The Saints - The Monkey Puzzle

The Saints - The Monkey Puzzle Lost LP

Original Release Date

1980

Release Information

Australia LP 1980 (Lost - YPRX-1806)

A1 Miss Wonderful 3:33
A2 Always, Always 3:50
A3 Paradise 3:44
A4 Let's Pretend 3:27
A5 Somebody 3:55
B1 Monkeys 4:38
B2 Mystery Dream 3:51
B3 In The Mirror 3:48
B4 Simple Love 4:20
B5 The Ballad 4:25
B6 Dizzy Miss Lizzy 3:29

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France LP+7" 1981 (New Rose - ROSE 1)

A1 Miss Wonderful 3:33
A2 Always 3:50
A3 Paradise 3:44
A4 Let's Pretend 3:27
A5 Somebody 3:55
B1 Monkey (Let's Go) 4:38
B2 Mystery Dream 3:51
B3 Simple Love 4:20
B4 The Ballad 4:25
B5 Dizzy Miss Lizzy 3:29
C (I'm) Stranded
D1 Security
D2 Perfect Day

Chart Placings

Australia: 85, ?? wks

Credits

Recorded at EMI Sydney
Engineer: Gerry Nixon. Producer: Chris Bailey
Mark Birmingham - drums
Barrington - guitar
Janine Hall - bass
Chris Bailey - singer
The Pig And Monkey Choir - backing vocals

'Always' and 'In The Mirror' recorded Polydor, London. Engineer: Dave Moore

'Dizzy Miss Lizzy' recorded Du Chesnay, France. Engineers: Patrick Worndritch and Bicci
Patrick Mathé - harmonica
Ivor Hay - keyboards

Photos: Jonathan Morris
Cover: John Morgan

Reviews & Opinions

SAINTS.COM: With the release of The Monkey Puzzle in the beginning of 1981, it was clear that while the obscure twists of Prehistoric Sounds weren't Bailey's cup of tea, neither was making another 'Eternally Yours'. 'The Monkey Puzzle' set the general pace for what most subsequent Saints records would sound like: not that they are all the same, not by a long shot, but the mix of tempos more in an almost pub rock kind of vein and the more soulful singing style. The frantic days were over. 'The Monkey Puzzle' is a fine record. "Always, Always", "Simple Love" and "In The Mirror" are first rate mid tempo rockers, and the cover of "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" is a lot of fun, even if it is pretty close to the Beatles version. There are plenty of horn charts, but they complement rather than overwhelm the guitar, and although Kueppers' slashing style of the early days is still missed, Barrington Francis is playing with a lot of character himself now. "Always, Always" and "Let's Pretend" were singles released from this album. In retrospect the soul styled horns should have been no surprise, since from the start the Saints showed a soft spot for soul songs (like "River Deep Mountain High"), but they had no way to create that kind of sound. Now Bailey's songwriting, singing, and musicianship were growing, and he had access to a community of other musicians to help him with horn arrangements, and he was bound to take advantage of the situation.

GEOFF GINSBERG, ALL MUSIC GUIDE: The Monkey Puzzle, the Saints' first full-length album after the departure of founding guitarist/songwriter Ed Kuepper, is quite different from the first three Saints LPs - which were all different from each other anyway - but holds up well to the test of time. Instead of the abrasive punk or Memphisy sound of earlier records, Monkey Puzzle's jangly rock hints at the direction bands like R.E.M. took mid-'80s college rock. Lead singer Chris Bailey's distinctive, resonant voice shines on the gorgeous 'Let's Pretend', the very Byrdsy 'Always', and the incendiary 'Simple Love'/ The Australian version also includes the classic B-side, 'In the Mirror,' with its highly memorable bass intro and astounding hooks, and a wonderfully sloppy and loose cover of Larry Williams' 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy.' Elsewhere, the fare is more conventional rock, albeit with chiming guitar, great songs, and singing. Barrington Francis' jangly guitar, original drummer Ivor Hay, and bassist Janine Hall give the band an entirely new dimension. On its release, Monkey Puzzle shocked fans with its maturity; though it was made by 21-year-old punk, most other 21-year-old punks thought it was too much like regular rock - a sin in 1981. Since it wasn't released in the U.S. or England, not many people heard it anyway. Ironically, a few years later, bands like Guadalcanal Diary and the Connells came to the forefront using a very similar approach. Of course, by then Bailey had moved into a whole new musical space. Highly recommended.

Additional Notes

The New Rose LP was distributed throughout Europe, making it, in effect, a UK release (which is why it is included here). The LP was reissued on CD in 1989 and 1993, but is best (and easiest) heard as on CD as part of The Greatest Cowboy Movie Never Made.

Images

The Saints - The Monkey Puzzle - Australia LP 1980 (Lost - YPRX-1806)The Saints - The Monkey Puzzle - Australia LP 1980 (Lost - YPRX-1806) Back Cover

Australia LP 1980 (Lost - YPRX-1806). Click here for more

The Saints - The Monkey Puzzle - France LP+7" 1981 (New Rose - ROSE 1)The Saints - The Monkey Puzzle - France LP+7" 1981 (New Rose - ROSE 1) Back Cover

France LP+7" 1981 (New Rose - ROSE 1). Click here for more

 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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