The Changeling (album)

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The Changeling
Studio album by Toyah
Released 30 June 1982 (UK)
Genre New wave, gothic rock, rock
Label Safari Records
Producer Steve Lillywhite
Toyah chronology
Anthem
(1981)
The Changeling
(1982)
Warrior Rock: Toyah on Tour
(1982)

The Changeling was Toyah's follow-up album to the critically acclaimed Anthem. Although it has a similar overall sound, the band's writing took a darker, almost gothic direction.[citation needed] Tracks such as "The Packt" and "Brave New World" take a rather dystopian although still hopeful view of the future, a theme which largely pervades the whole album.[citation needed]

The Changeling was not released on CD until 1999, although this long-awaited release did at least include six bonus tracks, four of which were previously unavailable on CD, and the video for "Thunder in the Mountains".

Original vinyl issues of the album came complete with a lyric insert, the background of which featured drawings of circuit boards. Around the lyrics of each song were sections of poetry written by Toyah Willcox, which were not included on the album.

The album was produced by legendary record producer Steve Lillywhite (CBE) using early digital studio recording equipment. Some overseas editions such as the Dutch release, featured an additional 'Digital Recording' logo on the cover sleeve.

A completed out-take from the sessions for The Changeling named 'Warrior Rock' appeared as the B-side of the LP's only single release 'Brave New World' and on the later CD reissue. Another out-take entitled 'Paradise Child', later surfaced on the Safari Records collectors album 'Mayhem'. A rarer version entitled 'Silly Little Girls' using a similar music track but with alternative lyrics (featuring Toyah Willcox improvising 'mild obscenities'), appeared on preparatory demos for the album which have since surfaced on bootleg releases. Several other instrumental tracks from the same demo sessions have never been commercially used.

The album was released internationally and sold particularly well in the UK (#6) and Norway (#22).

Although a fan favourite, Toyah Willcox has largely ignored the album material since 1982 in her live shows, with the exception of Angel & Me. However in April 2012 she is performing a special six date 30th Anniversary tour 'The Changeling Resurrection 2012', revisiting the Changeling tour set list which featured on the subsequent 1982 live album 'Warrior Rock – Toyah on Tour'.

Background[edit]

"Changeling wasn't easy to make, in fact it was the unhappiest of all the album experiences, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good album. Not everything has to come effortlessly for it to be right", Toyah said in 2011.[1]

Track listing[edit]

Original LP[edit]

  1. "Creepy Room" (Willcox/Bogen)
  2. "Street Creature" (Willcox/Bogen)
  3. "Castaways" (Willcox/Bogen)
  4. "The Druids" (Willcox/Bogen)
  5. "Angel & Me" (Willcox/Bogen)
  6. "The Packt" (Willcox/Bogen)
  7. "Life in the Trees" (Willcox/Bogen)
  8. "Dawn Chorus" (Willcox/Bogen/Spalding)
  9. "Run Wild, Run Free" (Willcox/Bogen)
  10. "Brave New World" (Willcox/Bogen)

1999 CD bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Warrior Rock" (Willcox/Bogen/Spalding)
  2. "Thunder in the Mountains" (Willcox/Lee/Glockler)
  3. "Voodoo Doll" (Willcox/Bogen/Spalding)
  4. "Good Morning Universe" (Willcox/Bogen)
  5. "In the Fairground" (Willcox/Bogen)
  6. "Ieya 1982" (Willcox/Bogen/Bush)
  7. "Thunder in the Mountains" (video) (Willcox/Lee/Glockler)

On the CD reissue, the ending of 'Angel & Me' has been edited. After the song has faded out, the original vinyl version featured an echoed drum roll that resembled the sound of a door being locked – this was absent on the CD.

Comments on songs[edit]

  • Brave New World. "'Brave New World', to me, is a sad love song, because I wrote most of it in Bristol last year after a tremendous row with my boyfriend. But I could never do a love song true to myself, because that's being selfish. I prefer what I call open lyrics, so that the kids can fit their own feelings to them... And so 'Brave New World' is a love song, because I think everyone goes through the phase when they think no one in the world knows how hurt they are – experiencing a loneliness that no one knows, but everyone knows it", Toyah said in the Sounds interview, 1982.[2]
  • Angel and Me. The song ("Why do you always cry when you come to see me? / I always die to see you smile") had some autobiographical connotations. "The person she's talking to is her mum, when I was in hospital and my mum visited me, she'd always start crying, so it comes from that", Toyah explained when asked who the song was about. "I am now [close to my mother], I didn't use to be. I always loved her very much, but she had a weird way of loving me back. I can never remember kissing and cuddling mummy and daddy when I was small. But I love them both, my father is one of my heroes", she added, speaking to Sounds.[2]

Personnel[edit]

  • Phil Spalding – bass, vocals
  • Simon Phillips – drums and percussion
  • Joel Bogen – guitar, additional keyboards, vocal
  • Toyah Willcox – vocals & noises
  • Andy Clark – keyboards
  • Simon Darlow – additional keyboards
  • Nigel Bennett – backing vocals
  • Neil Hutchinson – brass
  • Vince Sullavan – brass
  • Dave Lord – brass

Production[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Toyah Talks Music". FSF-A Interview. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Johnny Waller (14 August 1982). "Toyah Reveals Her Secret Desires". Sounds. Retrieved 1 January 2011.