Listen: Toxygene (7″ Edit) / The Orb
Even though I’d left Island during ’92, I still had loads of friends there, and would visit the UK office in St. Peters Square a lot. The company was always putting out tons of great stuff, and I needed all those promo only pressings in a bad way.
On one such visit, a new scout had just signed The Orb off of Big Life, and cornered us insisting we hear ‘Toxygene’, their forthcoming single. It was the end of a fun Friday. Gary Crowley was driving, so we passed through to collect Julian Palmer for drinks. Turns out the Island canteen was hopping as the staff would always hang late when the energy swirled into one of those fun nights.
Lord knows I wish I could recall who this A&R fellow was, I think he moved on to Universal Publishing. I thank him to this day.
We flipped for ‘Toxygene’. In our then current state, and played really, really loudly on that initial unveiling, the car and train sound effects embodied real live paranoia. Against band, management and company policy, he burned us a copy, making Gary promise not to play it on his Radio London slot that weekend.
Promises unbroken, Gary kept in under wraps, and quite frankly, the cdr didn’t leave my sight for weeks. ‘Toxygene’ eventually became a well deserved #4 smash in the UK.
On a 7″ pressing, it’s almost as hard to find as it would be to recreate the fantastic memory of that Friday.