Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Memorabilia of the Week: Epic Press Kit 1991

1991 was a fantastic year if you were a Front 242 fan! Coming off both the commercial and chart success of FRONT X FRONT, Front 242 signed with Epic/Sony...a major label debut! Was the world ready for 242? I was both excited and apprehensive about this. Front 242 was always "MY" band. Underground, outside the mainstream. I loved and loathed the attention they would be getting now by signing to a major label. Would they compromise their artistic qualities (NO!)...Would they be inaccessible to the fans (NO!)...By reaching the "greater masses" would their music be appreciated by more people....(YES and NO)... Imagine my delight and surprise seeing the re-issued catalogue in mainstream record stores and a life-size Tyranny >For You< album hanging from my local Tower Records! (Man, I would love to have THAT in my collection....)

Below is a press kit issued by Epic promoting the band. It explains the imagery and messages behind the Tyranny symbols. It provides a timeline for the band and a complete discography as of 1991. The flyer itself is standard 8.5 X 11 inches in black/white/gray-tones on glossy paper. There are actually two versions (see scans)...differing only in the first/front page. One looks hastily put together with a gray-tone "Front 242"in the background, and quotes in the forefront. I think the first version (which is likely the later, perhaps?) is much cleaner and nicer. It contains various quotes, including a quote from Nietzsche, Section 242, Beyond Good and Evil. (EVIL...foreshadowing of UP EVIL perhaps?)

The glossy photo shows the guys very dapper, Jean-Luc in a tie even! Of course Daniel B. was still very mysterious and seldom-photographed at this time.

Also included is a letter from Julie Farman, Assoc. Director for Media and Artist Relations at Epic (1990-1997). A Google search here shows what she is up to today:
The letter is addressed to: "Dear Person Who Probably Loves Sonic Youth and Will Thus Hate Me Soon After Reading This Letter,"
I cringe at the comparison and mentions of Sonic Youth and Kim Gordon...exactly who was Epic trying to appeal to? It does mention some sales numbers as of March 21, 1991: 135,000 units and she says that the record is "HOT. SALES HOT."

Finally, a North American tour itinerary is included. The scan does not show up very well, but that is because the type-written original is also very faint and somewhat challenging to read! These were scanned original size, but Blogger shrinks them. If you would like to see bigger/greater details, just let me know and I will be happy to email the files...


  1. It's the first time I see this release ! So fantastic the citations from Andrea Branzi, Nietsche and Ravel.
    In 1991 we have not much access to Front 242 exclusive stuff like this here in Brazil. A label called Stilleto released the albuns "Official Version", "Front by Front" and "Tyranny For You" on vinyl versions. 1988-1991 were fantastic years for the band, and Epic did a great job presenting the band to the world. Nice words. It's a pity that the world wasn't prepared for the band, and the band wasn't prepared for a major label, with all the pressure over them to release new music and make new tours.
    Thanks for sharing !

  2. this is taking the piss out of rock critics and their obsession with sonic youth. there's no musical comparison between front 242 and sonic youth. sales are mentioned because F242 actually SOLD records, as opposed to Sonic Youth, who didn't.