a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

Victory… Demos

Recorded: 2005

According to the Victory For The Comic Muse press release, the original idea for the follow up to Absent Friends was actually a cover album. The idea was to do some German-cabaret like covers like he did for ‘No One Knows’. Songs included ‘Lili Marlene’, The Associates’ ‘Party Fears Two’, The Vapours’ ‘Turning Japanese’ and Depeche Mode’s ‘Question of Time’. Though, the idea was finally abandoned because of a lack of originality: “I found I was doing the same thing to each one, and there are only so many songs you can turn into between-the-wars cabaret” [1] “I did a few different versions of The Vapors’ Turning Japanese. You’re not missing much.” [2]

However only two tracks ended up as being released: ‘Party Fears Two’ was recorded during the sessions for the album, and ‘Lily Marlene’ (probably a home recording) was released as a B-side.

Meanwhile, Neil Hannon worked on songs for other projects with ‘A Lady Of A Certain Age’ written along with ‘Home’ for Jane Birkin [3]; ‘Mother Dear’ and ‘The Light of Day’ imagined for films [4], however no demo recording of these songs can be found. Still, we know that the original demo of ‘Home’ may have been sent to Jane Birkin who said that Johnny Marr played the guitar in a different way from the original. [5]

On the other hand we don’t really know how Neil did get to produce the original demos of ‘To Die A Virgin’ and ‘Black Hole’ (working title of ‘Diva Lady’) which were both released as iTunes-exclusive tracks. They must be primitive versions of the songs.
The finished demo of ‘Diva Lady’ may be part of the final demos that Neil sent to Andrew Skeet before going to the studio. [4]

[1] Victory For The Comic Muse press release
[2] Metro interview, 2006
[3] Reference needed
[4] Victory For Comic Muse EPK
[5) Jane Birkin Fictions EPK