The Lexicon of Love

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The Lexicon of Love
Studio album by ABC
Released 25 June 1982
Recorded 1981–1982
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 37:25
Label Neutron Records (UK)
Mercury Records (USA)
Vertigo Records (Canada and Europe)
Producer Trevor Horn, Steve Brown
ABC chronology
The Lexicon of Love
(1982)
Beauty Stab
(1983)

The Lexicon of Love is the debut album by the British new wave band ABC, released in 1982. It is not a concept album,[1] but features repeated themes in which the singer experiences heartache as he tries and fails to have a meaningful relationship.

It was produced by Trevor Horn, engineered by Gary Langan, and featured orchestrations by Anne Dudley and Fairlight CMI programming by JJ Jeczalik; Horn, Langan, Dudley and Jeczalik would later form the Art of Noise. Indeed, most of the production team and sessions players listed below would form the basis for the ZTT label, and their work with Horn meant all concerned would be in constant demand throughout the industry in years to come.

"Tears Are Not Enough" (in its initial release produced by Steve Brown), "All of My Heart", "Poison Arrow", and "The Look of Love (Part One)" were all Top 20 hits in the UK; the latter two also charted in the US, peaking at No. 25 and No. 14 respectively. The album reached No. 1 on the British charts, and peaked at No. 24 in the US charts.

In 2004, a deluxe 2-disc reissue including previously unreleased outtakes and early demos and a live performance of the album from 1982 was released on the Neutron label.

In 2009, ABC performed the album integrally at the Royal Albert Hall in London, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, and conducted by arranger and composer Anne Dudley. They were joined on stage by album producer Trevor Horn.[2]

The Lexicon of Love was again performed live in its entirety on 18 December 2012 at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. This marked the 30th anniversary of the album's release and once again featured Dudley as conductor, performing with the Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra. The same line-up (with Dudley and Southbank Sinfonia) concluded a four-date mini-tour at this same venue on 30 March 2014 performing the complete album.

Critical acclaim[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[3]
Blender 4/5 stars[4]
The Observer (favourable)[5]
PopMatters (favourable)[6]
Q 3/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[8]
Spin 9/10 stars[9]
Robert Christgau A−[10]
  • NME listed it number 15 on its list of 50 albums of the 80s.
  • NME listed it number 3 on its list of 50 albums of the year 1982.
  • Uncut listed It number 52 on its list of 100 greatest debut albums.
  • Mojo listed it in its list of 9 albums of the year 1982.
  • The Village Voice listed it number 19 on its list of 20 albums of the year 1982.
  • Q magazine listed it number 40 on its list of the 100 greatest British albums ever.
  • Q magazine readers voted The Lexicon of Love the 92nd greatest album of all time.
  • The Observer Music Monthly listed it number 42 on its list "Top 100 British Albums".
  • Mentioned in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by ABC except where indicated.

Original release (Neutron NTRS 1)[edit]

Side One

  1. "Show Me" – 4:02
  2. "Poison Arrow" – 3:24
  3. "Many Happy Returns" – 3:56
  4. "Tears Are Not Enough" – 3:31
  5. "Valentine's Day" – 3:42

Side Two

  1. "The Look of Love" (Part One) – 3:26
  2. "Date Stamp" – 3:51
  3. "All of My Heart" – 5:12
  4. "4 Ever 2 Gether" (ABC/Anne Dudley) – 5:30
  5. "The Look of Love" (Part Four) – 1:02

1996 Digitally re-mastered edition (Mercury 514942-2)[edit]

  1. "Show Me" – 4:02
  2. "Poison Arrow" – 3:22
  3. "Many Happy Returns" – 3:58
  4. "Tears Are Not Enough" – 3:29
  5. "Valentine's Day" – 3:40
  6. "The Look of Love (Part One)" – 3:29
  7. "Date Stamp" – 3:51
  8. "All of My Heart" – 5:18
  9. "4 Ever 2 Gether" (ABC/Anne Dudley) – 5:30
  10. "The Look of Love (Part Four)" – 0:56
  11. "Tears Are Not Enough (Demo)" – 3:29*
  12. "Poison Arrow (Jazz Re-Mix)" – 6:54*
  13. "The Look of Love (US Special Remix – Edit)" – 5:43 (mislabelled as "The Look of Love (1990 Re-Mix)")*
  14. "Alphabet Soup (12" mix)" – 8:02*
  15. "Theme from Mantrap" – 4:19*
  16. "The Look of Love (Live)" – 6:07*
  • Tracks with * are bonus

1998 Re-issue (Mercury/Neutron 538,250-2)[edit]

  1. "Show Me" – 4:02
  2. "Poison Arrow" – 3:24
  3. "Many Happy Returns" – 3:56
  4. "Tears Are Not Enough" – 3:31
  5. "Valentine's Day" – 3:42
  6. "The Look of Love" (Part One) – 3:26
  7. "Date Stamp" – 3:51
  8. "All of My Heart" – 5:12
  9. "4 Ever 2 Gether" (ABC/Anne Dudley) – 5:30
  10. "The Look of Love" (Part Four) – 1:02
  11. "Theme from Man Trap" – 4:19*
  • track with * is bonus

2004 deluxe edition (Mercury 982,437-3)[edit]

Disc one[edit]

Part 1
The Original Album
  1. "Show Me" – 4:02
  2. "Poison Arrow" – 3:24
  3. "Many Happy Returns" – 3:56
  4. "Tears Are Not Enough" – 3:31
  5. "Valentine's Day" – 3:42
  6. "The Look of Love" (Part One) – 3:26
  7. "Date Stamp – 3:51
  8. "All of My Heart" – 5:12
  9. "4 Ever 2 Gether" (ABC/Anne Dudley) – 5:30
  10. "The Look of Love" (Part Four) – 1:02
    Part 2
    The Original Singles
  11. "Overture" (ABC/Anne Dudley) – 3:59
  12. "Tears Are Not Enough" (original single version) – 3:36
  13. "Alphabet Soup" – 8:03
  14. "Theme from Man Trap" – 4:19
  15. "Poison Arrow" (North American Jazz Mix) – 7:06
    Part 3
    An Oddity and An Out-Take
  16. "Into the Valley of the Heathen Go" – 2:00
  17. "Alphabet Soup" (BBC Swapshop version) – 3:13

Disc two[edit]

Part 4
The Route to the Lexicon
  1. "Tears Are Not Enough" (Phonogram Demo 20 July 1981) – 3:32
  2. "Show Me" (Phonogram Demo 20 July 1981) – 4:03
  3. "Surrender" (Phonogram Demo 20 July 1981 - song deleted from album's original release at "the 11th hour") – 3:29
    Part 5
    The Lexicon of Love — Live at Hammersmith Odeon November 1982
  4. "Overture" (ABC/Anne Dudley) – 3:56
  5. "Show Me" – 4:21
  6. "Many Happy Returns" – 7:02
  7. "Tears Are Not Enough" – 5:33
  8. "Date Stamp" – 7:07
  9. "The Look of Love" (Complete Suite) – 5:59
  10. "All of My Heart" – 6:45
  11. "Valentine's Day" – 4:44
  12. "4 Ever 2 Gether" (ABC/Anne Dudley) – 6:53
  13. "Alphabet Soup" – 8:26
  14. "Poison Arrow" – 5:22

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1982/1983) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[citation needed] 9
Canadian Albums Chart[11][12] 3
Dutch Albums Chart[13] 16
Finnish Albums Chart[citation needed] 1
German Albums Chart[14] 23
Japanese Albums Chart[citation needed] 17
New Zealand Albums Chart[15] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[16] 13
Swedish Albums Chart[17] 3
UK Albums Chart[18] 1
US Billboard 200 Chart[19] 24

Personnel[edit]

  • Martin Fry - vocals
  • David Palmer - drums, percussion
  • Stephen Singleton - alto and tenor saxophones
  • Mark White - guitars, keyboards
  • Mark Lickley - bass guitar on "Tears Are Not Enough", "Poison Arrow" and "The Look of Love"
Additional personnel
  • Anne Dudley - keyboards and orchestration
  • Brad Lang - bass guitar
  • J. J. Jeczalik - Fairlight programmer
  • Kim Wear - trumpet
  • Andy Gray - trombone on "Tears Are Not Enough"
  • Luís Jardim (misspelled as "Louis Jardin" on album notes) - Additional percussion
  • Tessa Webb - female vocal lead on "Date Stamp"
  • Gaynor Sadler - harp
  • Karen Clayton - female speaking voice in "Poison Arrow"
Production
2004 deluxe edition credits
  • Gary Moore – digital remastering
  • Daryl Easlea – album coordinator and compiler
  • Martin Fry – compiler
  • Deluxe Graphics@Green Ink – artwork restoration and adaption

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC 6 Music interview with Martin Fry. Interview with Stuart Maconie. Radcliffe and Maconie. 
  2. ^ "ABC and The BBC Concert Orchestra present The Lexicon of Love". BBC. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "ABC: The Lexicon of Love > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  4. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  5. ^ "Lexicon of Love, ABC". Observer Music Monthly (London: Guardian Media Group). 20 June 2004. ISSN 0029-7712. OCLC 50230244. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Medsker, David (10 April 2002). "ABC: The Lexicon of Love". PopMatters. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Lexicon of Love review". Q (Bauer Media Group): 124. September 1999. ISSN 0955-4955. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Fricke, David (16 September 1982). "ABC: The Lexicon of Love". Rolling Stone (RS 378). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. 
  9. ^ Weisbard & Marks 1995, p. 4
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert. "ABC: The Lexicon of Love". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "ABC – The Lexicon of Love". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "charts.de". charts.de. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "ABC – The Lexicon of Love". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Steffen Hung. "ABC – The Lexicon of Love". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "ABC – The Lexicon of Love". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Official Charts Company – The Lexicon of Love by ABC Search". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 
  19. ^ ABC. "ABC – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
Bibliography
  • Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Avalon by Roxy Music
UK Albums Chart number one album
3 July 1982 – 17 July 1982
Succeeded by
Fame, Original Soundtrack by Michael Gore