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Obscure Alternatives (October 78)

  1. Automatic Gun 
  2. ...Rhodesia
  3. Love Is Infectious 
  4. Sometimes I Feel So Low
  5. Obscure Alternatives ("Melody Of Agonising" in Japanese)
  6. Deviation ("Opposing What Is Young" in Japanese)
  7. Suburban Berlin
  8. The Tenant ("Tenant Of Love" in Japanese)

This album has a harder, more rock orientated sound than the last, with the exception of "The Tenant"; the first of Sylvian's Satie inspired piano pieces. Other standout tracks are "...Rhodesia", a live favourite which remained in the set until 1981, and "Suburban Berlin", which is actually best heard on the compilation "Assemblage", cut next to "Life In Tokyo". The ex-members consider that this album would have been better for their debut release, as for the first time they were able to assert themselves in the studio. This is evident - many features of the Japan sound that is familiar to us are here: Richard's synths are more experimental, using sound and the stereo sound field to create a mood, Mick begins to use fretless bass, and Sylvian's vocals are getting deeper and less cockney sounding. 

Charted at No21 in Japan

If you are looking for this on vinyl, go for an original UK pressing, which includes an inner sleeve showing the group recording the LP. The Japanese lyric sheet is similar. The original UK pressing is very good indeed, much better sonically than the later "Fame" label re-issue. The Japanese edition does not have totally accurate song titles!

Note that the US, Canadian,  Australian and New Zealand LP sleeves use a red Japan logo instead of blue.

Still available worldwide on CD. Produced by Ray Singer. Rumoured unreleased tracks still in the vaults: "Heartbreaker" (Stones cover - see the live data page), "Can't Get Enough" and "Venus In Furs" (Velvet Underground cover).

  • Original UK LP (inner sleeve with photos & lyrics): Hansa AHALH8007 - this was re-issued with the same catalogue number in September 1982; these copies have Hansa International sleeves and labels
  • Re-issue UK LP 1983 : Fame/EMI FA 41 3098 1
  • Australian LP RCA  VPL1 4147
  • Japanese LP (with insert/lyrics): Victor VIP6593
  • Japanese cassette VCW-1635
  • Spanish LP Ariola 200066-1
  • Italian LP: Recordi International SNIR 25075 
  • German LP Hansa 200 166-320
  • French LP Careere 67.334
  • Hong Kong LP: Hansa HA200166-320
  • First Japanese CD: Victor VDP1154 - there are 2 versions, the 1st being priced at 3,200 Yen, with a later pressing at 3,008 Yen. Both are identical except for the price shown on the obi strip. 
  • Remastered Japanese CD: BMG BVCP7373
  • USA CD (remastered): Caroline CAROL 1202-2
  • German CD BMG 74321 13882 2
  • Japanese CD with card sleeve BVCM-37219
  • UK remastered CD 2004, includes the "Live In Japan" EP tracks and "Sometimes I Feel So Low" video. BMG 82876 566942
  • UK 2006 jewel case version of the above: BMG 82876 84447
  • Japanese 2004 remastered edition with bonus tracks: bvcm31131
  • Japanese "Now & Forever" re-issue of the above: BVCM 37799

Japanese LP with OBI

Japanese LP with OBI

Inner sleeve

UK Inner sleeve, also one side of the Japanese insert

inner sleeve

Other side of the UK inner sleeve and Japanese insert. The inside of the Japanese insert has the lyrics translated into Japanese.

Italian label - click here for the bigger scan

UK label

1st UK pressing manufactured in England by Pye

Hansa international

Hansa German pressing for the UK market

Hansa International

UK re-issue label from 1982

UK re-issue label
New Zealand

Australian & New Zealand LP sleeve

German LP label

Australian LP label - for a larger version click here

New Zealand

New Zealand LP label


French label


Spanish LP label

Japanese label

Japanese stock label

white label

Japanese white label


Japanese cassette

Japanese cassette (1983 mid price re-issue)


French cassette inlay


French cassette

German tape

German cassette inlay 


UK "Fame" label re-issue cassette


First Japanese CD
Japanese CD

First Japanese CD back showing the obi
back cover

First Japanese CD back inlay without obi
Japanese CD

1st Japanese CD disc

Japanese re-issue CD

Japanese 2nd CD back

Japanese re-issue CD back


Stock CD


Promo CD

Japanese re-issue CD with card sleeve

Japanese CD with card sleeve

paper sleeve insert

Japanese card sleeve insert

usa cd booklet

USA CD booklet 

Japanese card sleeve disc

Japanese card sleeve disc

USA CD back

USA CD back


USA CD disc

Obscure Alternatives German CD

German CD back cover

CD label

German CD disc


Russian CD booklet

Russian CD disc

Russian CD disc

Russian CD inside booklet

Inside the Russian CD booklet

CD back

Russian CD back cover

USA & Canada LP edition - alternate track order

USA: Ariola Records America/Hansa SW-50047
Canada: Ariola Records America/Canada Quality SW 50047
Canadian cassette SW4 50047

This has a different track order (see below) and uses a red instead of blue logo on the sleeve. This was released nearly 2 months before the rest of the world to tie in with the band's only US tour.
Side A:
  1. Sometimes I Feel So Low
  2. Automatic Gun
  3. ...Rhodesia
  4. Love Is Infectious
Side B: Same as the regular version

US & Canadian sleeve

USA record label

test pressing

US test pressing

Canadian label

Canadian cassette

Canadian cassette inlay

Canadian cassette

Canadian cassette

UK cassette version - alternate track order
ZCAHA-8007 The original Hansa version of the cassette album includes another alternate track order and also an edited version of "Automatic Gun" which omits the tape spool noise at the beginning. This was possibly to avoid complaints from people thinking their machines or the cassette might be faulty.

Side One:

Automatic Gun (edited version)
Love Is Infectious
Obscure Alternatives

Side Two:
Sometimes I Feel So Low
Suburban Berlin
The Tenant
Hansa tape picture inside

Picture inside the inlay

Spanish Cassette - another alternate track order!

Ariola D 400066

There is also a Malayian cassette (probably not official, on the "ET" label) with the same tracklisting. ET 1570.
Side One: Automatic Gun ...Rhodesia Love Is Infectious Suburban Berlin Side Two: Obscure Alternatives Deviation Sometimes I Feel So Low The Tenant


Spanish cassette inlay


Malaysian cassette inlay

Spanish cassette

Remastered version, 2004 

Includes the "Live In Japan" EP tracks and "Sometimes I Feel So Low" video.
  • UK CD 2004,  BMG 82876 566942
  • UK 2006 jewel case version of the above: BMG 82876 84447
  • Japanese 2004: bvcm31131
  • Japanese 2006 "Now & Forever" re-issue of the above: BVCM 37799
  • Japanese 2008 mini LP sleeve version BVCM-35414


Japanese remaster with bonus tracks


Japanese remaster, alternate obi

CD disc

CD - the same design was used for all versions listed here


UK CDR promo

2008 reissue

2008 reissue in mini LP sleeve

8 Track Tapes, USA 1978

These sealed copies were sold on Ebay in 1999. Extremely rare.


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