“Earl Brutus are a legendary band, even though they’ve never had a hit” Select Magazine, 1995.
“Gloriously unfettered… still filthy after all these years” Uncut – 8/10, 2016
“Repackaged with obsessive care… the sound, fury and humour of Earl Brutus is here for all to marvel” Record Collector – 5/5, 2016
“Worship here” Q – 4/5, 2016
We are thrilled to announce the Earl Brutus re-issues of their two albums, Your Majesty… We Are Here, released on Deceptive in 1996 and Tonight You Are The Special One, originally released on Fruition / Island in 1998.
Both will be available on vinyl and as double CD packages including a disc of rarities and unreleased tracks. Lavishly packaged and featuring extensive sleeve notes, this will also be the first time Tonight You Are The Special One has been available on vinyl.
The packaging of both albums have been art-directed by acclaimed artist Scott King who also designed a poster for the limited edition ‘glitter-dipped’ box set which houses the 2CD editions of both albums. This limited edition box, which brings the Earl Brutus story to an end, is appropriately titled Closed.
Standing outside of their time then and now, Earl Brutus gave no simple answers. Born in the north and west of England in the early 60s, they were old enough to know better – but they did it anyway.
Stuart Boreman, Nick Sanderson, Jim Fry, Gordon King and Rob Marche had variously served time in groups including World Of Twist, Clock DVA, The Gun Club, Subway Sect, JoBoxers, If? and English Boy On The Love Ranch. But when they came together in north west London at the end of 1992, they would achieve a true expression of themselves, and fuse obsessions with Bowie, Kraftwerk and everyman stadium rock of the most extreme pomposity with an absurdist worldview steeped in lager, paradox and an undeniable sense of the mythic.
With synaptic cues including an imaginary greyhound, the unloved jeans brand, a seventies aftershave and “a council estate pub with a flat roof that could get a bit rough on Saturday night but did a nice carvery on Sunday lunchtimes,” the group were named Earl Brutus in a boozer off Kilburn High Road.
Live shows were where the Brutus myth began. At early shows the band wore sweat-soaked nylon safari suits bought from a Nigerian leisurewear outlet in Shepherd’s Bush, they tipped their gear over, let off pyrotechnics and soon got noticed. By 1993 they had put out their first single, Life’s Too Long, on Bob Stanley’s Creation subsidiary, Icerink and a couple of year’s later Stanley released a second single, Bonjour Monsieur, on his new label, Royal Mint.
Signing to Deceptive in 1995 after label boss Steve Lamacq had seen them at a beery, riotous show at The Dublin Castle in Camden which saw them blowing Brut aftershave through a wind machine, Earl Brutus would pick up talismanic member Shin-Ya Hayashida around this time.
“Nick had an idea about me to join the band to shout and scream swear words in Japanese and in English,” confirms Shins, an early twenty-something at the time. Visually and socially strong, the classic Brutus line up was set and it was this team that would record their debut album, Your Majesty…We Are Here, at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire with Happy Mondays engineer John Pennington, which was released in 1996.
A move to Fruition / Island Records in 1997 saw the band begin work on their second album which was again recorded at Chapel Studios. Released in 1997, first single The SAS And The Glam That Goes With It was one of the band’s most transcendent moments: pounding and livid, it was named after a VHS tape of Sanderson’s, where the 1980 storming of the Iranian Embassy sat next to a pro¬gramme about Mick Ronson.
The new year would see gushing press coverage and a further two singles, Come Taste My Mind and Universal Plan before the release of their second album, Tonight You Are The Special One in June 1998, a record that was conclusive proof of the remarkable durability of Earl Brutus’ singular vision.
Former manager Gareth Sweeney named the album Tonight You Are The Special One: to understand it, you must look in a mirror when staying home alone on Saturday night, wearing your best clothes and drinking a can of nice bitter, “trying to tell yourself you’re alright.”
Following its release guitarist Rob Marche would depart, they would be joined by former Intastella guitarist Martin Wright and release one final single, Larky in 1999.
Continuing to play sporadically – highlights being the appearance of their celebrated floral wreaths reading ‘Fuck Off’ at gigs at the Scala and the Embassy club in 1999 and a deranged and legendary ten-minute show at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Knightsbridge in 2001 which saw a return to the pandemonium of their early shows – they would play their last show in 2004, a fundraiser for Ken Livingstone at Hammersmith Working Men’s Club.
Earl Brutus never really ended as such, a track listing for proposed third album ‘Victorian Wanking Machine’ was devised but sadly the death of lead singer Nick Sanderson to cancer in June 2008 meant it was never to be.
“I’m so proud to have been part of that group,” recalls Jim Fry. “I don’t think it ever would have died. We were taking time off when Nick got ill… I think with Nick, we would have been in a group together by now. I think we would have been more riotous. I think it would have been called Earl Brutus.”
By the cold lights of market reach, not much happened for Earl Brutus. But in other ways, it all happened. Their explosive performances and compact, volcanic discography made anything seem possible, and to those who saw them, they’ll always be the greatest unsung band of all. To those who didn’t, their recorded work reveals a singular and uncompromising vision that cannot die. It continues to transmit the most important message to live by: You Are Your Own Reaction.
The presentation of these re-issues have been directed by acclaimed artist Scott King. Working alongside production guru, Daniel Mason (Something Else) we have a very special set of releases.
The rigid lift of lid box is an offset set printed in 5 colours, silk screen printed with Silver glitter and gloss laminated wrapped over a Black lined board. 2 colour permanent adhesive label applied to lid. Base is printed in 1 colour, silk screen printed with silver glitter and gloss laminated.
It exclusively includes an offset printed poster booklet in 1 colour with detail offset printed in 3 fluorescent colours on a 57gsm Bible paper stock and features an essay by Ian Harrison that complements his sleevenotes for each album.
The CD packaging is offset printed in 4 colours with album artwork and text silk screen printed with a gloss varnish on a 300gsm coated board. Construction follows in standard CD digipack format.
The CD discs are printed in 2 colours plus a Silver glitter ink for a unique audio CD.
The concertina booklet is offset printed in 4 colours on a 120gsm off white uncoated paper stock.
The LP outer sleeve is offset printed in 4 colours with album artwork silk screen printed with a gloss varnish on a 320gsm coated board and the inner sleeve
is offset printed in 4 colours on a 240gsm off white uncoated board. Both are die cut and glued.
The LP vinyl record is pressed on 180gsm heavyweight vinyl with all centre labels printed in 1 colour.
The Your Majesty… We Are Here MP3 Download Code Card is offset printed on a 320gsm uncoated board. Download code digitally printed to the reverse.
The Tonight You Are The Special One MP3 Download Code Card is die stamped in 1 colour on a 350gsm high rag content uncoated board. Download code digitally printed to the reverse.