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Alphaville / Afternoons in Utopia and The Breathtaking Blue reissues

Remastered and expanded • Songlines film on DVD

Alphaville / Afternoons in Utopia reissue
Alphaville’s Afternoons in Utopia

Alphaville will reissue their second and third albums Afternoons In Utopia and The Breathtaking Blue in May, both with remastered audio and bonus material.

Afternoons in Utopia was issued in 1986, two years after the success of their debut album Forever Young. It features the singles ‘Dance With Me’, ‘Universal Daddy’ and ‘Jerusalem’.

These reissues have been personally supervised by Alphaville founding members Marian Gold and Bernhard Lloyd and for the two-CD deluxe edition of Afternoons in Utopia, the 13-track album is remastered on CD 1, while CD 2 offers 14 remastered B-sides, 12-inch and seven-inch remixes, demos and a rare live version of the single ‘Dance With Me’. It comes with a 20-page booklet.

While the gatefold vinyl edition offers just the remastered album, it’s worth pointing out that this does come with a 24-page large format booklet. This features archive photos and a new interview with Bernhard Lloyd and producer Peter Walsh.

The band’s third studio album, The Breathtaking Blue was co-produced by Klaus Schulze (briefly a member of Tangerine Dream in the late 1960s) and released in 1989. It features the singles ‘Romeos’, ‘Summer Rain’ and ‘Mysteries of Love’.

Rather like Eurythmics’ 1987 album Savage, Alphaville produced a video album, Songlines, which saw them commission short films from nine directors for each of the album tracks. The video for the song ‘Middle of the Riddle’ actually won an Oscar (!) for Best Animated Short Film in 1990 (it was renamed as ‘Balance’). Unlike Eurythmics, Alphaville have included this longform video as part of the album reissue. Even better, it was shot on 35mm film, so it now looks fantastic. The audio for the film is remastered as well, with the correct edits (where used) in place. Songlines has only ever been available commercially in Germany, on VHS or laserdisc.

This means that the deluxe CD edition for The Breathtaking Blue is a 2CD+DVD set, with disc two featuring remixes, B-sides and demos and the third disc features the Songlines film. As a bonus the DVD also includes the CD-Graphics which came with the original CD (The Breathtaking Blue was one of the first albums to include this on CD).

Vinyl fans don’t miss out on the visuals, since the remastered vinyl version of The Breathtaking Blue comes with the DVD as well. Like Afternoons in Utopia, the vinyl is a gatefold and comes with a large format 24-page booklet. Both vinyl reissues are 180g pressings.

The Afternoons in Utopia and The Breathtaking Blue reissues will be released on 7 May 2021, via Rhino. Now’s a good to remind you that the SDE shop has a few remaining copies of Forever Young on limited edition orange vinyl.

JPC links: Having some technical issues with JPC links coming through correctly on the widgets. Should you experience any issues, ALL FOUR products are available to pre-order from JPC using this link.

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Alphaville

Afternoons in Utopia - 2CD deluxe

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Alphaville

Afternoons in Utopia - vinyl LP

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Alphaville

The Breathtaking Blue - 2CD+DVD deluxe

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Alphaville

The Breathtaking Blue - vinyl LP + DVD

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Afternoons in Utopia 2CD deluxe

CD1

1. IAO – 2021 Remaster
2. Fantastic Dream – 2021 Remaster
3. Jerusalem – 2021 Remaster
4. Dance With Me – 2021 Remaster
5. Afternoons In Utopia – 2021 Remaster
6. Sensations – 2021 Remaster
7. 20th Century – 2021 Remaster
8. The Voyager – 2021 Remaster
9. Carol Masters – 2021 Remaster
10. Universal Daddy – 2021 Remaster
11. Lassie Come Home – 2021 Remaster
12. Red Rose – 2021 Remaster
13. Lady Bright – 2021 Remaster

CD2

1. Dance With Me – Empire Remix; 2021 Remaster
2. Universal Daddy – Aquarian Dance Mix; 2021 Remaster
3. Jerusalem – The Palace Version; 2021 Remaster
4. Sensations – Club Mix; 2021 Remaster
5. Red Rose – The Remix; 2021 Remaster
6. The Nelson Highrise (Sector 2: The Mirror); 2021 Remaster
7. Next Generation – 2021 Remaster
8. Vingt Mille Lieues Sous Les Mers incl. The Nelson Highrise (Sector 3: The Garage); 2021 Remaster
9. Big Yello Sun (Concrete Soundtraxx For Imaginary Films I); 2021 Remaster
10.Red Rose – 7“ Remix; 2021 Remaster
11. Sensations – 7“ Remix; 2021 Remaster
12. Carol Masters – Original Demo; 2021 Remaster
13. Lassie Come Home – Original Demo; 2021 Remaster
14. Dance With Me – unplugged – Live in Salt Lake City 1999; 2021 Remaster

Afternoons in Utopia gatefold vinyl LP

Side A

1. IAO – 2021 Remaster
2. Fantastic Dream – 2021 Remaster
3. Jerusalem – 2021 Remaster
4. Dance With Me – 2021 Remaster
5. Afternoons In Utopia – 2021 Remaster
6. Sensations – 2021 Remaster
7. 20th Century – 2021 Remaster

Side B

8. The Voyager – 2021 Remaster
9. Carol Masters – 2021 Remaster
10. Universal Daddy – 2021 Remaster
11. Lassie Come Home – 2021 Remaster
12. Red Rose – 2021 Remaster
13. Lady Bright – 2021 Remaster

The Breathtaking Blue 2CD+DVD deluxe

CD1

1. Summer Rain – 2021 Remaster
2. Romeos – 2021 Remaster
3. She Fades Away – 2021 Remaster
4. The Mysteries Of Love – 2021 Remaster
5. Ariana – 2021 Remaster
6. Heaven Or Hell – 2021 Remaster
7. For A Million – 2021 Remaster
8. Middle Of The Riddle – 2021 Remaster
9. Patricia’s Park – 2021 Remaster
10. Anyway – 2021 Remaster
11. – Romeos – Single Version – 2021 Remaster
12. – Summer Rain – Single Version – 2021 Remaster
13. – Mysteries Of Love – 7“ Remix Edit – 2021 Remaster

CD2

1. Romeos – Extended Mix; 2021 Remaster
2. Summer Rain – Extended Version; 2021 Remaster
3. Mysteries Of Love – Remix; 2021 Remaster
4. Headlines; 2021 Remaster
5. Sister Sun; 2021 Remaster
6. Like Thunder; 2021 Remaster
7. Summer In Berlin – Demo Version Remix; 2021 Remaster
8. She Fades Away (Titanic Version) Original Demo; 2021 Remaster
9. Ariana – Original Demo; 2021 Remaster
10. Heaven Or Hell – Original Demo; 2021 Remaster
11. Headlines- Original Demo; 2021 Remaster
12. The Mysteries Of Love – Alternative Remix; 2021 Remaster
13. Romeos – Teknopella; 2021 Remaster
14. Romeos – Balcony Mix; 2021 Remaster
15. Romeos – Radio Edit; 2021 Remaster
16. Romeos – Tribal Mix; 2021 Remaster

DVD

The Breathtaking Blue – Songlines
CD+G animations for all album tracks from 1989

The Breathtaking Blue vinyl LP + DVD

LP

Side A:

1. Summer Rain – 2021 Remaster
2. Romeos – 2021 Remaster
3. She Fades Away – 2021 Remaster
4. The Mysteries Of Love – 2021 Remaster
5. Ariana – 2021 Remaster

Side B:

6. Heaven Or Hell – 2021 Remaster
7. For A Million – 2021 Remaster
8. Middle Of The Riddle – 2021 Remaster
9. Patricia’s Park – 2021 Remaster
10. Anyway – 2021 Remaster

DVD:

The Breathtaking Blue – Songlines
CD+G animations for all album tracks from 1989

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33 Comments

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Tom Mureika

Does anyone know if the “Songlines” DVD is region-locked or if it will play on North American DVD players? Would be very handy to know…!

Tom Mureika

Thanks, Paul! Much appreciated!

Tom Mureika

Hey, Paul. Also, I am having difficulty pre-ordering “The Breathtaking Blue” 2CD+DVD to Canada. JPC says they do ship to Canada, but when I try ordering, their site says it has no copies available to ship to Canada, while Amazon.UK just says they are out of stock. I am desperately wanting this package. Any suggestions you could please offer me? Thanks for any help you could provide! I would be very much appreciative!

Rickjapan

Juha below advised me to use Rhino, which he/she used from Canada with no problem. I was able to use Rhino from Japan, too.

Rickjapan

And just like Howard Jones, everything is showing up as temporarily out of stock. I don’t understand how something that hasn’t been released yet can be out of stock.

Rickjapan

Thanks Paul

Amazon is doing weird things in lots of respects, especially humongous postal charges from UK Amazon. Crossed fingers that I’ll be able to buy these things from somewhere at some point, being a huge Alphaville fan

Juha

I live in Canada. I was getting the item unavailable message from all Amazon sites. I was able to preorder from the Rhino website with ease.

Rickjapan

Juha

Thanks for the info, I managed to order from Rhino with no problem.

Don’t know if it’s the cheapest, but really want these releases.

Jyo

Does anyone know if the DVD is NTSC or PAL, and if it’s region-locked? The fact that Amazon USA hasn’t picked it up yet is making my spidey-sense tingle. Thanks in advance.

mike

ordered both vinyls and both cd packages-hopefully they continue to release prostitue and salvation on vinyl!!

Ian F

Perfect timing! Ditched my Japan Quiet Life deluxe pre order from amazon Italy and bought these instead. Thanks Paul.

FM

Seeing this news made my week. I’ve wanted remastered version of these albums, especially Afternoons in Utopia, for so long. And I’m thrilled I don’t have to buy a record I’ll never play to get the CD content I want.

Roberto Herencia

Why no DVD for the Afternoons in Utopia release ? . Please consider adding it to the offer.

MichaelC

There is no DVD with the Afternoons In Utopia album as there never was one in the first place.
The article actually explains all of this.

Kevin W

The deluxe _Forever Young_ came with a DVD with a documentary and videos; so for consistency’s sake _Afternoons in Utopia_ could have had the same. Then all three titles would have been 2CD+DVD editions :)

Isaías

This time I’m really pleased ‘cose I’m not forced to buy a deluxe edition with vinyl included. The booklet is shorter I know but the most important to me is the music itself and it’s all there, and video !!!!!
I have some artists boxes and sometimes (although it’s worth) it’s really bore to read all the content so I do not complain when it brings just what’s necessary to know about the album. For the people who feels it’s a important part of the whole package I understand completly.

Kiki_

Ordered ! So happy to see these !
Well, i’m not sure that everything that was on the “Dreamscapes” box set has been put down here (really, I’d like to see this long out of print box repressed !) but i’m really happy to see that finally we got the whole 80’s discography of that marvelous band !

Larry Davis

Will buy these as I love Alphaville…agree about continuity though & woulda preferred both reissues to be the same as Forever Young, with the vinyl, also a DVD on Utopia with the vidclips, hope the DVD on Breathtaking Blue has vidclips, perhaps of both albums…as for CD+G, kinda cool it’s included but kinda pointless as it’s the Pong of music video if I recall…also am I the only one who thinks Ariana shoulda been a single?? Remixes of that would have been cool…and are reissues going to continue past TBB?? One of Prostitute would be next…as for the formats, I’ll stick with the CDs, but if I feel the booklet is lacking on both, only then will I buy the vinyls…

Simon Horton

I’m deeply unhappy that the vinyl release has a comprehensive booklet with it, but the CD version has an abridged, much shorted booklet that does NOT replicate the content of the vinyl book. Come on guys! Let’s get these releases right once and for all! I appreciate not being forced to buy vinyl by releasing them separately, but you CAN’T then make the two versions different, as I feel, yet again, that I’m missing out by NOT buying the vinyl. I personally feel this is a major mistake, since it feels very harsh to give CD buyers LESS than vinyl buyers…
I would hope that they might reconsider this decision, since I feel very cheated as a CD buyer, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I STILL feel forced to buy both versions (which I simply can’t afford) – the cynic in me thinks the decision was driven by the desire to rake in more cash…

DiscoDave2000

I like to fancy myself a casual collector of CD+G titles even though they are so primitive for the most part. It’s kind of cool that someone remembered “hey we did those CD+Gs 32 years ago. Let’s throw them on the SDE too.” I’m still hunting down CD+G titles for Simply Red’s “Picture Book” and Donna Summer’s “Another Place and Time” If anyone has them for sale.

Bram

Happy about this — both albums are among my all time favorites. Shame they didn’t opt for 5.1 surround mix; I would LOVE to hear Alphaville music in surround. But who knows, someday…

Kauwgompie

Not much new as it relates to Afternoons In Utopia if you already have the Blank & Jones S080s Alphaville release. Still nice to have as this is an absolutely outstanding album.
Breathtaking Blue I did not have already before and the Blank & Jones release doesn’t cover it very extensively so you get a bunch of additional remixes here. That’s good news. Will get that too. All in all, very exciting news.

Francois

Ok, here is the first gundgy comment.
I own and love the SuperDeluxe of Forever Young. Everything (CD, bonus, DVD and LP)in one package (much similar to the Doors SDEs or Lou Reed’s New York) and well priced.
Now they move to separate editions, I know there is going to be a lot of people who jump and says “hurra no forced vinyl purchase”, but now we have three near-perfect albums in two different deluxe format. I will even have two DVDs if I choose to go for the vinyl and the CD editions of “Blue”, as I want the album on vinyl but also the bonuses on cd 2..
All in all, I would have preferred the inflated 49.99€ version to be available along these individual releases, if only for the sake of continuity in my collection.

Shawn C.

Wow, very excited about this! Did not expect it. I absolutely love both of these albums.

I recall Afternoons in Utopia being savaged by critics in the US, though it had positive reviews elsewhere (Rolling Stone gave it a particularly scathing review if I recall correctly). Nonetheless, Alphaville managed to get “Dance With Me” onto the fringe Hot Maxi Singles and US Club Play charts and the album squeaked into the Billboard 200. They also released “Red Rose,” but it went nowhere.

It is a very different album than Forever Young, with a more science fiction based concept album feel. It is also less “synth pop” (though absolutely still present), employing numerous musicians (horns, guitar, drums) and a choir. Personally, I think “Sensations,” “The Voyager,” and “Universal Daddy” are the standouts, though apparently Marian Gold despises “Universal Daddy” (not sure why). There isn’t a bad song on the album as far as I’m concerned.

Breathtaking Blue is more similar to Forever Young, with a less science fiction/concept album direction, though Alphaville continued to include numerous instruments beyond synths. It was easy to miss this album in the US. “Romeos” was released as a single but did nothing, this despite having the superior and difficult to find “Headlines” as a B-side. There are a number of excellent tracks on this album, including the standout “She Fades Away,” as well as “Summer Rain,” “Mysteries of Love,” “Ariana,” “For a Million Years,” and “Anyway.”

Both Afternoons and Breathtaking Blue were mined pretty heavily for the 1999 box “Dreamscapes” and the Blank & Jones “So 80s” set in 2014, so it is hard to imagine much new being added on the bonus discs for fans who have those collections. However, “Dreamscapes” is long out of print. I’m excited about the remastering and the DVD release of Songlines is a great bonus.

I managed to get all four releases, CD & vinyl, for a little over $100 on JPC with very reasonable shipping to the US (unlike Amazon UK, which is now simply outrageous). Thanks for the heads up Paul!

dazzler

Finally. I liked the 2CD deluxe edition of Forever Young. Very well executed. All the regular 7″ and 12″ stuff on the second disc. I will without any doubt purchase both follow ups.

Motspur

Hi Paul , the links refer to Plastic Ono Band!

Geezer C

Pity the Dub Mixes of Sensations & Red Rose are missing from Afternoons In Utopia, but I’ll probably buy it anyway. A DVD of all the video clips would’ve been nice, as they included one with the Forever Young deluxe edition.

Juan Carlos

They are mocking us just as they did with the So80s Compilation, instead of the Dub Mixes from Sensations & Red Rose which are great…., you get the stupid Tornsten Fenslau Remix from Big in Japan, yipeee

Craig

I’ve been through three copies (the entire store stock, actually) of the orange vinyl Forever Young (it’s a Barnes & Noble Bookseller Exclusive here in the US), due to pressing issues. Each copy had an excessive amount of rumble, pops, clicks and tics throughout. Anyone have anything to say about their UK bought pressing. I’m considering ordering from the SDE shop but veeeeeeery wary.