"Commercial Suicide"
1. Their Terrain
2. 2-Sixes
3. Metarkest
5. Commercial Suicide
6. I'm Still Here
7. Feigned Hearing

A masterpiece of refined electronic pop by the vocalist of major post-punk band Wire, featuring eccentric lyrics and surprising arrangements for chamber music ensemble, "Commercial Suicide" was recorded in collaboration with composer John Bonnar, Minimal Compact's Malka Spigel and engineer/producer Gilles Martin. This edition includes "Interview", an original 2x12-minute piece of music over which Colin Newman talks about his music.

Commercial Suicide by David Swift

Sixteen folks, including he, get a photo and a check on the inner sleeve. Their instruments are blown, bleeped, plucked, bowed or banged; Colin Newman has assembled his own chamber orchestra, and hidden beneath the naturally deadpan title, the work is of maximum beauty. He's always been the interesting one post-Wire. While many praise his first solo work, 'A-Z', I would never be without the third chapter, 'Not To'. (...) 'Commercial Suicide' breathes more deeply, affects on a wider scale. 'But I...' and 'Can I Explain The Delay ?' (very Newman, no ?), to name but two, sway in a forest of oboes, clarinets, digital treatments and real horns, with the wryest vocals in pop mooning in its self-referential soup. The man can hardly be described as humourless when the lyric sheet reads, for 'But I...': "(spoken at libidum until the music runs out, one gathers that the artist has been waiting for something and we wonder if it was a 71 bus)". 'Feigned Hearing' is priceless: the digital birdies chit-cheep, signalling a joyous spring, but we're not yet into mid-winter ! These processed soundings could hardly be richer. Nice one, Colin !

This piece appeared in the New Musical Express, Nov. 1986

Commercial Suicide in the press

"You can place 'Commercial Suicide' alongside Robert Wyatt's 'Rock Bottom' or Syd Barrett's 'The Madcap Laughs' in your record collection... just like these elders, Colin Newman is an excentric, in the better sense of the term" (Rock & Folk, France, '86)

"File under Genius, mad" (Sounds, UK, '87)

"One of the few Englishmen to whom I would give carte blanche to make pop." (Melody Maker, UK, '87)

"He's one of these tightrope walkers who throw narrow bridges between pop music and so-called 'new music': experimental, neo-classical, minimalism. Music with strange angles, biased perspectives... one thinks of paintings by Tanguy where mineral ectoplasms float in empty landcsapes" (Libération, France, '86)

"Insidiously powerful" (Record Mirror, UK, '87)

"If Colin Newman isn't careful he'll soon find himself horribly close to becoming popular" (Q, UK, '86)


It Seems
COLIN NEWMAN - Commercial Suicide
Commercial Suicide