Monday, August 11, 2008

Secession - A Dark Enchantment (1987)

This album has been posted elsewhere, and recently too, but I have a great story to tell about how I came by this particular item in my collection.

I've traded CD's on eBay since 2000, so I have a good idea about which 1980's CD's are worth more or are harder to find. During a buying spree in 2004 I won A Dark Enchantment in an auction for a very reasonable $32 - and before the end of the year I had resold it for about $70, if I remember correctly. Prices for out of print CD's keep going up, so I was content to have ripped the album to my mp3 player and didn't actively seek out another copy. I did like the album a lot, though.

Fast forward to the summer of 2006. I was going through the complicated process of becoming a US citizen, and had an appointment for an interview with the INS in Memphis, TN. Memphis is about three hours from where I live, and two hours from where I used to work, so I planned on taking the day off to go down there. I'm not familiar with Memphis at all, having been to Graceland only once before.

The INS office was actually in the suburbs of Memphis and finding the exact exit was confusing, so that when I got close enough, but could not find the right street, I started looking for a gas station to get directions.

My normal philosophy, as a self conscious English twit, is to quickly scan the map books available for purchase to get my bearings instead of coming across like a clueless tourist. However, the gas station I found was in a very run down area of town, with security windows, and I was sufficiently intimidated that I left the store none the wiser as to where I needed to go. Just next door, however, was a run down thrift store in aid of some local charity group. I figured that they might give me directions, not to mention that I am, at heart, a thrift store junkie.

It was pretty run down, just a very average, small store with bundles of this and that. On autopilot, I headed for the music section, which consisted, as is typical in these places, of broken empty cases, a Celine Dion CD Single, something by Backstreet Boys, maybe a copy of Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard soundtrack with the cover missing. You know the sort of thing.

In the middle of this shoddy pile, to my amazement, was a pristine copy of A Dark Enchantment on CD.

You could say I was excited. It even had the original import sticker and price tag on it - in other words, it was in the original case. I have no idea how it ended up in a tiny Memphis thrift store.

The price tag was an equally thrifty $1.00. I felt a little guilty handing over the money, but they were so thrilled to sell me anything that they happily gave me directions as well. One day, I have decided, I will go back there with a bunch of twenties. But, to the victor goes the spoils. I can't tell you how many times I have gone into the same kinds of places and found absolutely nothing of interest. Kind of like prospecting for gold, I guess.

Bear in mind that this is an album that was released in England in very limited quantities, and never had a US pressing. And yet, a copy managed to find its way to me, perhaps the only person out of half a million people or more in that area who would recognize it's true value, as a result of randomly pulling off the interstate at the wrong exit (I had overshot, as it turned out, and had to go back to the previous exit - and made my appointment with time to spare).

So no matter what, this one is staying with me.

Secession - A Dark Enchantment (1987)
  1. Eventide
  2. Promise
  3. Love Lies Bleeding
  4. Sneakyville
  5. Winifred
  6. The Box That Holds A Secret
  7. Ocean Blue
  8. Radioland
  9. The Magician
  10. Love Lies Bleeding (Reprise)
  11. The Wolf
  12. Eventide (Theme From A Dark Enchantment)
  13. All The Animals Come Out At Night
  14. Michael
  15. Havoc
  16. Promise (Dub)


elektro80s said...

Great album and great story too, thanks so much for this!
I know perfectly like you felt in that moment when you bought this CD for only 1 dollar, is something similar to buy a Picasso in a street market for a few hundred dollars... for a moment is happiness.
There is a lot of 80s music in your blog and I have one question to you...
Can you help me to recognize some of these lost 80s tunes?
(all these songs are from 1985-1988 extracted from old dj tapes, the sound quality of some songs is poor, sorry for this):

03 - TUNE3
04 - TUNE4
05 - TUNE5
06 - TUNE6
07 - TUNE7
08 - TUNE8
09 - TUNE9
10 - TUNE10
11 - TUNE11
12 - TUNE12
13 - TUNE13
14 - TUNE14
All the files to download in one archive:

Jenny said...

Funny, I had a similar experience in the burbs of Detroit, MI. I was at a Tower Records just skimming through oodles and oodles of dollar-bin CDs like "The Essential Tiffany Remix Collection", when I stumbled upon "A Dark Enchantment" still in its longbox, shrinkwrapped with an import sticker on it and priced at a lovely $1.99 with a tiny holdpunch in the box. At the time I owned the vinyl and was an avid Ebay'er and I remember the CD always seemed to sell for close to $100 -- needless to say, I was pretty excited.

The guy behind the counter, probably 19 at the time, looked at this CD and probably thought, "I can't believe somebody is buying this crap!" while I was thinking, "I can't believe they're selling this gem for so little!" haha -- life's that way.

KulPop said...


I had a similar experience, came across a copy of 'The Dark Enchantment' cd in a pawn shop in Toronto in excellent condition, I think I paid $3.00 for it.



Kevin said...

i'm not familiar with this album, but i'm quite curious based on the stories. thx.

and ELECTRO80S, those recordings are fairly poor, as you are probably aware. but i did recognize song 12 as somebody's remix of New Order's 1963.

Anonymous said...

hey, the 2nd half of track no2 (mysteriousmix) is from "tin tin duffy's" dub or instrumental mix of "kiss me". you can find a new version of this classic song on the last "robbie williams" rudebox album. the original from the 80's is much better...

whiteray said...

Ain't thrift stores great! I've had the same experience with some classic blues albums. Nothing compares to the feeling!

Anonymous said...

A friend made this compilation for me. I thought you and your readers might like it.

Secession - Singles & B-Sides

01 Touch (Part 3).mp3
02 The Magician (The Pecky Plus Mix).mp3
03 Fire Island (Extended Mix).mp3
04 Sneakyville (Extended Mix).mp3
05 Michael.mp3
06 The Killing Season.mp3
07 Reflections.mp3
08 Promise (Dance Mix).mp3
09 The Magician.mp3
10 Touch (Part 4).mp3
11 Radioland (Full Length LP Version).mp3
12 Everybody's Sneakin'.mp3
13 Magic Drums.mp3


Daniel said...

Did you know that the song "Sneakyville" was about the Charles Manson Family murders?? Wonderful song indeed!

¡Mateo es así! said...

Excellent share. And thank you Anonymous for the extra comp!

Anonymous said...

Good find - as someone who still has his CD (and the Promise 12") procured in 1987 at an import record store in Irvine, CA, I'm stunned to learn its current value and impressed to see people still into this band 20+ years later!

oranj said...

Hi, I was a DJ in the 80s and specialized in obscure import 12" music. I could not listen to the samples of the songs you were trying to identify. Re-post them again and perhaps I can solve some of the mysteries. Also, your link to the Secession album is bad. Could you re-post it? I used to love the album (I had it on vinyl and played many cuts from it). It would be great to have it in digital form to listen to again!

elektro80s said...

Hi oranj, thanks for your interest! ;)
I found a few tracks pending to identify yet (I have a few more), maybe you know some of them:

TUNE1 [01] - TUNE2 [02] - TUNE3 [03] - TUNE4 [04] - TUNE5 [05] - TUNE5 [06]

The news links of the Secession album:

Secession - A Dark Enchantment (1987)"

Secession - A Dark Enchantment PART1
Secession - A Dark Enchantment PART2

best regards,

Hunter said...

WOO! I just found this CD in a Rasputin's and I bought it because the album art was interesting and it only cost me a quarter. I got home and looked it up to see how much this thing was really worth, and upon checking the disc itself, it's near-perfect! This is so awesome.

Eric said...

@Anonymous, Re: Secession - Singles & B-Sides;
Track 09 is actually a variant of Sneakyville, and not The Magician, as indicated. Interestingly, it is neither the "Extended Mix" nor "Everybody's Sneakin'," but is instead a third variation.

MattN.Y. said...

Amazing story about Secession-I'm actually still looking for this title on CD & was outbid several times on eBay. Yes, the price tag is usually in upwards of $100-plus.
I had the great fortune of seeing Secession in their 80's heydays on back-to-back nights in New York. The first show was on a Friday night at the infamous Ritz club in lower Manhattan NYC. The band came out on stage dressed in leather jackets, soily hairdos & unshaven, I mean really ragged-looking! The music, however, was top-notch synth in perfect 80's style. The band ran through all of their known songs. Very different story the following night (Saturday) out on Long Island at a ritzy club called Reds in Levittown N.Y. On this night, the band came out on stage completely slicked-down in suits & ties with clean-shaven-faces & slick-back hairdos-the total opposite of the previous night in NYC. I mean, WOW!! They absolutely kicked some serious ass!! I felt fortunate back then & as I look around for their CD, I understand why this is such a rare title as well as why 80's synth-lovers are paying serious dollars for all of you, I say IT IS WELL WORTH IT. This was a class act of the classic 80's alternative.

Anonymous said...

Uh, yeah, sorry. Track 09 on 'Singles & B-Sides' is actually called "Simon Says..."