Torch Song “Toward The Unknown Region” 1995

This album was a long time in the making, as I have previously mentioned. Laurie Mayer started demoing it in 1988 at a studio called Bedlam in Wandsworth, owned by the Thompson Twins. She was aided initially by one Rik Kenton, a man whose immortality is assured by his short tenure with Roxy Music, and the fact that he played bass on their classic debut single Virginia Plain.

We then developed it for a while in our home studio and at Guerilla in Crouch End. But other projects kept getting in the way, and it wasn’t until 1993 that William Orbit started to mix it, a mix that ended up taking a couple of years. When William landed a label deal with Warner Brothers we finally had the means to finish it and release it, along with William’s Strange Cargo: Hinterland and his first volume of classical arrangements, Pieces In A Modern Style. These albums were unavailable for a long time but Warners have now kindly made them available on YouTube.

I feel that William’s mix of this album is one of his very best, and it still sounds good to me more than 20 years later. Uniquely, there was also a live performance, which took place at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and can be viewed here. Yes reader, that is me lurking behind Laurie, with the untenably long hair. I’m happy to say that my barber-phobia is now cured.

12 thoughts on “Torch Song “Toward The Unknown Region” 1995

  1. Per Christian Frankplads June 12, 2017 / 4:46 am

    Thanks for the story, Rico! Very interesting to read more about the background for this fantastic and breathtaking album.

    1) It doesn’t seem like Warner have actually made any of those three albums available on YouTube, but they are on the music streaming services. And the whole Torch Song album is also here:

    2) Would you, William or Laurie have the video (and/or other footage) from the concert in higher quality? Would love to see the whole evening!

    Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ricoconning June 12, 2017 / 5:55 am

    Thanks! The links in the article will take you to the Warners uploads, although I suppose they may not work in every territory. I don’t know of a higher quality copy of the live footage, but I will look into it.


    • Per Christian Frankplads June 13, 2017 / 12:05 am

      Aha, you’re right about the links, and also that they don’t work where I am now. 🙂

      And even if you don’t find higher quality footage, that 23 minutes clip is still wonderful to view.


  3. Rob Mo June 12, 2017 / 9:28 am

    still love this album.. the track referencing ‘Living out of time’ still gives me chills. I was at the QE gig !! … also a question for you… The Electric Chamber album sounds different in more ways than just the track list when it was put together later as a WO Pieces in a Modern Style album, is it just me ? or was a different mixdown/mastering used ? … anyhoo…loved your F242 mixes on Mixed by Fear


    • ricoconning June 12, 2017 / 7:37 pm

      Thanks Rob, not sure exactly what the deal was with Pieces, I know the very first version had to be revised…


  4. Chris Gregory June 12, 2017 / 9:50 am

    The TS QEH clip on that YT URL is 240p – I have a 320*256 FLV …..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exo UK June 14, 2017 / 6:26 pm

      Sadly, I don’t have that in my archives. I’ve got transfers from the DV tape of Cargo & Pieces but missing Lavelle & TS which is frustrating.
      The only copy I’ve seen is a VHS transfer. I think we had it on WO’s YouTube channel once.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ricoconning June 14, 2017 / 6:39 pm

        Richard who actually shot the footage? Maybe we can track down the original master…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exo UK June 14, 2017 / 6:59 pm

        Hi Rico, the VHS tape I had was marked as “THE OFFLINE EDITING CO”, and has Warners listed as the client. So you’d think Warners would have a copy?
        Offline Editing seem to be based in Poland St.

        VHS Label:


    • ricoconning June 13, 2017 / 10:25 pm

      As it happens I do, Pups Castellana. Pesky ones.


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