Since I have already weighed in on the monumentally brilliant new 10 CD Marc Almond box set Trials of Eyeliner: Anthology 1979-2016 (spoiler: I loved it) I will just direct you to that, but I do want to say that several weeks later I am still deeply into it. If you are looking for something new to give your full attention to—especially if you’re a fan of, say Nick Cave or Scott Walker—then Trials of Eyeliner is the high quality rock snob box set of this Xmas season, hands down. Anyone picking it up who is barely familiar with Almond’s non-“Tainted Love” career is surely in for something… profound. As a long, longtime major major Marc Almond fan, I would almost envy the discovery of his genius via this one fabulous package and not doled out over the the decades.
It’s 10 CDs and you can find it for around $75 on Amazon. It would still be a bargain at twice the price. I can’t say enough good things about it.
Anyway, when I posted about Trials of Eyeliner last month, there was one thing on it that I wanted to hold back on, and present later on its own to call your attention to it especially. One of the “deep cuts”—indeed one of the very deepest cuts of all—is Almond’s emphatic performance of one of the only songs known to have been composed (in this case co-written) by the Great Beast hisself, Mister Aleister Crowley.
The sheet music for this song, referred to in a footnote, was thought to have remained unpublished and lost. None of the major Crowley collections throughout the world had a copy, but in 1991, a copy was discovered.
“The Tango Song” was written by Aleister Crowley and set to music by Bernard Page. It’s a musical adaptation of Crowley’s poem “The Tango,” first published in The Equinox Vol I, No 9 in March of 1913 as part of a short play co-written by Crowley and Mary D’Este (the mother of the great madcap Hollywood film director Preston Sturges):
What is money to the bliss
Of the honey of a kiss?
What are rank and fame and fashion
To the ecstasy of passion?
Give me dancing!
Give me wine!
Bright eyes glancing—-
Yours in mine!
Up my breath—-
Give me passion!
Give me death!
Were the town of Paris mine,
Its renown should drown in wine
I would pay the land of France
For a day and night of dance.
Dreams entrancing float above
Music, dancing, wine and love.
Sober sinks the sobbing breath;
Smiles the sphinx of sleep and death.
More after the jump…