The Future Sound Of London ‎– Dead Cities

Astralwerks ‎– ASW 6181
CD, Album

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 The Future Sound Of London Herd Killing
Performer [Samples From 'Tougher Than Leather' LP] – Run DMC*Written-By [Samples From 'Tougher Than Leather' LP] – D. McDaniels*, J. Mizell*, J. Simmons*
2 The Future Sound Of London Dead Cities
Written-By [Outro Poetry] – Dick Verbatim
3 The Future Sound Of London Her Face Forms In Summertime 5:39
4 The Future Sound Of London We Have Explosive
Performer [Samples From 'Tougher Than Leather' LP] – Run DMC*Written-By [Samples From 'Tougher Than Leather' LP] – D. McDaniels*, J. Mizell*, J. Simmons*
5 The Future Sound Of London Everyone In The World Is Doing Something Without Me
Performer [Samples From] – Craig ArmstrongRecorded By [Pig] – YageVocals – Cobain*Voice [Samples From An Improvisation By] – Rebecca Caine
6 The Future Sound Of London My Kingdom
Drums – Richie Thomas 'Caught With The Dat Running'*Performer [Flute Sample From 'Once Upon A Time In America'] – Ennio MorriconePerformer [Guitar Sample From 'Pungent Effulgent'] – Ozric TentaclesPerformer [Voice Sample From 'Rachel's Song (Vangelis)' From Bladerunner Soundtrack] – Mary Hopkin
7 The Future Sound Of London Max
Alto Saxophone – Richie Thomas*Piano [Fed Through The Machines], Written-By – Max RichterRecorded By [Child's Voice] – The Bloke's A Nutter
8 The Future Sound Of London Antique Toy 5:43
9.1 The Future Sound Of London Quagmire
Performer [Samples Collected And Collated By] – Baker St. MythologyPerformer [Samples] – Philip Pin
9.2 The Future Sound Of London In A State Of Permanent Abyss
Performer [Samples From A Lost Recording Of 'Ripple'] – Max Richter
10 The Future Sound Of London Glass 5:38
11 The Future Sound Of London Yage
Musician – Byron ConPerformer [Samples From 'Jane Jane'] – Riz MaslenPerformer [Samples] – Leon MarRecorded By [Moroccan Flute] – Yage
12.1 The Future Sound Of London Vit Drowning 4:48
12.2 The Future Sound Of London Through Your Gills I Breathe 0:44
13.1 The Future Sound Of London First Death In The Family
Recorded By, Performer – B*
13.2 The Future Sound Of London (silence) 0:59
13.3 Headstone Lane Dead Cities Reprise
Recorded By – Simon WellsWhistle [Mouth] – Inert Armchair

Companies, etc.



Recorded at Earthbeat Studios, London, 1996.

The credits on the CD are misleading as to what the actual track list is, the back cover of the CD shows 15 tracks, the CD itself has 13 tracks. Two of the tracks are actually two songs in one. The last track has a hidden track after it titled "Dead Cities Reprise" and it starts at around 3:17 after 0:59 seconds of silence and is credited to Headstone Lane (Simon Wells). The total running time of track 9 is 6:57, of track 12 is 5:32 and of track 13 is 4:45.

The track listing listed here is as shown on a promo copy of the album.

℗ 1996 Virgin Records Ltd.
© 1996 Astralwerks/Caroline

Standard jewel case.
Front insert: 12-page stapled booklet, color print exterior and interior.
Back insert: color print exterior, no print interior.
Disc tray: gray.
CD: CMYK print.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 0 17046 61812 0
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 1): MASTERED BY EMI MFG. ASW06181 1-1-2
  • Matrix / Runout (Variants 2, 3): MASTERED BY EMI MFG. ASW06181 1-1-1
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 4, 5): MASTERED BY EMI MFG. ASW06181 1-1-4
  • Mastering SID Code: IFPI L043
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 1): ifpi 1638
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 2): ifpi 1650
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 3): ifpi 1639
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 4): ifpi 1635
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 5): ifpi 165A

Other Versions (5 of 26) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
CDV2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 The Future Sound Of London Dead Cities(CD, Album) Virgin, Virgin CDV2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 UK & Europe 1996 Sell This Version
CDV2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 The Future Sound Of London Dead Cities(CD, Album, Unofficial) Virgin (2), Virgin (2) CDV2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 Russia Unknown Sell This Version
CDV 2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 The Future Sound Of London Dead Cities(CD, Album) Virgin, Virgin CDV 2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 UK 1996 Sell This Version
CDV2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 The Future Sound Of London Dead Cities(CD, Album, Unofficial) Virgin (2), Virgin (2), Electronic Brain Violence (2), Electronic Brain Violence (2) CDV2814, 7243 8 42068 2 6 Unknown Sell This Version
none The Future Sound Of London Dead Cities(13xFile, MP3, Album, 320) Virgin none Unknown


Reviews Show All 7 Reviews

Add Review



December 11, 2017
edited over 3 years ago

This album is so unique in it's own dystopian sort of way. When you listen to it you almost feel as if you're the only one alive on earth at times. Industrial is brought in which gives it a very dark and brooding atmosphere which is in total contrast to their first album Accelerator which made you "feel good". I can describe this as Cyberpunk. Would be great in a movie like Blade Runner or The Matrix.

"Max" is a track that stops the doom and gloom and gives you 3 minutes of pure peace. Almost as if you're sailing on an endless river.

We Have Explosive is an amazing single. Clever manipulation of sounds and so hard-hitting. This is the one on the album that you should blast at full volume.

This is their best album by far. This album is the one that got me into the band along with "Papua New Guinea".

The artwork is spooky and phenomenal as well. So weird and quirky and unique.


May 22, 2011
This album is dark, paranoid, dystopian, isolating. The songs are unexpected and the writing style goes places I didn't expect. I'm not sure this album is as good as the other stuff (Lifeforms, Cascade, etc) but it's emotionally compelling and in a way more "cool" as it seems to align more with darker Industrial than Ambient.


November 16, 2008
Released in 1996, Dead Cities was Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans' fourth full length album as The Future Sound of London. Dead Cities was that very last record and then there was a torturing silence for six years. Even when the duo returned in 2002 with The Isness, it was ... not the same... How can one describe the layered dark samples with memorable vocal lines that are implanted in my brain? "I have killed a man. A man who looked like me." The album is an absolute classic, and its complex ambient and cinematic fragments continue to offer new insight into the minds of FSOL. Dead Cities was not received with as much success as my absolute favorite, earlier 1994 release Lifeforms [the latter climbed to 6 position on the UK Album Charts, while Dead Cities got up to 22]. The music of Dead Cities features more sampled beats carefully blending in big-beat and bringing trip-hop into the mix. We Have Explosive (which also came out as a single) features several samples from Run DMC's album Tougher Than Leather. The rest of the sounds [all very dear and familiar to my mind at this point] all convey the atmosphere of urban decay. An album from the future that rusted in the past. Like a empty feeling after watching a rerun of Blade Runner [and the sample off Mary Hopkin's vocals from the movie's soundtrack], the eerie nostalgia of revisiting a dirty old friend crackles in the hindsight. Oh, and how's this for a shocker for you. The album cover (and the two inserts that house the double vinyl) feature 3D graphics and digitally processed photography by Buggy G. Riphead. This is one of the albums to hold in your hands and marvel at its grandiose and epic stand in time.


February 21, 2008
Listening in retrospect of FSOL's career, this was the final realisation of a sound which started with Lifeforms, was nurtured with ISDN and finally matured with Dead Cities. It is without doubt the darkest, most emotionally-brittle album they made and clearly paints a picture of the frustrated, turbulent mindset of two artists who had reached a destination in their career, which perhaps wasn't where they wanted it to be. That's not to say the album is weak, as in fact it is probably their strongest, most cohesive work. Still, the overbearing downbeat mood of the music the track titles and even the cover art suggest that nothing more could be said and a time for change was needed.

Funnily enough, it happened and 10 years later, they returned with an optimistic, warm new sound as Amorphous Androgynous, which associated itself more with the sounds of the past than the future - almost like an inverted reflection of Dead Cities, which depicts a lonely, suffocating future. The irony is, after two AA albums, I feel myself yearning for a return to the Dead Cities. It will be interesting to see where (if anywhere) FSOL arrive to next.


November 13, 2007
edited over 9 years ago

You're laying down. The ligts are dimmed.

Then it hits, like a soundcheck to check your volume levels. You rise up to set the them right, and go back to your previous position. Futuristic beats cut the air for two minutes. Then... a dark, ominous, EVIL bass surfaces. "I have killed a man..". Now we know. We're on a journey.

Maybe FSOL made their name with dancey tracks like Papua New Guinea, but this is something completely different. Highly recommended for any fan of electronic music.


July 21, 2006
edited over 14 years ago
When forced to pick a favorite FSOL album, its a hard decision for me.. But I honestly think Dead Cities would be my choice. It combines everything they've done on earlier albums yet still brings new styles to the plate. First thing you'll notice on this album is how much more agressive it is then previous releases by them. The track "We Have Explosive" is a good example of this. Industrial techno I guess you could call it. There are chilled tracks on here too though (My Kingdom) but the noise seems to take over most of the CD. I also find the artwork to be pretty interesting. At first glance it might seem a little cheesey.. but if you look closely you'll notice the background is a REAL city, while that tunnel and man are CGI. If you're new to FSOL there is no better place to start then with Dead Cities.


July 7, 2006
edited over 14 years ago

Along with Pentatoniks "Anthology", Aphex Twins "I care because you do" and BoCs "Twoism", this album has to be one of the most influential Electronica releases in my life.
Breakbeat, Ambient, D&B and much more, all merged together to a fantastic musical journey I'm glad I made. Pack your bags, this is Electronica at it's best!