Mr. Almond really goes for it all this year. We've had Soft Cell,
Stranger Things, various collaborations (even leading to an appearance
at the Grand Prix de la Eurovision) and there's even talk of a Soft
Cell CD and more in the can. "The End Of New York" is a selection of
poems, prose and lyrics dating back to 1981, centering around his
impressions of NYC. Nearly all of them have seen the light of the day
in his previous collections "The Angel Of Death In The Adonis Lounge"
(GMP, 1988 out of print) and "Beautiful Twisted Night" (Ellipsis, 1999)
or on various recordings with the two exceptions of "Cats" and "Show
World Girl". So at first sight there's not too much excitement coupled
with this re-thought edition, but the included CD with him reading most
of the selections and the images by Scott Ewalt should have made it a
decent item for his followers and those new to his writings.
Ewalt's works are actually better than the cover implies, based
somewhere beetween Otto Dix and Pierre et Gilles in a very American
kitsch style. Also featured are some black and white shots of NY by
Marc himself which remain uncredited.
The selection itself is no point of criticism; powerful and emotional
writings with colorful images of his favorite subculture in his own
style, serious attempts to push further in any directions. However, for
the price of 23 USD / 15 GBP one could have expected a little more care
with this Publication.
The CD contains a Reading of "The Puerto Rican Go Go Boy" which can't
be found in print, also the Illustration is featured and to top it off
it's indicated as "The Lonely Go Go Dancer" which is - vice versa - not
read. Another illustration, starring Marc as a devil, remains
uncredited and some details just pass by unmentioned. Titles have been
shortened or altered and earlier comments like dedications or when and
where written just disappeared without notice.
I'm wondering why he didn't read all of the selections. In 27 minutes
he managed to read 75% of the material. He should have also taken some
pauses between the selections, as the strength of the words do suffer
through the haste you find yourself in while listening. Furthermore,
the CD-sized package is somewhat disappointing. The two unpublished
pieces don't add very much new or different to the whole picture and
even the reading itself sounds partially like he had not found very
much time for recording it in his undoubted busy schedule. It seems
like Ellipsis were just too eager for a follow up to "Tainted Life" and
so it (go) gos.