Paul Roland on Cherry Red Records

New Year – New Label!

After 35 years of releasing albums on small indie labels, my back catalogue and publishing has now been acquired by Cherry Red Records, a long established label with a lengthy roster of well-known artists and an active promotions department.

“The first Cherry Red release will be a double CD ‘In The Opium Den – The Early Recordings 1980-87’, and though I wasn’t too enthusiastic about releasing another compilation, it was what they wanted and they are confident that it could introduce my music to a wider audience, so who am I to argue?

“It was very enjoyable going through the early tracks again and comparing the various mixes to pick the best version to include. I hadn’t realized there were several different mixes of ‘Witchfinder General’, for example (the one we chose had more prominent vocals and a harder bass drum), or that there was an alternate mix of ‘Green Glass Violins’, which had only been included on a New Rose CD and promptly forgotten about.

“I also unearthed the EP mix of ‘Alice’s House’, which has an additional female vocal at one point and made a couple of edits that improve ‘Brain Police’ and ‘Ghost Ships’ before giving both CDs the remastering treatment so all 42 tracks sound finer than ever. The booklet comes with lengthy notes by Jon Storey, who had been among the first to write about my music in the influential UK fanzine ‘Bucketful of Brains’. All in all, it’s a very nice and comprehensive package of early recordings.”

We should have a few copies in late February to give away in a competition

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NEWSLETTER • Winter 2012

Welcome to the ‘Bates Motel’!

If you have been watching your mailbox lately, wondering when you might hear the soft thump of a small padded envelope containing the PRAS limited Preview Edition of the new album, let us reassure you that it is only days away. Paul had put all other tasks aside to give priority to completing the bonus tracks, so Paul could deliver the master and artwork to the studio almost two weeks ago, in plenty of time for Xmas, but inevitably Satan’s pixies (yes, the printers) sat on their hands for a week before informing us that one of their machines had broken down (?) and the studio had to find another printer to make the booklet. Anyway, they’re on their merry way and should be with you very shortly.

Paul’s Future Projects

“As promised, I have a number of projects planned for the New Year including a dark medieval-tinged rock album with an occult theme to be released on an Italian label, Palace of Worms, which could mean that a small Italian tour may be possible next year. It has been many years since I had the privilege to play in Italy and I am hopeful that it can be arranged for 2013.

“I have also begun recording an album of original music that I wrote for the early Bela Lugosi talkie ‘White Zombie’ on which I play some of the instruments but don’t sing, as it needs black singers to add authenticity to the voodoo chants. The original idea was to compose a soundtrack for the film, but once the chants began bubbling up from some dark space in my primeval soul, I decided to develop these and let them run for as long as they needed to, rather than restrict them to the timing of a specific scene in the movie. So it will be an album inspired by the film, rather than a soundtrack timed to sync with the action on screen (as I had done with the music I composed for the 1922 horror film ‘Häxan’ – scenes from which can be seen on YouTube).

“My new band and I will be recording our live set at the end of this month for various radio sessions that we have been asked to do and in the spring these will be collected on another limited edition PRAS only release, ‘Professor Moriarty’s Jukebox’, with the new recordings replacing the original ‘live in the studio’ radio session tracks that were to have been included on CD 1 of the 2 CD set because those older sessions had been included as bonus tracks on ‘Duel’ and I didn’t want to see them out again. So, if you missed the free limited edition ‘Strange Brew Session’ CD you will have a second chance as all those tracks will be on CD2 of ‘Professor Moriarty’s Jukebox’.”

“Finally, I haven’t forgotten that I promised unreleased songs (not unreleased versions of previously released songs, but entirely new songs not available elsewhere) for PRAS members only and I will be recording these as soon as I have finished my current book which is another collection of true ghost stories. By the way, if anyone has a true ghost story they would like to share I would love to include it in the book. You can use a pseudonym if you do not want to use your real name, but don’t be shy… If you have a true ghost story to tell email it to me at the usual PRAS Hotmail DE address.

I’m sure we will be able to send a free copy of the book when it’s published to anyone whose story is included.”

Free Books

We sent out quite a lot of Paul’s books as a ‘thank you’ to those of you who have been writing regularly to the PRAS and we would like to know if you found them interesting. If you did and you are happy posting a short review on your ‘local’ Amazon, that would be much appreciated.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, enjoy your holidays and a Happy New Year 2013!


STRANGE BREW SESSION CD and the Big Book Giveaway

Hi Friends!

Woah! We have been overwhelmed by the response to our end-of-year giveaway and have to call “time, gentlemen, please!” after only a couple of days. But fear not, loyal members, EVERYONE who has written in to date (5 Nov) will receive the Strange Brew Radio Session CD and a book.

We were not the only ones inundated with requests for CDs. We had a call from koolkatmusik in America to say they have had far more orders than they can fulfil (it was a burn-on-demand ‘release’), so the PRAS will be releasing ‘Professor Moriarty’s Jukebox’ sometime in the next couple of months instead. Those who wrote a review for KoolKat will now receive their free CD from us instead.

In the meantime, here is the track listing of the Strange Brew CD winging its way to those 30 PRAS members who were first off the blocks:

The Strange Brew Session (all previously unreleased versions)

1)  The King Is Dead
2)  The Great Edwardian Air-Raid
3)  Candy Says
4)  Ghost Ships
5)  I Dreamt I Stood Upon The Scaffold
6)  Strychnine
7)  Masque


8)  Alice’s House
9)  Solitude
10)  Moriarty (demo remixed)
11)  Fairies (unreleased version)
12)  The Ballad of Mary Kelly (demo remixed)
13)  I Dared The Devil (remix)
14)  Public Enemy (acoustic, unreleased)
15)  Day of the Lords (unreleased)
16)  I’m Not Like Everybody Else (unreleased acoustic version)
17)  Death of A Clown (unreleased)

All songs by Paul Roland except 6 (The Sonics) 9 (Black Sabbath) 15 (Joy Division) 16 (Ray Davies) 17 (Dave Davies)

NEWS: Unreleased versions of ‘The Puppet Master’
and ‘Dr Strange’ uncovered

Thanks to PRAS member Peter Barron we have unearthed two previously unreleased versions of ‘The Puppet Master’ and ‘Dr Strange’ which even Paul didn’t know existed! The differences admittedly are small, but certainly noticeable. ‘Dr Strange’ has a slightly different melody on the chorus, while ‘Puppet Master’ has a longer intro and outro, plus half a verse that was later edited out of the released version and is missing one extra keyboard layer which makes this earlier mix considerably clearer.

Both will be included on a future release of ‘The Werewolf of London’ which will also have many retouched tracks. ‘Puppet Master’ will also be released on a vinyl EP by collectible UK psych label Fruits de Mer in January as part of their ‘Psychedelic Gentleman’ series.

* * * * *

PRESS RELEASE: Steampunk / Paul Roland 

“If pop music had existed in the 19th century Roland would have been a star. 

Music Week

If H.G.Wells and Jules Verne could be said to be the Godfathers of steampunk, then surely the name of Paul Roland deserves to be included in the same illustrious company.

This quintessentially English cult indie recording artist and author who has recorded more than 15 albums since his debut ‘The Werewolf of London’ in 1980, has been called ‘the male Kate Bush’ by one-time label mate Robyn Hitchcock, ‘The Lord Byron of Rock’ by influential French music magazine ‘Les Inrockuptibles’ and ‘The Edgar Allen Poe of Psychpop’ by other periodicals as far afield as Germany, Greece, France, Italy, the US and Japan. Roland himself is far too modest to make such claims and perhaps that is why it has taken 30 years for his music to filter through to his natural audience and for him to finally be recognised as a seminal influence on today’s steampunk bands and stylists.

Roland’s pair of 1987 acoustic mini albums, ‘Happy Families’ (a wryly comic collection of songs based on the lives of real Edwardian eccentrics) and the aptly titled ‘A Cabinet of Curiosities’ (featuring songs concerning an Edwardian inventor and his flying machine, an avid collector of demons and a unique string quartet and harpsichord arrangement of ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’!!) were acclaimed at the time of their original release. The problem was he was the master of a genre which had yet to be invented!

Now the PRAS (Paul Roland Appreciation Society) are offering newcomers a unique introduction to his world of dark poetry and bizarre characters with a 36-track double ‘best of’ CD for the price of a pint of porter or a single cigar. ‘In Memoriam’ collects the very best of Paul Roland’s music from 1980-2010. Free samples can be heard at AND and the CD itself can be purchased for less than five pounds sterling from Amazon.

Also visit:

“Genius at play! If Shakespeare, Poe and Conan Doyle were alive today, they would surely have some Roland in their record collections. Unfortunately they’re dead… what’s your excuse?” Bucketful of Brains

“Psych-pop genius…full of gruesome atmosphere…These recordings delineate a mastery of character all perfectly described in sound.”  Ian Abrahams ‘Record Collector’ March 2010

“Paul Roland has remained a cherished figure on the gothic rock and psychpop periphery for 30 years…a treasury of detail and eloquence…Roland’s impeccable narratives (and) formal, baroque instrumentation…creates the antiquated yet timeless ambience his songs deserve”. * * * *

Marco Rossi ‘Record Collector’ May 2010

“Gothic-psych-baroque-rocker waxing demented in a way only an Englishman can…impeccable.” (Goldmine, USA).

“Roland’s gaslight world is one of quaint but dark English folklore, sinister Victoriana and bittersweet stories…File under whimsy?” Uncut

“Roland is a maestro of melancholy and madness… ornate gothic/baroque songwriting and quintessentially English pop-psych dementia…princely stuff.” 

Ptolemaic Terrascope (author site) Contact: via FB or Twitter (see banner links above)

  1. Hi! Its many years now, since I was in touch with you! I still love Pauls work, therefore could I please join the PRAS..! Many thanks! Pete.

  2. Hi Paul, How do I join the PRAS? I’d love to be signed up. Hope all is well for you, Charlie

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