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Front 242

Official Version (Reviewed by wavemeister):

Front 242 'Official Version', released 1987 on RRE/SPV, Electronic Body Music

W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. (7.28)
Rerun Time (5.26)
Television Station (2.41)
Agressiva Due (2.59)
Masterhit Part I&II (7.07)
Slaughter (3.37)
Quite Unusual (3.49)
Red Team (3.50)
Angst (1.57)
Quite Unusual* (5.02)
Agressiva* (5.00)
Masterblaster** (7.06)
Hypnomix** (4.31)

*/** indicates the bonus versions on the remastered edition, released 1995
* CD bonus taken from the 12" 'Interception'
** CD bonus taken from the 12" 'Masterhit'

Front 242 from Belgium are generally known as the 'inventors' of this genre. With 'Official Version', they refined the ingredients of EBM for good: hardhitting rhythms, harsh electronics, lots of samples, distorted and agressive vocals.

The first track, 'W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G.' (the abbreviation for 'What You Hear Is What You Get') describes best what the listener have to expect from the next hour on, 'Rerun Time' and 'Television Station' are hiiting in the same notch. 'Agressiva Due' lives up to it´s title - a wild and short outburst.
'Masterhit Part I&II' was a club hit and one of the best tracks 242 ever released, it´s the outstanding track on 'Official Version'.
'Slaughter' features a sinister and brooding atmosphere of this album with it´s dark and minimal approach, while 'Quite Unusual' is really quite unusual for this band with it´s almost laid back tune. 'Red Team' can´t hold the level of the preceding tracks but is not bad, and 'Angst' must be seen as an outro since it only features a sampled speech and bubbling noises.

The digital remastered version was a part of a series featuring all former releases until 'Front By Front' which contained additional 12" and live versions, some of them previously unreleased.
The title names of the vinyl and original version differs a bit from the remastered edition - on the vinyl, track 8 is named 'Red Team (Drumbox Theme)' and track 9 is named 'Agressiva Angst'.

Although 'Official Version' didn´t spawned a massive club hit like 'Headhunter' (from 'Front By Front', 1989, German Single Charts #37), it paved the way for the future of EBM and Industrial, and this album was the breakthrough which gained Front 242 a wider public.

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