Following the hits of 80s Germanic electronic maestros Propaganda was always going to be a challenge for Claudia Brücken, but it is one that she applied herself to with her typical sense of passionate application. Together with eclectic genius Thomas Leer, Act was formed not to replicate the success of Propaganda, but to go beyond it.
The product of their endeavour was the album Laughter, Tears And Rage, released in June 1988. Although not a commercial success, the album has more than stood the test of time. Written at the very apex of the 80s boom, classic singles such as "Absolutely Immune" and "Snobbery And Decay" retain as much, if not more relevance than they ever had. Yet the singles are by no means solitary highlights - the tracks "Laughter", "Gestures" and "A Friendly Warning" stand out as glittering examples of a truly unique sound.
It is perhaps ironic that Act saw the inconsequentiality of the 80s sheen too early. Not being able to see beyond the bounties of the boom, the record buying public were perhaps unwilling to see its shortcomings. Despite only coming months after the album was released, the eventual bust that came too soon for most, perhaps came too late for Act. The album sold out an initial pressing and was later repressed, but the sales the album perhaps deserved never materialised, leading to its deletion from the ZTT catalogue in the early 1990s.
Now, for the first time in thirteen years, the album has been completely remastered and is to be re-released in a format that does the album the justice it deserves. As well as a single CD version, the album will be released in a limited edition deluxe three CD boxed set entitled Laughter, Tears And Rage: The Anthology, to be made available exclusively at www.ztt.com. In addition to the first CD, which features the complete original album and an accompanying selection of bonus tracks, there are two CDs of additional material that for the first time set Laughter Tears And Rage in the context it deserves. In true ZTT fashion all the original single releases were accompanied by a set of remixes, alternate versions and limited edition promos. CD2 anthologises all these tracks for the first time, including some that exist only in the hands of a few dedicated collectors. CD3 contains a further set of remixes and instrumental versions that have been residing, unreleased, in the ZTT vaults since they were first recorded in 1988. The third CD also includes a new track, "Body Electric", released for the first time.
Restricted to 5000 copies worldwide, this limited edition boxed set features over four hours of music across fifty-one tracks, over half of which have never seen the light of day on CD before. For collectors, nostalgics and new-comers alike, this collection finally locates Act as one of the undiscovered landmarks of the 1980s.