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From the Lions Mouth [sic] is the second studio album by English post-punk band The Sound, released in 1981 through record label Korova. Following the release of their previous albumJeopardy, 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 previously.

Like JeopardyFrom 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.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Background

Background[edit]Edit

From the Lions Mouth was co-produced by The Sound and Hugh Jones. The album cover artwork is taken from the 1872 painting Daniel in the Lions Den [sic] by Briton Rivière.[1]

Frontman Adrian Borland described the album as "the most polished and probably our most commercial album, with some of the greatest songs".[2]

NME compared the album's bleak nature to Joy Division's Closer and Manic Street PreachersThe Holy Bible.[3] Despite their 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."[4]

Critical reception[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [4]
The Big Takeover very favourable[5]
Melody Maker favourable[6]
NME favourable[7]
Record Mirror [8]
Piero Scaruffi 5.5/10[9]
Uncut very favourable[10]

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.[8] Melody Maker's Steve Sutherland commented on the album's lighter, more commercial tone than that of Jeopardy, calling it "Jeopardy-as-palatable-product."[6]

In its retrospective "Unspun Heroes" article, NME praised the album, calling it "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.[10] The Big Takeover called it "as flawless as it is quietly disturbing".[5]

Re-release[edit]Edit

The album was remastered and re-released in 2002 by Renascent Records, a record label formed for the task of re-issuing The Sound's records.[11] This release included the 1982 single "Hothouse", despite Adrian Borland wishes that the album should have the same track order and listing as the original.[2] The song is not included as a separate track, but as a continuation of "New Dark Age".

Musical style[edit]Edit

Sounds qualified the album as "gothic".[12]

Track listing[edit]Edit

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Winning"   Adrian Borland, Max Mayers, Graham Green, Michael Dudley 4:18
2. "Sense of Purpose"   Borland, Mayers, Green, Dudley 3:52
3. "Contact the Fact"   Borland, Mayers, Green 4:21
4. "Skeletons"   Borland, Benita Biltoo, Green, Dudley 3:27
5. "Judgement"   Borland, Mayers, Green 5:03
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fatal Flaw"   Borland, Mayers, Green, Dudley 4:36
2. "Possession"   Borland, Adrian Janes 3:25
3. "The Fire"   Borland, Mayers, Green, Dudley 2:53
4. "Silent Air"   Borland 4:14
5. "New Dark Age"   Borland 5:49

Personnel[edit]Edit

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