Thursday, June 28, 2007


Electronic, Rock
Alternative Rock, New Wave

Kevin Dolan - drums
John Blake - bass
Chris Manecke - guitar, vocals, keyboards

VIDEOS with comments :

I agree with Miss Parker :
"Abecedarians sound a whole lot like Chameleons UK - which isn't so bad." -Miss Parker.



01 Smiling Monarchs
02 Benway's Carnival

Link to download:

"One of the great hidden gems of electronic music, this three piece band hailing from California pulled out all the stops for their debut single on Factory in 1985. A whooshing rising tone brings the proceedings to a start, segueing into a heavy morse code synth pattern as a massive bombastic drum beat engulfs the speakers like John Bonham at the drum kit of the damned. A playful hail to the king melody announces the arrival of the title's grinning royalty, punctuated by lead singer Chris Manecke's stentorian vocals. If one were forced to make a comparison then it's the best song The Human League never wrote - who themselves at this point (1985) had lost it big time.
Factoid: Uncredited mixing duties were provided by New Order's Bernard Sumner"


EUREKA EP (1986)

Tracklist :

01 Ghosts
02 Soil
03 Beneath the City of the Hedonistic Bohemians
04 I Glide
05 Mice & Coconut Tree
06 The Misery of Cities

Link to download:

"The Abecedarians' first full record wore its British influences heavily on its sleeve, so it's no wonder the band had already released a single on Factory Records -- at times, you get the feeling that all three members listened to nothing but Closer and maybe some A Certain Ratio and Crispy Ambulance material when they were first forming the band. Far from being simply copycats, though, the trio brought in a stark emotional and musical sensibility to the realm of American indie-rock of the time, avoiding either post-R.E.M. jangle or incipient punk-grunge snottiness. If anything, their peers were the likes of American Music Club and Thin White Rope, though Eureka's lengthy tracks doesn't quite reach as high as either of those two bands at their finest. Guitarist/vocalist Chris Manecke takes understandable center stage; his stringwork unsurprisingly relies heavily on digital reverb, though that isn't used as a fig leaf to cover inadequacies, as his sharp slashing on songs like "Ghost" demonstrates. As a vocalist, the Ian Curtis/Bernard Sumner style of flat projection is a clear model for Manecke, but so is the quiet intensity of the Comsat Angels' Stephen Fellows and the Sound's Adrian Borland's empathetic passion, making for an attractive overall combination. The crisp interplay of drummer Kevin Dolan and bassist John Blake (the latter of whom throws in some [at times] surprisingly funky fretless work) makes for the perfect counterpart to Manecke. Picking out highlights is a bit hard -- Eureka is consistently strong throughout -- but there are some definite breathtaking moments. "Soil" blends a relentless drive that calls to mind late-'70s Bowie with some truly haunting guitar lines, while the instrumental "The Other Side of the Fence" adds piano and synthesizer to a slightly gentler arrangement to set a definite sense of downbeat mood, much like Joy Division's "The Eternal.""

"If you love melodic music thats not too soft or not to hard, this is the album. It came out in 1986 and im still listening to it in 2005!"

LIVE AT ROXY 11.09.1986

Abecedarians opened for the Durutti Column

Tracklist :

01 Press Escape
02 Where Whitie Ain't Allowed
03 John's Pop
04 Suffrin' Tarnation
05 Ghosts
06 Spagetti Western
07 Soil
08 Misery Of Cities
09 Panic In Needle Park

Link to download:

RESIN (1987)

Tracklist :

01 Dinner
02 Spaghetti Western
03 Where Whitie Ain't Allowed
04 Wild Flowers Grow From the Trash
05 Press Escape
06 Laugh at Yourself
07 Sufferin' Tarnation
08 Panic in Needle Park

Link to download:

"A little more conventionally rocking than the spare impact of Eureka, Resin maintains the same level of punch and post-punk emotionalism which characterizes the Abecedarians' sound, resulting in another miniclassic to go alongside the earlier record. At a few points, Manecke's lyrics don't quite connect as they should -- while the delivery of "Dinner" is marvelous, as is the nervous crawl of the music, the lyrical combination of religion, sex and food is a bit tortured as the song progresses. This said, it's all about the general ambience to begin with, and on that level the Abecedarians are again flawless, bringing a haunting darkness to just about everything they do. Though the bandmembers work with a different engineer here than any of the three which helped on Eureka, the basic sound of the band remains almost exactly the same, a testament to how clear the trio was about its music. In a neat development, a little bit of humor creeps into things as well on Resin. The self-explanatory "Spaghetti Western," with Manecke delivering a great Morricone impersonation on guitar while archly singing about sheriffs shooting down best friends and waiting for the hangman's noose -- it's clearly not meant to be taken seriously, and helps in considering the rest of the album with a slightly lighter eye as well, especially considering other tracks are called "Sufferin' Tarnation (Surf Western)" and "Where Whitie Ain't Allowed," an instrumental aside from the movie sample which provides the title. It isn't all fun and games, though, and on songs like the forceful "Press Escape," where the sly computer metaphor of the title hints at the wracked lyrics and strong music of the track, the Abecedarians come into a power all their own. ~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide"

AB-CD (1988)

Track 1-5: From the LP "Eureka", originally released June 1986 on South West Audio Reproductions. Re-released on Caroline Records (Carol 1342) in August 1987.
Track 6: Originally released on Factory UK. July 1985
Track 7-13: From the LP "Resin", released February 1988 on Caroline Records (Carol 1343).

Tracklist :

01 Ghosts
02 Soil
03 Other Side Of The Future, The
04 I Glide
05 Mice And Coconut Tree
06 Smiling Monarchs
07 Dinner
08 Spaghetti Western
09 Where White Ain't Allowed
10 Press Escape
11 Laugh At Yourself
12 Surf Western
13 Panic At Needle Park

Link to download:

"I had many of these cuts on their original vinyl sources, which is why - that one fateful afternoon at the record store when I held this in my hand - I didn't get it. Big mistake. MTV gave the cut 'Soil' some play on 120 Minutes (it is one of their best - good video too) and they made some nice comps to boot. I think this is kinda dark, almost what is now called goth; but this band could really play and the songs were always tight. If you remember 120 Minutes back then it was like an analog Leather Nun or Wire kinda. At the same time, if you like the classic early goth era, it is a little like 'Faith' era cure, mixed with prime Sisters Of Mercy too, but better musicianship, an American sensibility, and less drama. I wish I had this! Please re-issue the damn thing! Find it online somehow. So good. Soil, Ghosts, Smiling Monarchs, Coconut Tree...all gooood."

"AB-CD is short for Abecedarians, a short-lived Southern California band that created lush, atmospheric guitar-driven tunes that sounded like Michael Brook in a four-piece. I have seen some of their singles hanging around, but got the entire collection of studio and live productions from a guy in SoCal who found a couple of the band members and got permission to reproduce their entire work in one compilation. Wonderful unkown band."


Abecedarians opened for the Throwing Muses

Tracklist :

01 Where Whitie Ain't Allowed
02 Press Escape
03 Dinner
04 Liftoff
05 Spaghetti Western
06 I Glide
07 Soil
08 Mice and Coconut Tree
09 Sufferin' Tarnation
10 Laugh at Yourself
11 Untitled
12 Dinner (soundcheck)

Link to download:


part of independent project's "archive series"; early recordings dating from '83 - '85,plus Eureka's "Beneath the City of the Hedonistic Bohemians" and "The Misery of Cities"; Resin's "Wild Flowers Grow from the Trash"; Scream's "They Said Tomorrow"; and "Benway's Carnival," the B-side to the Factory single "Smiling Monarchs." PLUS seven songs from a live gig on June 17, 1988, onto the second CD

CD 1

01 Beneath The City Of The Hedonistic Bohemians
02 Ghosts
03 John's Pop
04 Come Out
05 Classic
06 Spaghetti Western
07 Switch
08 Where's Karen
09 Soil
10 The Other Side Of The Fence
11 Wildflower
12 They Said Tomorrow

CD 2

01 Benways Carnival
02 Beneath The City Of The Hedonistic Bohemians
03 The Misery Of Cities
04 Wildflowers Grow From The Tras
05 They Said Tomorrow

live gig on June 17, 1988 :
06 Where Whitie Ain't Allowed
07 Press Escape
08 Dinner
09 Lift Off
10 Spaghetti Western
11 Soil
12 Laugh at Yourself

Links to download:

"Other Side of the Fence compiles rare mid-'80s demos, remixes and other recordings between 1983 -1985 cut by the Abecedarians before their move to Factory Records. However, the music here proves the Abecedarians were always a Factory band, at least in spirit; their instrumental interplay recalls both Joy Division and New Order throughout the collection, most particularly in the juxtaposition of subdued guitars against driving bass found in "Ghosts" and "John's Pop." ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide"

"This second release in the IPR archive series is a stunning collection of early demos and other recordings from this unique band. It includes five previously unreleased songs and demo versions of some of their other early material. Perfect for anyone into the 4.A.D. or early Factory groups, this numbered edition of 1750 copies is packaged in a die cast letterpress sleeve. Beautiful and recommended!"

Abecedarians have roots in both post-punk and atmospheric 4AD pop, much like the Joy Division/New Order axis. The group first appeared along with fellow Southern Californian bands Jane's Addiction and Kommunity Fk on the Scream compilation, signing to England's Factory label for the single "Smiling Monarchs" in 1985. Abecedarians moved to Caroline one year later for debut album Eureka, and Ab-CD Resin followed in 1988. Two compilations have since been released: The Other Side of the Fence (which collects unavailable early demo tracks on a 10" record) and Ab-CD Resin, which is the album to get considering it collects virtually all of Eureka and Ab-CD Resin, plus the Factory single.
The Abecedarians sound is characterized by lead-man Manecke's deep, rich and distinctive vocal delivery and idiosyncratic lyrics; along with guitarwork that swims in a gravy-like sea of reverb. the rhythm section is a sturdy, restrained anchor for the atmospherics their songs swim in, with the occassional synth part thrown into the mix for good measure. The band would alternate between more upbeat, poppy, synth-driven post-punk and slower, sludgier, and decidedly stranger dirgelike material. although they made a couple of great pop songs, it's the latter category of their material i find the most intriguing.
Their first official release was the 12" single "Smiling Monarchs" on Factory. One of the few American bands to be featured by the label, the single was even mixed by Bernard Sumner of New Order. This is probably why it leans so heavily towards a NO-style sound, and is in fact a bit uncharacteristic of the band. the single has highly processed guitar, and makes them out to be a synth-pop group. it has few of the characterisitics that made them special and unique, and i personally find it a bit grating, even. tragic, really, given the profile it could have given them. they would then go on to release a couple of records on Caroline, make the scattered compilation appearance, and in the ensuing years slowly but surely peter out.(

Smiling Monarchs 12 Eureka EP 1986 (Southwest Audio Reproductions)
Eureka EP (Re-release) 1986 (Caroline Records)
Resin LP 1987 (Caroline Records)
Scream Compilation LP 1987 (Geffen Records)
AB-CD CD 1988 (Caroline Records)
The Other Side of the Fence double EP 1990 (Independent Project Records)

More info:

One of my friend showed me some demos called " Tragic Symphony part I -VI". Im not sure is this belong indeed to Abecedarians, because i didn't find info on it ,neither on the net ,nor on their fan page. I cherish the hope that one of you can tell me something about it. If it is really a part of their discography,i will share with you, promise !

One more thing, there is only very few info on the net about this brillaint band. If you want to complete/corrigate this post with any info,photo etc, please do that! Thanx
from a to b
YUKIHIRO TAKAHASI - Tomorrow's Just Another Day 1983
The VELS - velocity
POLARIS - music from adventures...
burning bridges
fuel for fire
FULL INTENTION - Connected: 10 Years of Full Intention (2006)

The Bitter End
The Crypt
I will share soon two requested bands Thick Pigeons and Lake.


Blogger cletus_buckley said...

Great site, very thoroughly.
Was going though your archive and i stumbled across Altered Images.
Was wondering if you could give me the song "think that it might" which is of "Pinky Blue" and the peel sessions version also.
I have both versions of this song already, but the LP version skips (And I fear that that song skips for you also, well so the comments say) and the peel version of the song sounds wierd. All low end bass sound. Hopefully your version is abit better.
Cheers if you can and here is a 80s mix i made you might like anyway.
Just leave a comment on one of the last post if you can put up the 2 versions of "think that it might".
Thanks if you can.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Miss Parker said...

Thank you *so* much for all of the Abecedarians collections. This fills in many missing pieces for me. You ***rock*** Salty. :-)

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the Abecedarians' stuff. I wasn't aware of those so far. Great music!
Peace, Holgir

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Ryoga said...

Hello Salty!

Thanks for the reuploads :) !!!

This is the list of TM Network albums that I have:

1. Rainbow Rainbow (1984)
2. Childhood’s End (1985)
3. Twinkle Night (1985, it’s a single with four tracks from anime)
4. Gorilla (1986)
5. Gift For Fanks (1987, best of collection, with few new mixes)
6. Humansystem (1987)

All of them are in 128 kb/s, I know that this is not the best, but I don’t have the CDs to rip it in better quality :/. That’s all that I have found :). And Your collection of their albums? Maybe You have something, that I don’t have? And one more thing – tell me which one I should Upload, and send to You :).


10:36 AM  
Anonymous Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Se você quiser linkar meu blog no seu eu ficaria agradecido, até mais e sucesso. (If you speak English can see the version in English of the Camiseta Personalizada. If he will be possible add my blog in your blogroll I thankful, bye friend).

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Per said...

Hey Salty,

First of all, let me say what a great blog you have. I really enjoy reading and listening to the stuff that you've gathered here.

I have a request: the link to 'Eureka' EP seems to be down. Can you re-up it, please?
Thanks in advance.

Take care

1:44 AM  
Anonymous torch 1971 said...

i agree, link to eureka gone, pls repost, thx and great blog

4:04 PM  
Blogger Nir said...

Hi, could you please reupload their EUREKA EP?

Many thx!

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

everything on here, i physically own hard copies is, i've always been a massive devotee. glad to learn the various details & facts that are stated..many things were new to me...excellent web-site and perfect reference to amazing band

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eureka Ep:


and for the last visitor:

thanks for your nice words!:)


just a note because theres something trouble with the links as blogger left as they finishing.

All the links finishes with:


7:03 AM  
Anonymous Paco and Fredrico said...

I have the cassette of Resin, and was dreading ripping it in. It's not hard, just a pain. Thanks for this post. I can now hear about Paco and Fredrico being missed! LMFAO> Also, I have other stuff by these cool rockers.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Abedarians stuff. I've been dying to hear Smiling Monarchs again and couldn't find it anywhere. The band also opened up for New Order in 1985 at the Santa Monica Civic Center and the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Health News said...

I can't believe how much of this I just wasn't aware of. Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I'm truly grateful and really impressed.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Lowbrowopera said...

Re: Tragic Symphony. I recall them being a short lived collaboration between Chris of the Abecedarians and some of the talent from another underrated OC post-punk band called "Drowning Pool" (who opened for Cocteau Twins at the Wiltern in LA). The only Tragic Symphony gig I that comes to mind was a midnight show at the Balboa Theatre. Chis worked at the Peer Records near the newport pier and was my first guitar teacher. His dad was a toymaker and painted my guitar candy-orange. Thanks, Chris!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Eugene Sotela said...

I've been talking to Chris Manecke a lot lately (both over the phone and in person) and am getting a lot of cool info. Tragic Symphonie project has been hot topic lately. I learned from Adam Elesh (who I am now good friends with) is that they did play at Balboa Theatre in New Port Beach on July 4th, 1984 and friends of drummer Tommy Doyle brought in firecrackers and lit them off in the front row. The exciting news is that these 6 tracks are being remastered, packaged and will get an officially release. The late Richie Lee was the 3rd member of the band. The line-up in the studio was: Adam Elesh, Chris Manecke, Richie Lee and Samuel Pülle on drums in studio. Drummer Tommy Doyle was used for live perofmrance.

11:26 AM  

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