ABC includes: Martin Fry (vocals); Mark White (guitar, keyboards); Stephen Singleton (alto & tenor saxophones); David Palmer (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel includes: Gaynor Sadler (harp); Kim Wear (trumpet); Andy Gray (trombone); Anne Dudley (keyboards); Brad Lang, Mark Lickley (bass); Louis Jardin (percussion); J.J. Jeczalik (programming); Tessa Webb (background vocals).
Producer: Trevor Horn.
Compilation producers: Paul Reidy, Martin Fry.
Recorded in 1982. Includes liner notes by Martin Fry and Giles Smith.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Easily one of the '80s' finest albums, THE LEXICON OF LOVE not only established singer Martin Fry and guitarist Mark White as two of the decade's smartest and most skillful cross-breeders of Motownish dance grooves, Beatlesque pop and Roxy Music-style art-rock urgency, it cemented ex-Buggle Trevor Horn's status as the era's defining producer.
Throughout THE LEXICON OF LOVE, Horn's over-the-top blend of strings, horns, lush choirs and bizarre production tricks battles Fry's literate, witty lyrics and commanding voice and White's encyclopedic knowledge of pop hooks for the listener's attention. While the singles "Poison Arrow" and "The Look of Love"--aided by stylish, funny videos--garnered the most interest, there's not a single less-than-brilliant track, from the compelling opener "Show Me" to the near-desperate closer "4 Ever 2 Gether" and the lovely orchestral coda "The Look of Love (Part Four)." THE LEXICON OF LOVE is a classic.
Q (6/00, p.72) - Ranked #40 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums"
Q (9/99, p.124) - 3 stars (out of 5) - "...superb....The set has been carefully chosen to reflect the highs...and...lesser known but equally forthright slices of powerpop..."
Uncut (p.160) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[A] grand love story, or at the very least an elaborate seduction. It's the sound of a band - a generation - falling in love with the new stylistic and technological promise of '80s pop..."
Melody Maker (4/6/96, p.38) - Bloody Essential - "...Martin Fry was 23 when he conceived this masterpiece of orchestral songcraft and audacious lyrical insights, this celebration/deconstruction of photo story romance....sounds like the future, still."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.124) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[Including] songs as perfect as 'The Look Of Love' - replete with knowingly absurd talkover - or the jaw-dropping 'All Of My Heart,' still one of the '80s most underrated singles..."
NME (Magazine) (9/25/93, p.19) - Ranked #15 in NME's list of "The 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s."