At the beginning of 2018, it was announced that this year would finally see the release of the long anticipated 3CD ‘Definitive Edition’ of Twelfth Night’s ‘Fact & Fiction’.
The original album has long been a favourite for fans of the Reading proggers, and for those fans who’ve purchased previous albums as definitive editions, each passing month suggested that the newly expanded ‘F&F’ could be the best of the lot.
While no final tracklist has been confirmed, drummer Brian Devoil has stated that the multi-disc set will include expansive studio and live recordings, with many dating from the period itself. The set will be bolstered by later recordings of ‘Fact & Fiction’ related material, from both the band and their friends.
An excerpt from the current Twelfth Night newsletter follows…
Fact and Fiction is the latest of our original albums to be given the Definitive Edition
treatment. However, in a change to the previous releases I felt that, rather than augment the original LP with other tracks that featured in the
band’s live set at the time, this time we should just focus on the original tracks and give a glimpse of how they had developed through the various processes of writing, rehearsing, demoing, recording, and finally being played live.
I’m delighted to say that we have been able to represent all of these in this release. In addition, as a number of cover versions and reworkings already existed, we commissioned new recordings from band members, contemporaries
and current artists to show how other artists interpreted the tracks. We think these
complement our own versions, and bring out the true strength of the original songs.
The content of the three CDs is as follows: Disc One – Studio 1982, Disc Two – Live 1983-2012 and Demos 1982, Disc Three – Covers & Interpretations 1983-2018.
Disc One includes all the recordings done at Revolution Studios: the album, the single, and the original version of Human Being.
Disc Two includes a live version of each album track compiled from a number of different sources enabling us to show how Geoff, Andy and Mark (and the rest of us) interpreted the songs on stage. Several of these recordings are previously unreleased, most notably three tracks recorded at Geoff’s
farewell shows in 1983 (two from the night not featured on the Live and Let Live album), specially remixed for us by Karl Groom. There are also as-they-were-played renditions of World Without End and Creepshow, the latter from 2012’s Summers End show, described by Prog magazine’s Jerry
Ewing as “simply amazing!” And, as an encore, the guitar-based version of Fact and Fiction from the forthcoming A Night To Remember, recorded at the Barbican in December 2012.
The live tracks are followed by the demos, recorded in our favourite local studio (where we recorded Blondon Fair for Virgin several years later). For the first time we are including the demo of Creepshow
(closing section) which starts with a completely different speech. Originally titled ‘After The BombDrops’, this was later replaced by the ‘Nerve Centre, Mirror one’. This early version references the ‘haphazard planning for nuclear war’ lyrics of Fact and Fiction.
Disc Three contains at least one version of all the original album’s eight tracks. We would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has allowed us to include their recordings. The contributors read
like a list of prog-rock royalty, and include Tim Bowness (successful solo artist, No-Man with Steven Wilson), Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon, Caamora), Galahad, Coburg, (featuring the enchanting voice of Anastasia Coburg), Pendragon, Alan Reed & Kim Seviour, the Eh Geoff Mann Band, and last (but most certainly not least) our own ‘musical superhero’ Mark Spencer, who has given us advance mixes of two tracks that he hopes to release on his own album in the future.
Later on we plan to make available, by download, a further 60 minutes or so of material – that we couldn’t find room for on the 3 CDs. This will include some of the earliest incarnations of the ‘F&F’ tracks, some as they were being written! In addition more tracks from rehearsals, live versions featuring some special guests, and at least one other radical reworking…
This all sounds amazing. Real Gone will bring more news – and hopefully a tracklisting – as soon as such things become available.
In the meantime, you can visit the Twelfth Night website here.