Shriekback 1984
Releases
# Type Name Format Matrix # Date
1 Album Jam Science (Y Records version) LP YLP 504 1984-??-??
2 Album Jam Science (Arista version) LP 206416 1984-??-??
3 Album Hand on My Heart 7" SHRK 1 1984-??-??
4 Single Hand on My Heart (square picture disk) 9" SHRSD 1 1984-??-??
5 Single Hand on My Heart (test pressing) 12" SHRK 221 1984-??-??
6 Single Hand on My Heart 12" SHRK 121 1984-??-??
7 Single Hand on My Heart Remixes 12" SHRK 221 1984-??-??
8 Single Hand on My Heart Remixes (picture disk) 12" SHR PD 121 1984-??-??
9 Single Mercy Dash 7" SHRK 2 1984-??-??
10 Single Mercy Dash 12" SHRK 122 1984-??-??
11 Single Mercy Dash (picture disk) 12" SHR PD 122 1984-??-??
12 EP Knowledge, Power, Truth & Sex 12" 206 608 1984-??-??

1984 was creatively an amazing year for Shriekback. This was the year when the band truly began to develop a feel for use of the burgeoning music technology that was becoming available. They had quickly 'outgrown' Y Records and opted to jump ship to Arista records. The result was the tour de force that is Jam Science. Jam Science is the most 'Marshy' of Shriekback's albums. Carl Marsh wrote the lyrics for nine of its ten songs, the only holdout being 'Hubris' which was written by Barry Andrews. For those Shriekback fans who are under the impression that Shriekback is basically Barry's band need to take a close listen to Jam Science.

In the move from Y Records to Arista, there was some trouble with Y Records. The Shrieks' tapes were seized, and Y Records scrambled to release the unfinished album some months prior to Arista's release of the finished product. The Y Records version boasts eight tracks, including 'Putting on the Pressure' which did not make it onto CD until Aberrations was released in 2001 and 'International' which has only ever been released on the Y Records version of Jam Science. The Y Records version lacks the overall quality of the finished product. Most of the cuts are inferior, and the album is really only interesting for the cuts which are otherwise unavailable.

Two singles were released by Arista from Jam Science, 'Hand on My Heart' and 'Mercy Dash.' 'Hand on My Heart' was their third single to hit the charts, going to #52 on the U.K. charts and #22 on the US dance/club charts.

The Shrieks perpetuated the madness that had started with their singles between 1982-1983 by releasing no less than six different versions of the 'Hand on My Heart' single. The actual song exists in at least eight different versions. There is an album cut from both editions of Jam Science. Next comes the 7" mix released in standard format as well as a 9" square picture disk. There are slight differences in the packaging for some copies of the 7" which bear a sticker for the 'Shriekback Blueprint,' a foldout insert containing pictures and a statement from the band and lyrics for 'Hand on My Heart.' There was a 12" single as well. Additionally, a remix 12" was issued containing three instrumental remixes variously named 'Jumping on the Ribcage (with the Digital Rasta),' 'Cloud of Nails (Pump Up a Storm),' and 'Mistah Linn He Dead.' To further complicate matters, a picture disk emerged that was similar to the remixes 12", but 'Jumping on the Ribcage' was replaced with the 12" mix of 'Hand on My Heart.' Since that was not enough, further remixes were released by Rhythm Stick Remix Service. As a final violation of collectabilty, a test pressing of the 12" mix made its way out as well. This record contains only one song and is pressed only on a single side with a sticker in leiu of artwork, but it is an interesting curiosity for the completist.

There are three different version of the 'Mercy Dash' single. There is a 7", a 12", and a 12" picture disk. Thankfully, there is no difference between the music included on the 12" and the picture disk.

The singles were not the end of the madness, however. Not content with this plethora of remixes, repackaging was tried in the form of an EP named Knowledge, Power, Truth & Sex released only in Germany. While this EP contains nothing that is not available on other records, it is a superb brief introduction to what was happening with Shriekback musically in 1984.

One beautiful feature of the Arista releases for 1984 is that a consistent look was adopted across the records which included great attention to detail. Even the labels glued to the vinyl were included in the aesthetic considerations. The result was a beautiful set of records decorated in a way that has not since been matched save perhaps by the careful attention to packaging and detail that have been given to more recent releases form Malicious Damage.

Shriekback 1983 Shriekback 1985