cry out, he’ll hammer it in. Yes, Gershwin is grinning [[ Come Join Me! ]] God how I need you right now… Watch Washington wash in what’s left of the Whitehouse. Hear Hendrix make love to his ghost. Hear Abraham, Marin and John sing a song as they snip at your hair, as they butter their toast. Fred Astaire sings along as he skips down the stairs of the Pentagon. Gone! It’s all gone – the American dream. … Christ, it’s only a dream. But where are you, George? Now that we need you…

I Am the Way, the Truth, the Light

Merciful angel with blood on his hands. He’s down on his knees, because there’s nowhere to stand in a dungeon of plastic.. a castle of ice. Ankles tied with elastic, the blindfold is tight. The windows are shattered, there’s bolts on the door, and the music’s so loud, he can’t think anymore. Floodlights are blazing, they shout when he sleeps. But he prays because he loves them – they treat him like this! [[ I am the way and the truth and the light. I know all the anwers – don’t need your advice! I’ll scream if you kick me, I’ll bite through my chains; make you sorry you met me ’til nurse comes again. With her tray full of needles to dish out the pain. Sure, soon I’ll be peaceful – you can lock me away. And I’ll dream of mountains and fishing for friends, maybe walk on some water… I’ll make fissures of men ]]].

Agape (Lyrics by Julie Niblock)

Like two souls touching. Thoughts a – breaking – Lovers sleeping. Waves breaking against our minds. We play, play and laugh, play and laugh and sing to the heavens. Eyes smiling to eyes, across the words of wisdom. As you strayed, kicked heels in the spray. Til my heart broke out. I dive into the waves to join us once again in the deep green playground they call home. And others watch… but to us they melt into the trees, lured by we… the sirens. They back away from the sea green, from the things they fear. From the death. From the sirens…

Golden Dawn

I’ll be your slave, maybe you’ll be my priestess. I’d live in a cave and we’d meet where all eyes are turned away. Where we can lay, where we can play… and forget the storm. Will you weep while I slip away… at Golden Dawn? You drew a star, and I drew a circle. We hid in the car, we crossed our fingers and hurtled down the street. The fog was creeping slow, the deathbird peeping through the window. We drove on and found our way to Golden Dawn. I read the news and you heard the sirens. We packed, then we flew to an island which no-one else could find. Where we could hide and watch the tide slide in at twilight. We made love… on and on ’til Golden Dawn.

The Last Straw

Madman! He squats on my shoulder with icy paws and poison claws. Paranoise, annoys, destroys his toys and tries to fix them. But his world is made of powder taken neatly with a straw, and though he knows he’s getting weaker – he just takes it more and more. Sores are creeping on his skin, there’s desperation in his eyes. Because he knows he’ll never win – he lost it all. Surprise! Surprise! Madman’s prize lays in the gutter where he’ll mutter empty threats but I’ll pass him on his blind side – try my hardest to forget.

A Message From Our Sponsor (transcribed by Remko Schroot)

I will not desert you
I just stepped back a little…
Kept a low profile
Smiled as you made those little songs for me,
Build those temples
I’m flattered really!
And I know some of you curse me, some fear me,
some think I died and some think i’ve never existed in the first place!
Feel easy!
I’m reasonable!
I won’t interfere!
No matter what you do!
I’d never interfere…
Never interfere…

SO SING! SING WHILE YOU MAY! (It may not be very long…)

Go Ask Alice

official lyric sheet only has this:
438 backwards

unofficial transcription, by “K. Fritz Ruehr” and devout agnostic follows:

E- Edward P- other person, possibly Phil.

note: the two people often interrupted each other or talked at the same time. In this case I tried to order their lines so that the beginnings are in chronological order and they make the most sense. Anything included in [] was indistinct or uncertain Things included in [] are sounds not made by the indicated speaker.

E- Look, I have conclusive proof that the new number of the Beast is 834.
P- What do you mean, 834?
E- He appeared to me in a vision..
P- Rubbish!
E- He was dressed in white… he had angel’s eyes.
P- A beast in white?
E- Well, he’s a clean beast really, he uses Ajax in his bath.
P- Is he that type of beast?
E- Oh, he’s a devilish beast.
P- I thought his number was 666.
E- 666, well, everybody knew the number was 666. You know, it’s all the [???] who made films about it and… P- They got too many, uh, callers then, I suppose?
E- It’s boring really, you know [P- yeah], it’s like Gregory peck and I hate Gregory Peck, he’s a real bastard
P- I know what you mean, actually, uh, [goes on a bit?]
E- I mean he’s just one of those stupid film stars [???] and he uh..

[background shout: nognio scuffnit taur!]

E- Nognio scuffnit taur
P- What was that?
E- Nognio scuffnit TAUR!
P- I don’t understand at all.
E- That’s really stupid [background: nognio scuffnit taur!] I … I can’t understand you.. speaking garbage!
P- Are you talking backwards, is someone talking backwards over there?
E- I mean some people just [background: nognio scuffnit taur!]
P- Some people are just, uh, like that, you know?
E- Some, some people just talk nothing but garbage, really,
P- I know, yeah I know the feeling.
E- you know, I mean, you know, I was walking down the street [P- were you?] and someone yelled “zhnithniak” at me…
P- zhnithniak?
E- …and it was a really peculiar thing to say, it just didn’t make any sense at all…
P- Well, you know some strange people though don’t you though, really, when it comes down to it.
E- ahh who knows … peculiar ..
P- I know.
E- Y’know, sort of angels, beasts… Y’know, some goblins came along in these hobnailed boo-
P- It’s a strange old world, isn’t it… yeah shall we have a cup of tea?
E- Oh, I’d love some tea, actually, yes, ‘ts, yes a … Mm ahhh … I do like, I do love tea… bang on a cup, actually, where’s a spoon?
Oh, that’s great, thanks [tea noises, spoon banging, etc]
P- Find it very hard to swallow, actually, when I’m uh [???]
E- Any other spurious noises we could make, it… Is there any other sort of sounds that we could could make… that would sound totally convincing, that this is… a real conversation?
P- Well, we could try the … uh, yeah, try to set fire to somebody.
[Edward finishes talking]
P- What would Graham sound like when you set fire to him?
E- Oh, I think he’d scream a bit, actually, y’know, sort of.
P- Mm, would he scream, Graham?
E- Yeah, w… w.. would he go “Nognio scuffnit taur?”
P- heh heh … he might well do, you never know.
E- I mean, yeah, ha ha … HA HA .. yeah, it’s quite possible, really, but…
P- [Actually?/I’m sure?] this is a bit sacreligious right through young [Barry’s?] guitar solo, you know.
E- Ha ha, y’know, no..
P- Tends to be pouring his heart out to the world now…
E- Well there’s my keyboards too, actually.
P- Oh yeah?
E- Y’know, y, you don’t care about my keyboards at all.
P- Oh, I ignore your keyboards.
E- I know…
P- I’ve always- I’ve always ignored your keyboards.
E- n’ he, that, that bastard doesn’t know, I mean, what a bastard–What do you think about keyboards, [someone’s name?]
[pause, possibly a response beyond mic range]
E- Oh, cheek!
P- Sound better backwards, anyway, give you that.
E- I’m really annoyed, actually… I li- I like them forwards.
P- Bloody long track, isn’t it? Really goes on.
E- Incredibly long… I know, but … that’s life really, y’know …
P- “Dorca,” what’s that? … what?
E- Dorca?
P- dorca.
E- I, I don’t understand… don’t understand your BANTER, old chap.
P- I dunno. It’s… it’s ending now, I think, thank goodness.
E- Y’know, it, it see- it seems quite likely it’s actually finishing now… hehehehe…

This could be the end

It’s over. Complete. And the trapdoor collapsed. And your hair’s pretty neat through your neck snapped in half. And the man in the mask takes a hit from a flask and he laughs. Yes he laughs ! (Though his face never changes…)
YOUR PAIN IS FOR YOU ALONE, AS IT IS, AS IT WAS, AS IT WILL BE. FOREVER. AMEN.

 

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