We're Still In Love: ABC's The Lexicon Of Love - The 2022 Steven Wilson Mix [2023]


When ABC first performed "Poison Arrow" for their prospective producer Trevor Horn in 1981, he asked them if they were content with their sound. 

"Or do you want it to sound better?" Horn asked.

Frontman Martin Fry immediately replied, "I want it as good as it can possibly be."

Horn was prepared for this answer. "If you want it as good as it can possibly be, we'll have to start again."

Together, they did start over with Horn breaking the sound down to single notes, then sampling each and every one before expertly stitching them back together. (Mutt Lange would later employ a similarly meticulous production method.) The resulting 1982 album, The Lexicon Of Love, has always sounded amazing. It would be remastered a few times through the years with varying results, issued with bonus tracks, and as a Deluxe Edition with both bonus tracks and an entire bonus disc.
In June 2022, Martin Fry revealed that Steven Wilson had completed a shiny new Dolby Atmos remix of the album in anticipation of a special 40th Anniversary release. Fry stated that he had been to Wilson's house to hear the remix and it sounded as though he had entered "a crystal kingdom" full of detail.
The Steven Wilson Atmos Mix of The Lexicon Of Love appeared on Apple Music ever so briefly (supposedly in error) in May 2023 before disappearing quietly from the service. Simultaneously, it was announced that a 4LP vinyl/1 Blu-Ray 40th Anniversary boxed set of The Lexicon Of Love would be released on August 4, 2023.
In June 2023, Paul Sinclair announced on Super Deluxe Edition (SDE) that the 12th release in his ongoing series of SDE Surround Blu-ray discs would be The Lexicon Of Love released on August 4, 2023, in a limited edition of 5,000 copies featuring the four 2022 Steven Wilson remixes from the Blu-Ray in the 40th Anniversary box:

  • an Atmos Mix 
  • a 5.1 surround remix
  • a high-resolution stereo remix
  • and a high-resolution stereo instrumental remix

The original 1982 Trevor Horn stereo mix is also included in high-resolution on the disc as an SDE exclusive while the Blu-Ray included with the boxed set includes 4 music videos and the long-form "Mantrap" video all in hi-def, which are unavailable on the music-only SDE disc.
For each of the three Fridays preceding August 4, 2023, a digital EP was released to global streaming and download services. The three EPs (pictured above) are the same three singles released from the album in 1982 and each one features two Steven Wilson remixes ("regular" and instrumental) as well as a live version of the respective song from the band's previously released performance at the Hammersmith Odeon from November 1982. 
When August 4, 2023, finally rolled around, the three digital EPs were joined in the digital realm by The Lexicon of Love album as a whole featuring Wilson's stereo and instrumental mixes. But where are the 40th Anniversary CDs?
our preferred CD pressings - 1984 (EU) and 1983 (US)
If you are a huge fan (like we are) of the way the 1982 album sounds in your chosen format, keep doing what you're doing. If you've yet to hear an Atmos mix and you have access to a full Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 setup, the state-of-the-art Steven Wilson Atmos Remix takes full advantage of the technology and it is worth hearing at least once. (Heck, we listened twice and then decided to dismantle our Sonos Atmos set-up as it had obviously served its purpose.) We cannot speak to the 5.1 Surround Mix but if you are a fan of such things, we have it on really good authority that the Lexicon immersion will not disappoint.
Since the SDE disc arrived, we have been alternately listening to the high-resolution Steven Wilson stereo remix as well as the high-res original mix on loop with every piece of kit we have access to here at The Hideaway (Fender, Status, Sennheiser, Grado, Sonos, Klipsch, OPPO, Marshall, Hitachi) and they sound to us as good as they can get.

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