Today's artists were formed in Blackpool, Lancashire in April 1978 by brothers Lawrence and Vincent Cassidy, taking their name from a provision of the Mental Health Act which allowed for compulsory detention. The group joined Factory Records and were produced by Martin Hannett and later Bernard Sumner. The couple that kept the band alive in 88 both died prematurely, leaving the band to their orphaned daughter Bethany who's took the band into the teens.... ....N'Joy
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Section 25 formed in Poulton-le-Fylde near Blackpool, Lancashire in November 1977. Initially the band was a duo, consisting of brothers Larry Cassidy (bass, vocals) and Vincent Cassidy (drums). In June 1978 they made their live debut with Phil Denton on guitar. Denton was briefly replaced by Duncan Jowitt, who was in turn replaced in November by Paul Wiggin. June 1979 saw the Cassidy brothers promote a charity gig in aid of International Year of the Child at Blackpool Imperial Hotel, featuring Section 25 and other local bands as well as Joy Division and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. As a result, Section 25 were invited to play at the Russell Club in Manchester, and joined Factory Records.
Their debut 7", "Girls Don't Count", was released in July 1980 on Factory Records, produced by Ian Curtis and Rob Gretton of Joy Division. All Section 25 releases would be released through either Factory Records (until the demise of that label), or sister imprint Factory Benelux. Their debut LP, Always Now, appeared in 1981 and was produced by Martin Hannett at Britannia Row studio. The pochette sleeve was among the most expensive and elaborate in the label's history (designed by Peter Saville) utilising an exclusive 'marble' effect design printed on the inner jacket and a fold-out cover that resembled a match-book similar to the cover used by Cabaret Voltaire for their 2x45 album.
The three-piece group played many gigs in Britain and Northern Europe between 1979 and 1981, both as a headline act and with other Factory Records artists, such as Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Blurt, The Durutti Column, Crispy Ambulance and New Order. The group also released a self-produced second album, The Key of Dreams. However the original line-up split in September 1981 shortly after Paul Wiggin declined to fly to a concert in Helsinki supporting New Order, swallowing up most of their fee by travelling overland. With a North American tour already planned, his fear of flying made his departure inevitable. Factory label boss Tony Wilson then tried and failed to recruit then-unknown guitarist Johnny Marr as a replacement.
Abandoning much of the existing live set, the Cassidy brothers prepared for an upcoming European tour with backing tapes and an extra percussionist John Grice. Following a warm-up date in London, the group visited Belgium, Holland and Germany in January 1982 in tandem with Factory labelmates Crispy Ambulance. The band then undertook their first North American tour, albeit restricted to the East Coast.
1983 – 2006 (From The Hip to Love & Hate)
Joined by percussionist Lee Shallcross, Section 25 gradually evolved with a more electronic-dance direction, a process which culminated in the album From the Hip and remix single "Looking From A Hilltop", both released in 1984 and produced by Bernard Sumner of New Order. This second iteration of the band also featured Angela Flowers aka Angela Cassidy (vocals, keyboards), sister, and Larry Cassidy's wife Jenny Ross (vocals, keyboards). The five-piece completed a lengthy second tour of North America in January 1985, where the single "Looking From A Hilltop" achieved a measure of club success.
Later in 1985 the single "Crazy Wisdom" emerged on Factory Benelux as a 12", but the group again splintered, leaving husband-and-wife team Larry Cassidy and Jenny Ross to complete a fourth album, Love & Hate, finally released by Factory in 1988. Bad News Week was also released as a 12" single, remixed by Bernard Sumner. Section 25 then fell silent for more than a decade, although their entire back catalogue was reissued on CD on LTM as well as an archive DVD, So Far. There have also been several live and rarity CDs released by the same label.
In 2001 the band regrouped and started composing new material. It was originally expected that this would form the basis for a new album, but these plans were derailed by the death of Jenny Cassidy-Ross in 2004.
Now with Ian Butterworth on guitar and Roger Wikeley on bass and keyboards, the Cassidy brothers performed their first live show in nearly two decades at their hometown Poulton-Le-Fylde in May 2006 followed by dates in Blackpool, Paris, Brussels, Leicester, London and Athens. A new studio album by the quartet, Part-Primitiv, was released by LTM in April 2007, together with Communicants, a DVD assembled from live performances in 2006. Larry and Vin Cassidy also featured in the 2006 Factory documentary film Shadowplayers.
The band released a new album in 2009 called Nature + Degree through LTM Recordings. Several tracks featured vocals by Bethany Cassidy, daughter of Larry and Jenny. Section 25 appeared at the "Factory Night (And Then Again)" event at Plan K on 12 December 2009, with Beth and Larry sharing vocals. The group also returned to the States for festival dates in Los Angeles and San Francisco. On 27 February 2010, it was announced that founding member, singer, and bass player for the group, Larry Cassidy, had died 6 years after his wife at the age of 56.
Prior to Larry Cassidy's death, the band had completed work on a new album, Retrofit, which was released on 14 September 2010. The album features electro reworkings and updates of previously issued Section 25 tracks, as well as one new song "Über Hymn". The album closes with a new version of Looking From A Hilltop, produced and arranged by Stephen Morris of New Order. Limited copies came with an extra CD of a 16-minute recording of Larry Cassidy reading selected lyrics of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. This was recorded in January 2010 and would be Larry's last visit to a recording studio.
Saville also provided the cover image and title for their eighth studio album, Dark Light, issued on the Factory Benelux imprint in February 2013. "My Outrage" was also released as a 7" single. Also released during the same period were the 10" single "Invicta Max" (an expansion of the 2011 EP of the same name) and the official remix album "Eigengrau", featuring numerous remixes of earlier Section 25 recordings by Zoviet France, Absolute Body Control, Portion Control and Renaldo and the Loaf among others.
In May 2014 the group issued an expanded 30th anniversary CD edition of From the Hip via Factory Benelux, with a bonus disc featuring original demos as well as a BBC radio session from 1984 plus a new recording of "Reflection". Both Bernard Sumner and Jon Savage contributed liner notes.
In April 2015 Section 25 released "Mirror", another limited edition 7" single for Record Store Day, with guest vocals by Simon Topping, formerly of A Certain Ratio. The song dated from 1980 but had never before been recorded in the studio. Both the song and the packaging complemented a new CD edition of Always Now, re-mastered and featuring a bonus disc with their 1981 John Peel radio session as well as a complete live concert from 1980. The packaging replicated the original wraparound cover designed by Peter Saville.
In 2016 the group released a new live album, "Alfresco", as a vinyl and CD package to mark Record Store Day in April. That same year the track "Hit" from their 1981 album Always Now was sampled by Kanye West on a new song, "FML", featured on his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo.
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Section 25's debut LP isn't a patch on the finer moments of their more famous labelmates, but for those who thrill on some of post-punk's late-'70s/early-'80s trademarks, it should go down with great ease. Skeletal instrumentation is the rule: detached vocals, guitar used mainly as hollow accent, undead bass, and driving mid-tempo rhythms with loads of high-hat. Martin Hannett's production is fittingly heavy on the drums. Though the band was quickly accused of sounding much like the remainder of the Factory stable, their closest neighbor in sound was Public Image Limited, most notably their second album. Any comparisons to PIL were agreed with, but it was argued that some of these songs had been kicking around before PIL committed their material to tape. Truth be told, only "Be Brave" and "Dirty Disco" (not to be confused with PIL's "Death Disco") deeply resemble their brethren, with the latter sounding like a direct lift off Metal Box. Regardless of its flaws (they might not even seem like flaws to some), it's strong. As part of the Factory reissue campaign through Les Temps Modernes in the late '90s, Always Now received a nifty facelift, including the Ian Curtis-produced "Girls Don't Count" single, assorted compilation contributions, and thorough liner notes.
The album was packaged in a lavish sleeve devised by Factory design director Peter Saville (credited as Grafica Industria). "I did get a fascinating brief from Larry," Saville told author James Nice in Factory history Shadowplayers. "I seem to remember he wanted something quite European, but psychedelic – and with some Oriental influences. After that, I was on my own."
The exterior sleeve featured black Berthold type on a yellow background, printed on heavy card die-cut to form a pochette envelope, and sealed with a small red I Ching sticker. The psychedelic element was concealed within, the lining and separate inner sleeve featuring a rich marbled pattern in dark blue, yellow and red supplied by specialist French paper company Keller-Dorian.
Section 25 - Always Now (flac 472 mb)
01 Friendly Fires 3:12
02 Dirty Disco 5:20
03 C.P. 2:24
04 Loose Talk (Costs Lives) 2:48
05 Inside Out 2:59
06 Melt Close 2:54
07 Hit 2:58
08 Babies In The Bardo 5:26
09 Be Brave 4:41
10 New Horizon 6:05
11 Haunted 3:24
12 Charnel Ground 3:51
13 Human Puppets 2:55
14 Knew Noise 4:45
15 Up To You 4:15
16 Girls Don't Count 4:29
17 Oyo Achel Ada 4:24
18 After Image 2:58
19 Red Voice 1:59
Section 25 - Always Now (ogg 178mb)
Section 25 - Always Now (flac 410mb)
01 One True Path (Peel Session) 5:42
02 Babies In The Bardo (Peel Session) 5:14
03 Hit (Peel Session) 3:04
04 Je Veux Ton Amour (7") 5:19
05 Loose Talk (Costs Lives) (Live 26.10.1980) 3:23
06 Human Puppets (Live 26.10.1980) 3:16
07 Knew Noise (Live 26.10.1980) 3:45
08 Friendly Fires (Live 26.10.1980) 4:26
09 Girls Don't Count (Live 26.10.1980) 4:02
10 New Horizons (Live 26.10.1980) 4:01
11 Haunted (Live 26.10.1980) 2:36
12 You're On Your Own (Live 1.11.1980) 4:09
13 Floating (SSRU Demo) 4:22
14 Friendly Fires (Outtake) 3:10
15 One True Path (Outtake) 4:27
Section 25 - Always Now (ogg 145mb)
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Having dabbled with synth-driven pop and electro elements for a couple of singles released after Key of Dreams, the Cassidy brothers decided to run further from their past and immerse themselves completely in technology while making a concerted attempt to be less dour. With the smart addition of Larry's wife Jenny Ross on vocals and keyboards (going by Cassidy could have meant confusion with the Partridge Family), the group recorded their third and best album with Bernard Sumner. Packed with a surprising amount of emotional range and sounds into eight songs, From the Hip succeeds in transporting the group out of the endlessly glum corner they had painted themselves into with a mix of the hopeful, the melancholy, the synthetic, and the organic. "Looking from the Hilltop" is the obvious highlight, a moody electro-pop classic sung by Ross that became a favorite at several New York clubs. "Reflection," a proto-twee pop song (also sung by Ross), slackens the tension of "Hilltop" with buoyant synth-percussion and a bright melody. The biggest gulf between songs exists with "Program for Light" and "Desert"; the former is a hyper-speed electro instrumental that races along until being interrupted by a thunderclap that ushers in the latter, which uses little more than echo-heavy piano, acoustic guitar, and hardly-sung vocals. The remaining songs at their worst serve the whole and act as bridges to make the album flow deceptively well. (Some ears may have trouble with Larry Cassidy's adjustment from moaning post-punk vocals to pop vocals -- he's no Martin Fry.) The flow could take several plays to become apparent, but it's time well spent. Les Temps Modernes' 1998 reissue nearly doubles the original version's running time with seven bonus tracks, including two additional mixes each of "Looking from a Hilltop," "Beating Heart," and the zip-bang electro revision of Always Now's "Dirty Disco," along with the 12" version of "Back to Wonder." The mixes of "Hilltop" don't add all that much value. "Beating Heart" (one of the finest New Order songs not written or recorded by New Order) and "Back to Wonder" (fragile, glistening pop) are excellent, however, and From the Hip in its initial format would have been much stronger with their presence.
Section 25 - From The Hip (flac 459mb)
01 The Process 5:09
02 Looking From A Hilltop 4:06
03 Reflection 4:30
04 Prepare To Live 3:24
05 Program For Light 3:55
06 Desert 3:12
07 Beneath The Blade 4:13
08 Inspiration 6:40
09 Looking From A Hilltop (Restructure) 4:37
10 Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix) 8:07
11 Dirty Disco II 5:27
12 Dirty Disco II (Pre-Mix) 4:01
13 Beating Heart (12" Remix) 5:02
14 Back To Wonder (12" Version) 3:16
15 Beating Heart (12" Version) 5:06
Section 25 - From The Hip (ogg 188mb)
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The fourth studio album by this ever-morphing Factory post-punk outfit would be their last for more than a decade, and was marred by trouble and disorganization even before its release. Section 25 had grown from their early days as a shadowy, Ian Curtis-produced goth punk act to a more electronic-leaning entity, then shrank from their five-piece form to include just-married couple Larry Cassidy and Jenny Ross for work on most of Love & Hate. The album was finished for two years before its 1988 release, leaving Section 25's career effectively dead on arrival at that point. Tragic, really, as Love & Hate's strangely primitive take on the burgeoning club sound translates to something almost as raw and punky as their earlier material, especially on the sterile electro of "Bad News Week" and the Satie-flavored instrumental experiments "Tim Lick My Knees" and "Shit Creek No Paddle."
Section 25 - Love & Hate (flac 519mb)
01 Sweet Forgiveness 6:39
02 Conquer Me 6:00
03 Sprinkling Petals Into Hell 4:30
04 The Last Man In Europe 3:12
05 Bad News Week 5:28
06 Tim Lick My Knees 2:33
07 Shit Creek No Paddle 4:44
08 Warhead 5:08
09 Carcrash 3:42
10 Crazy Wisdom 4:33
11 The Guitar Waltz 3:00
12 Bad News Week (12" Mix) 4:54
13 Bad News Week (Cough Mix) 7:39
14 Warhead (Retro Mix) 5:08
15 Crazy Wisdom (Demo) 5:07
16 Boogie Beat (Retro Mix) 3:23
Section 25 - Love & Hate (ogg 183mb)
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