Danielle Dax ‎– Blast The Human Flower

Label:
Sire ‎– 9 26126-2, Warner Bros. Records ‎– 9 26126-2
Format:
CD, Album
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 The ID Parade 3:50
2 Tomorrow Never Knows
Written-By – John Lennon / Paul McCartney*
5:15
3 Big Blue '82' 4:16
4 Bayou 4:08
5 King Crack 2:10
6 Daisy 3:55
7 Dead Man's Chill 4:42
8 The Living And Their Stillborn 5:10
9 Jehovah's Precious Stone 5:07
10 16 Candles 5:36

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

© 1990 Sire Records Company for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world ouside the U.S.
℗ 1990 Sire Records Company for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world ouside the U.S.

Made in U.S.A.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 0 7599-26126-2 3
  • Matrix / Runout: 1 26126-2 SRC+03 M1S5
  • Other (SPARS code): AAD

Other Versions (5 of 8) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
CD 26126 Danielle Dax Blast The Human Flower(CD, Album) Sire, Warner Bros. Records CD 26126 Canada 1990 Sell This Version
NOT5019 Danielle Dax Blast The Human Flower(CD, Album, RE) Noble Rot NOT5019 US 2008 Sell This Version
7599 26126-1 Danielle Dax Blast The Human Flower(LP, Album) Sire 7599 26126-1 UK, Europe & US 1990 Sell This Version
92 61264 Danielle Dax Blast The Human Flower(Cass, Album) Sire 92 61264 Canada 1990 Sell This Version
7599-26126-4 Danielle Dax Blast The Human Flower(Cass) Sire, Warner Bros. Records 7599-26126-4 Germany 1990 Sell This Version

Recommendations

Reviews

Add Review

IanPhillips1979

IanPhillips1979

August 11, 2015
edited about 1 year ago

Firstly, although I don't usually like to begin a review on a negative note, I must say I was surprised to learn a minority of Danielle Dax fans considered this a "mainstream sell-out" and "too commercial"; it was as though they had something against Ms Dax signing to a major record label in the first place (how dare she). To be blunt I feel that minority are talking well and truly through their arse: This is hardly manufactured, sugary sweet, fluffy pop! Though a little smoother in sound and texture in comparison to 'Inky Bloaters' (1987) and, musically, miles apart from 'Pop Eyes' and 'Jesus Egg That Wept' (1984), 'Blast The Human Flower' (1990) stands as a remarkably unique, well-crafted, cohesive project (and on a personal note it was this album that hooked me as a Dax fan for life and because of that this is my favourite in a way).

Like so many others, I was convinced this was going to be a major seller, especially after scoring wide critical acclaim including from the likes of the usually hard-to-please NME magazine. Just my own thoughts, and I could be wrong, but I believe a lot of it was down to the media's perception and a distinct lack of imagination; it was like, as Danielle had once said herself, they were afraid of new ideas, and this being such a radical and different body of work made some unsure how to react or what to make of 'Blast The Human Flower'. This, of course, meant the likes of Radio One, which could really make or break a record in terms of commercial success, often (shamefully) over-look her - not by everyone as there were some at Radio One that supported her, but not enough to give her work the saturated airplay that far less credible artists were afforded. A gross misinjustice indeed - people that were not familiar with her work just needed the CHANCE to hear it and let it grow on them, as the case with many records. On saying that, all was not lost; this album has grown in reputation over the ensuing years since its release, and was in high demand for a re-issue by readers of Collector's Choice, re-affirming that Dax still retains a large and loyal following from her fans out there (which many of the one-hit wonders of the 80s and 90s can only dream of!). Another thing I'm convinced of, which has been noted by a critic for the Guardian who wrote a lovely article about Dax, is that had she just been starting out now, she'd automatically command attention and undoubtedly would be the huge star she deserves to be. I nod in agreement when he concluded that perhaps she was just too way ahead of her time - hence why so many of us are still talking about and loving her music all these years later.

Anyway to the album: Kicking off proceedings with a bang is the stomping rocker 'The ID Parade', a number which echoes 'Cat House' in sound, though completely different in lyrical content. A scathing, and still relevant statement about war and political hypocrisy, the song makes the perfect opener. The trance-beat, indie/pop/dance treatment of The Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' (recently heralded by a music magazine as one of thirty essential Beatles cover versions) stays faithful to the original yet stands out as unique; Danielle puts her own magical touch to this re-working, and in the process she OWNS it. As a nod to her earlier experimental work where she would often intertwine Middle-Eastern flavours into her recordings, Indian-Bhangra sounds are weaved into the production, set against a swirling, psychedelic vibe, which works impeccably. As the verses progress, seagull noises are incorporated, whilst Dax sings in a light, high register that is virtually hypnotic.It's quite telling that in the areas that she did get support, her work would score high on the Independant charts, as was the case here: It was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic, going Top 10 on the MTV Indie Chart in the UK, while in the US flew to #5 on the Billboard Modern Rock Singles Chart.

Another catchy rocker follows with the desperate 'Big Blue' 82', a number I'm sure the likes of Blondie would have been proud to put their name to. As on every track here, Dax's inimitable spirit, fire and passion ignites the infectious arrangement. This was actually extracted as the second single in early 1991, though (curiously) no promotional video was made - surely this would have enhanced sales. The fact that it bares such grabbing hooks and a contagious, propulsive musical arrangement made it an ideal candidate for Top 40 radio.Although sounding nothing alike, 'Bayou' is like 'Tomorrow Never Knows' in its rich, dreamy musical landscapes, that holds a mystical and unearthly quality, deeming it thoroughly compelling listening. Truly a work of art, complete with dizzying synthesizers and insect-like electronics . The menacing 'King Crack' tells of a ruthless drug-dealer, with Dax scowling through the lyrics, leading to a nifty guitar solo from her long-standing friend and sporadic musical collaborator Karl Blake.

The shrewd dark twist on 'Daisy' is masked in a mysterious, beautiful folk-like arrangement, with an injection of striking poppy hooks that makes this sound as though it would be perfect for a movie soundtrack. Can you imagine how good a video this would have made. I'm convinced this should have been a single.

The mood darkens considerably even more on the superb 'Dead Man's Chill' with Dax jamming away on the racing, atmospheric arrangement, that also includes another of her long-standing friends and frequent music collaborators David Knight, who plays keyboards, bass and guitar (as he does on the majority of tracks). The swirling 'The Living And Their Stillborn' is a personal favourite of mine and one which I consider to be among Dax's definitive recordings. A melancholy social statement about the homeless, the music is intriguingly disjointed yet gells seamlessly, climaxing in a stunning jazz-like interlude.

'Jehovah's Precious Stone' speaks of organised religion and all its hypocrisies, and boasts a tight house groove that gives it ample commercial potential. This leads to the grand finale - '16 Candles'. Carrying a strong melody, it's further complemented by exalting violin interludes that mix nicely into its marching, gothic-like orchestration. David Cross from King Crimson is guest musician on this track (he also played on 'The Living And Their Stillborn'). Other guest musicians on this project include Pete Farrugia.

All told, 'Blast The Human Flower' remains a solid, dark, edgy and exciting piece of work. . It really is no overstatement to declare this an over-looked masterpiece! Bold, brash, adventurous, inventive and mind-blowing, Danielle Dax may be an unsung hero, but her work stands firmly as innovative and deserves to be acknowledged as one of the great women of rock music.

Ian Phillips