New Model Army

History: The Singles 85-91

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As History: The Singles 85-91's title makes plain, this compilation bundles up all the group's singles released between these dates. 1985 was a turning point for the band, the year New Model Army relocated from the indie Abstract label to the majors and EMI. Thus fans will obviously have to look elsewhere for their earlier singles, particularly the ferocious "Vengeance," the best of their pre-EMI releases. But the six years bundled up here were just as stellar. The group released a dozen singles during this period, and the A-sides all appear here in chronological order, kicking off with the blind fury of "No Rest," down into the bitter irony of "51st State," through the desolation of science gone insane of "White Coats," across the outcasts' anthem of "Vagabonds," into the nostalgic valleys of "Green and Grey," diving into the barely suppressed rage of "Purity," and ending live in "Space." Americans may be surprised to find that every single one of New Model Army's singles charted in the U.K., albeit outside the Top 25. But that's a moot point; while Britain was in the midst of a Tory revolution that turned much of England's innate culture to dust (Scotland, Wales, and Ulster remained more immutable to their efforts), New Model Army soldiered on, a voice raging in the wilderness. History: The Singles 85-91 sums up the daily battles, the triumphs, and the defeats. It's a stunning collection of hard-hitting songs, further plumped by two new numbers cut for this set. It's the best recruitment tool in their kit and a stellar introduction to New Model Army's militant world.

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