Theme 16: Ballad Of The Streets EP
[released February 89 as SMXT3]
The long break between theme 15 and the live material of Live In The City Of Light was taken up with
various live projects and involvements with the Mandela Day concert. This did lead to two memorable
tracks, both included on this release. Mandela Day, penned specially for the Wembley concert 11.6.88 to
celebrate Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday, was a suitably spontaneous affair, written and recorded in a very short session. This
celebration of the unquenchable nature of the man's 'myth, his values, all he stands for', thankfully proved prophetic and was to
be followed up within two years by his appearance at the second Wembley concert. The association
with the song Biko also stems from the Mandela Day concert.
Peter Gabriel had helped the band out earlier in their career, offering
European tour support in the months immediately after Empires And Dance, a difficult
period around 80/81 when they were 'in between' record labels. He joined the band onstage at Wembley for this song and was encouraging about their
plans to record it for the next album. Belfast Child, the first track on this EP
was a bold choice for the first studio single release in over two years. It proved unfounded any concerns about being too long to be a commercial
success; charting at 2. With record comapny staff frantically assembing specially 12" boxed versions
to go into the shops the following weekend, the single received the extra impetus needed to take it to number 1 the following week.
Theme 17: This Is Your Land
[released April 89 as SMXT/TG 4]
This Is Your Land entered the charts while Ballad Of The Streets lingered on.
Featuring a guest vocal section by Lou Reed (Jim: "I asked
Lou Reed to do a parody of himself. He said: 'No problem. I can do that. Everybody else does it'") this
single peaked at 13. The 12" contained a particularly good selection,, featuring two tracks not available on any album release;
Saturday Girl and Year Of The Dragon.
Theme 18: Kick It In
[released July 89 as SMXT/TG 5]
Street Fighting Years [released May 89 Virgin CD - MINDD 1] was an instant success, hitting number
one in its first week of release - the incredibly rapid sales reflecting the dedication of the many loyal fans, who had been waiting nearly four
years for a new studio album. theme 18 contains an amalgamation of the standard 12" release; the
album version of Kick It In, an 89 remix of Waterfront,
Big Sleep [Live] and the bonus of the Unauthorised Mix of Kick It In -
a radical reworking of the album track by the production team Stephen Lipson and
Theme 19: The Amsterdam EP
[released November 89 as SMXT6 combined with SMXTR6]
A number 18 and the 14th top 20 single represents
the final commerically released single to date. Two version's of Prince's
Sign O' The Times along with the album track
Let It All Come Down and a version of the
William Blake hymn Jerusalem.
Theme 20: The Verona EP
[from the live video - released May 90]
Verona fills in the live story with three tracks from the concerts in Verona onver
the 14th and 15th September 89. A number 1 music vdeio, this brought the 'music travelouge' full circle, capturing the band in full
effect, with songs from the most recent album; Street Fighting Years,
Mandela Day and
Kick It In; the latest line-up on a limited edition CD EP which will not be available
outisde this boxed set.
Jim Kerr - vocals / Charlie Burchill - guitars /
Michael MacNeil - piano and synthesisers
Mel Gaynor - drums
John Giblin / Malcolm Foster - bass guitars
featuring on Verona
Lisa Germano - violin /
Andy Duncan - percussion
Anne McCaig - backing vocals
Limited edition digipak box set containing five picture CDs with sleeve notes.
Project Managed by Martin Hanlin,
Ged Malone and
Box design and artworking by Kate Gaughran for the Red Room at EMI.
Original digipack design by Assorted Images.
The reissue is made of glossier but flimsier card then the original Themes Volume Four pressing. The cover artwork
is the same except for the catalogue number, removal of the barcode, and a slightly different font for the back cover. The box is constructed
slightly differently with the left flap opening before the right. The CDs themselves
have sharper, clearer graphics (with the exception of the The Verona EP but sport extra catalogue and copyright information. And the sleeve notes are rendered in red instead