Poison Arrow


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February 1982

"You are now looking at the first ABC recording to be released in the USA...

The story begins back in Sheffield in 1979: Cut back, remember, retrace steps, and begin...

Martin Fry's obsessions with pop had taken him out of his bedsitter but nowhere important so far. With ambitions to carve out a very considerable niche in the international pop world, a portfolio of arrangements, and an attache case full of surprises, he had a world view and a name: ABC. What he needed, more than anything else, was a group to back it up.


Recruitment would not be easy, but with a certain amount of detective work, and wide scope dragnet in operation, members were found - musicians who knew the meaning of a clean shirt and even cleaner syncopation. With promises of a road that leads from hometown living rooms to Las Vegas, Fry was armed.


It seems that the initial idea was to make music the way a factory might build a car, with a designer's attention to detail scanning from bumper to fin, upholstered and customised to personal specifications. Six months later, the ABC sound had developed into a catalogue of songs that were to excite the hearts of many a record company mogul.


The first step was to record a debut single, but it had to be done with the right kind of record company; ignoring the huge conglomerates, Fry went with the only choice: Neutron Records. To them, all that glitters is gold....and Fry liked it. Ready to go - and they immediately negotiated a gigantic worldwide deal with Polygram (based on violence and greed, maintained by terror and fear) that was to taken Neutron Records and ABC into the 80's and beyond.

With the recording of "Tears Are Not Enough", ABC was brought into the public eye; success was rapid, Stage One of Martin Fry's plan was complete.


Stage Two was clearly another song, another recording: the one in this package, in fact. "Poison Arrow" is a song torn from the events of Fry's personal life, away from the glare of publicity. Many of you out there may thing standing in the spotlight brings its rewards, but Martin is the first to state that the fruits of fame can be sour; he too has his private moments. But it is his duty and privelege to share some of those experiences with the public.



What's it about? Love's ammunition, a poison arrow....or the pain received at the hand of Cupid.



But then again - a love affair without a broken heart?


It's like making an omelette without breaking an egg.






"I hope you enjoy this record as much as we enjoyed making it.



Be Young.

Be Foolish.

Be Alphabetical...."


Martin Fry






Song Review (by Stewart Mason)


One of the definitive singles of the early MTV era, ABC's "Poison Arrow" is, like ABBA's "Dancing Queen" (a song it bears a subtle but unmistakable resemblance to), both a kitsch masterpiece and a brilliantly written, near-perfect pop song. Released at a time when disco was still thought to be stone dead both critically and commercially, "Poison Arrow" is clearly a disco song, from the rubbery bass line and Giorgio Moroder-style synthesized drums to the Barry White-influenced sweep of the strings. (Producer Trevor Horn and arranger Anne Dudley, who would go on to form the Art of Noise after working together on this album, have clearly listened to their Love Unlimited Orchestra albums.) Martin Fry's dramatic vocals lack the Bryan Ferry-derived archness of most of the rest of The Lexicon of Love, in favor of an urgent, almost pained delivery. The vocals, nonetheless, have more than their share of camp, especially in the spoken dialogue that precedes the utterly over-the-top climax. For further adventures in camp, check out the single B-side "Theme From Mantrap" (now available on some CD reissues of The Lexicon of Love), the intro to ABC's pioneering long-form video of the same name, which is a slowed-down version of "Poison Arrow" performed in a cocktail piano setting. (allmusic.com)


7" Single

A: "Poison Arrow" - 3:22        
B: "Theme From "Man-Trap" - 4:18        
12" Single        
A: "Poison Arrow" - 3:22        
B1: "Theme From Man-Trap" - 4:18        
B2: "Man-Trap" (The Lounge Sequence)" - 4:18        


Title/Titel Label Cat# Country/Land Year/Jahr
Poison Arrow (7" Single) Neutron NT102 UK 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single)
Vertigo 6059 500 GER/D 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single)
Mercury 6059 500 FRA 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single) Mercury 6059 500 NL 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single)
Vertigo/Neutron SOV2308 CA 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single) Mercury 7PP-90 JAPAN 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single) Mercury/Polygram 6059 500 PORTUGAL 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single) Mercury MX206279 AUSSIE 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single) Mercury 6059 500 AUSSIE 1982
Poison Arrow (7" Single) Mercury NT 102
SWE 1982
Mercury ---------- MEX 1982
Poison Arrow (12" Maxi)
Neutron NTX102 UK 1982
Poison Arrow (12" Maxi)
Mercury/Phonogram 6400 547 FRA 1982
Poison Arrow (12" Maxi) Mercury 6400 547 NL 1982
Poison Arrow (12" Maxi) Mercury 6400 547 SPAIN 1982
Poison Arrow (12" Maxi) Vertigo/Neutron SOVX2308 CA 1982
Poison Arrow (12" Maxi) Mercury MK211 USA 1982
Poison Arrow (12" Maxi) Mercury/Polygram 6400 547 AUSSIE 1982

Poison Arrow New Re-Mix (12" Maxi)

Polygram 811 329-1 USA 1983
Credits Notes Information    



First 10.000 copies with paper labels and deluxe pic sleeve


appears on/erschienen auf

"Poison Arrow (Album Version/Edit)"
The Lexicon Of Love        
Fantastic Compositions        
Tears Are Not Enough      
The Collection        
ABC Master Series        
Universal Master Collection        
One Better World        
ABC Best - The Look Of Love        
The Best Of ABC: 20th Century Masters        
ABC Millenium Edition        
Look Of Love: The Very Best Of ABC        
Poison Arrow        
The Lexicon Of Love - Deluxe Edition        
The Ultimate Collection        
Classic ABC        
All Of My Heart - The Collection        
"Poison Arrow (New Re-Mix/US Remix)"
The Remix Collection      
The Lexicon Of Love - Deluxe Edition