From the Lions Mouth

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From the Lions Mouth
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 26, 1981
StudioRockfield (Rockfield, Wales)
GenrePost-punk, gothic rock
The Sound chronology
From the Lions Mouth
All Fall Down
Singles from From the Lions Mouth
  1. "Sense of Purpose (What Are We Going to Do)"
    Released: 20 September 1981

From the Lions Mouth [sic] is the second studio album by English post-punk[1] band The Sound, released in November 1981 on record label Korova. Following the release of their previous album Jeopardy, keyboardist Belinda "Bi" Marshall left the group and was replaced by Colvin "Max" Mayers. For their new album, The Sound worked with producer Hugh Jones, as well as co-producing the album themselves. The album's sound was more polished than previous efforts.

Like Jeopardy, From the Lions Mouth was critically acclaimed but failed to capture the attention of the public, with the band's fanbase limited to a cult following. One single, "Sense of Purpose (What Are We Going to Do)", was released.


The album cover artwork was taken from the 1872 painting Daniel in the Lion's Den by Briton Rivière.[2]

NME compared the album's bleak nature to Joy Division's Closer.[3] Despite The Sound being posited as a gloomy band, AllMusic wrote, "snake-charming opener 'Winning' is like a dash of cold water in the faces of all the bands that were wallowing and withering away at the weeping well [...] The Sound were not mopes. They had their problems with life, but rather than just vent or escape from them, they confront them and ask questions and attempt to sort it all out."[1]


One single, "Sense of Purpose (What Are We Going to Do)", was released in promotion for the album, on 20 September 1981. From the Lions Mouth was released in November by record label Korova.

The album was remastered and re-released in 2002 by Renascent, a record label formed specifically for the task of reissuing The Sound's records.[4] This release included the 1982 single "Hothouse", despite frontman Adrian Borland's wishes that the album should have the same track listing as the original.[5] The song was not included as a separate track, but as a continuation of "New Dark Age".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Record Mirror[6]
Smash Hits5/10[7]

From the Lions Mouth was well received by critics upon its release. Mike Nicholls of Record Mirror wrote, "The Sound seem set to take up where Joy Division left off and become the saviors of the adolescent grim brigade."[6] Melody Maker's Steve Sutherland commented on the album's lighter, more commercial tone than that of Jeopardy, calling it "Jeopardy-as-palatable-product."[9] NME critic Andy Gill noted themes of "individualism and collectivism" in the album's songs, which he said "are infused with a certainty of individuality and apartness – and all that that entails – but well aware of the need for coming-together in an era which has seen apartness emphasized to lethal levels."[10]

In its retrospective article "Unspun Heroes", NME praised the album as "underrated" and a "ferocious, vital document."[3] Uncut described it as "a monumental work of rock 'n' roll angst" and The Sound's greatest album,[11] while Trouser Press cited it as the group's best work.[12] Jack Rabid of The Big Takeover commented that the album "established the foursome as a formidable band for the ages."[13]

Borland described From the Lions Mouth as "the most polished and probably our most commercial album, with some of the greatest songs".[5]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
2."Sense of Purpose"
  • Borland
  • Mayers
  • Green
  • Dudley
3."Contact the Fact"
  • Borland
  • Mayers
  • Green
  • Borland
  • Benita Biltoo
  • Green
  • Dudley
  • Borland
  • Mayers
  • Green
Side B
1."Fatal Flaw"
  • Borland
  • Mayers
  • Green
  • Dudley
  • Borland
  • Adrian Janes
3."The Fire"
  • Borland
  • Mayers
  • Green
  • Dudley
4."Silent Air"Borland4:14
5."New Dark Age"Borland5:49


The Sound
  • Adrian Borland – vocals, guitar, production
  • Michael Dudley – drums, percussion, production
  • Graham Green – bass guitar, production
  • Max Mayers – keyboards, production
  • Hugh Jones – production, engineering
  • Briton Rivière – album cover artwork
  • Howard Hughes – album cover concept
  • Julian Mendelsohn – engineering
  • Simon Fowler – sleeve liner photo photography


  1. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "From the Lion's Mouth – The Sound". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Daniel in the Lion's Den". Art UK. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b Garrett, Jonathan (30 June 2011). "Unspun Heroes – The Sound, 'From The Lions Mouth'". NME. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  4. ^ "History". Archived from the original on 26 June 2004. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b Reeves, Paul Sutton (March 2002). "Big in Rotterdam". Record Collector. No. 271. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b Nicholls, Mike (24 October 1981). "Sound Roar". Record Mirror. p. 16. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  7. ^ Cranna, Ian (12–25 November 1981). "The Sound: From the Lion's Mouth". Smash Hits. Vol. 3, no. 23. p. 25.
  8. ^ Roberts, Chris (2002). "Paradise Regained". Uncut. Archived from the original on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  9. ^ Sutherland, Steve (24 October 1981). "The Sound: From the Lions Mouth". Melody Maker. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  10. ^ Gill, Andy (31 October 1981). "The Sound: From the Lions Mouth". NME. Archived from the original on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  11. ^ Roberts, Chris (2004). "The Sound: From the Lions Mouth". Uncut. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  12. ^ Lamey, Charles P.; Rabid, Jack; Ferguson, Scott. "Sound". Trouser Press. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  13. ^ Rabid, Jack (June 2002). "The Sound: Jeopardy / From the Lion's Mouth / All Fall Down". The Big Takeover. No. 50. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.

External links[edit]