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Memory Span

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (25 ratings)
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Memory Span album cover
01
White Night
3:25
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02
On The Air
3:35
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03
Not Through Windows
3:11
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04
Dance For A Drop Of Blood
2:03
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05
Blissstability
3:44
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06
Uneasy Affair
3:43
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07
Don’t Need Surgery
2:59
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08
2Split Seconds
3:10
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09
False Alarm
4:25
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10
Background
4:54
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11
Cool Snap
4:59
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12
Nerve Pylon
3:45
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13
Over The Brow 
5:18
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14
Transit 
2:48
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15
Part II
5:56
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16
House Of Cracks
8:01
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17
Old Town
7:25
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18
Barbican
3:54
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 18   Total Length: 77:15

Find a problem with a track? Let us know.

Wondering Sound

Review 0

Kate Silver

Contributor

Kate Silver is a New York-based writer and editor. In addition to eMusic, she has contributed to the Brooklyn Rail, Seattle Weekly, Village Voice and more.

05.27.08
The Lines, Memory Span
Label: Acute / Carpark

It's a tale as old as your bongo-playing granny: band releases a handful of singles, makes a name among taste-makers, fades to obscurity and steep auction prices before some smart newbie re-masters and reissues them. With a sound as blink-and-miss as their name, post-punk foursome the Lines are easily glossed over but not forgettable, as this survey of '78-'81 output shows. Formed at punk's nexus in London, the band peddled their first single around town… read more »

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Punk Redux Redux

ottozap

Cool, smart, calm and confident, post-post-punk from little known English band. Memory Span combines two albums -- Therapy and Ultramarine, released in 1981 and 1982 respectively.

user avatar

WOW!!

mattypants

After this I now consider myself a fully satisfied eMusic customer. I doubt I would have found this elsewhere. I knew nothing of this band and now i can not stop listening to it or telling people about it. DOWNLOAD NOW! Can't wait for the album reissues to come out.

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Fantastic post punk!

saturdaymorning

emusic continues to score hi points w/ me. This band is ultra rare, and ultra cool, the music stands the test of time w/ hooks and great angular guitar playing. Check out "On the Air", "Not Thru Windows". Fans of Wire and the Only Ones take note, download now!!

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Neglected New Wave Gems

AshTheRabbit

Fantastic compilation of the sort of unorthodox, imaginative music made possible by punk but rarely remembered as such. Reminiscent of Subway Sect, The Monochrome Set, perhaps even The Go-Betweens on the early tracks and A Certain Ratio and This Heat on the later material. Highly recommended.

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Underappreciated Post-Punk

OMangas

A good compilation of a neglected band. I think their high point was the Cool Snap EP from 80, especially the tracks False Alarm and Cool Snap, both John Peel favourites. I wonder if Peter Buck stole ideas from this band.

They Say All Music Guide

Always ahead of their time, the Lines were post-punk while the first wave of British punk was still finding its feet in 1977, and just as their wiry, minimal approach to pop began to mesh with the mainstream, their music became even leaner and more muscular, stripping back the melodies and giving the rhythms greater prominence. By the time the Lines called it quits in 1983, their sound had evolved into dance-oriented rock dominated by cool, sinewy grooves and minimalist percussion accents, while the guitar was used more for texture than as a melodic framework. The Lines released two albums during their lifespan (1981′s Therapy and 1983′s Ultramarine), but it’s the four singles and two EPs they recorded that provide a more telling portrait of the band’s creative growth and stylistic shapeshifting, and Acute Records has compiled a near-definitive history of the Lines with Memory Span, which collects all their non-LP material (along with two unreleased demos) onto one CD. Memory Span presents these 18 tracks in chronological order (except for one song — “Barbican,” the B-side to their first single, is the last song on the disc) and the band’s growth is so graceful that at first spin one almost doesn’t notice how different the music near the end of the disc is from that at the beginning, especially with “Barbican” bringing the songs full circle at the close. Rico Conning’s voice suggests some odd fusion of Ray Davies and Pete Shelley, while the edgy insistence of his lyrics is the ideal match for his razor’s-edge guitar work and that of Mick Lineham, while Nicholas Cash and Jo Forty were a tremendous rhythm section. The Lines never quite reached the audience they deserved, partly because they were signed to a small label and disliked self-promotion, but the music on Memory Span also makes it clear that these guys were a few steps ahead of what their colleagues were doing at all times, and while it wasn’t much good for their bank accounts, it helps much of the music on this disc to sound fresh and keenly intelligent decades after it was first recorded. (Acute have also released the material from Therapy and Ultramarine on a sister compilation, Flood Bank.) – Mark Deming

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