8 tracks, 48 minutes. Originally recorded at Southern Studios in 1983, Little Annie's Soul Possession was brought back to our studios in 2010 and remastered by Harvey Birrell. Soul Possession has been reissued and beautifully repackaged with brand new artwork from Little Annie's own paintings. The CD is packaged in a digipack and comes with extensive liner notes from Robert R Conroy, which shed light into the events around the recording. Also available in this series of reissues are Little Annie's Jackamo and Short and Sweet.
"Annie had always loved reggae and dub, but now living in London, she was soaking in the stuff. The Crass crew already knew Sherwood (On-U Sound), and he and they both recorded at Southern Studios in London. Sherwood and Annie met, and got on like the proverbial house on fire. An LP, joint venture of both On-U Sound and Crass' Corpus Christi label, came into being. It was called Soul Possession and was unleashed in 1983.
Soul Possession is easily the most extreme LP Annie has released to date an unsettled and unsettling collection of rhythmic soundscapes, over which Annie intones some of her most grim and grisly lyrics. Soul Possession is not about beauty, though it does have some dark, lovely moments. It is an album that has a political point to make, and it does so very, very effectively. It is a brutal reflection of the brutality of modern life. It is steeped in the aesthetic mindset of Crass indeed collective members Penny Rimbaud, Pete Wright and Eve Libertine are featured players.
Annie, the chanteuse, is just in her formative stages here, and her breathy/breathless rants have more in common with the urgent vocal delivery of Alan Vega or Don Van Vliet than they do with Judy Garland. Sherwood's production is an evil wonder, a haunted house full of bubbling baselines, eerie electronics and clattering graveyard percussion. Closet Love sets the scene for the LP, a gently funky bass spars with a jittery drum machine and an abrasive keyboard, while Annie coos a nightmare scenario of lovers ripping each other apart/rotting in each others arms.
Third Gear Kills has a great, grim groove and Annie spins a hypnotic tale of automotive violence and sex, la JG Ballard's Crash. 'Turkey Girl' feels like an explicit homage to Captain Beefheart. It boasts a catchy melody and the most traditional song structure on the LP, but the lyrics are a monstrous parody of the tales of male sexual prowess one might find in a blue blues song. ("Wanna slice my cock on your pop top", the clearly deranged narrator barks at his "turkey fuck girl".) Burnt Offerings calls to mind Mark Stewart and his Maffia, and punctuates its tale of torture and mind control with a sad piano melody, which helps make Annie's performance all the more harrowing.
To Know Evil advances on the listener like some huge, mutant reptilian monster, before settling into an evil, repetitive groove over which Annie catalogues the horrors of war. Strangely Annie abandons her vocal duties entirely for 'Sad Shadows', giving the song over to Crass' Eve Libertine who gives her best angry-ghost-howling-in-the-wind delivery to Annie's images of female oppression. The song is both haunting and haunted and grows oddly funky as it progresses.
'Viet Not Mine, El Salvador Yours' may well be this scary album's scariest moment, with its horror movie soundtrack/backing track and Annie's flock of harpies multi-track vocals, of which Diamanda Galís might well have been proud. The final track, 'Waiting for the Fun', arrives with evil bass lines, funky drums and another hornets' nest of vocals, which return again and again to an oddly plaintive, folk song melody.
Critics were effusive with their praise. Clearly this was the work of an artist to be reckoned with.
For those 'in the know', Annie Anxiety was now a known quantity. She never did make it to Berlin, she would live in London for the next decade. She would soon abandon her post in the Crass collective, and be issued a card to carry indicating her position as resident diva for the On-U Sound crew. A dub chanteuse would emerge.
Right place, right time.
But that's another story"
Robert R Conroy
New York City, September 2010
Taken from Robert R Conroy's notes for the insert of this reissue of Soul Possession.
The CD is beautifully packaged in a digipack with artwork taken from Little Annie's own paintings and comes with extensive liner notes from Robert R Conroy, which shed light into the events around the recording.
Also available in this series of reissues are Little Annie's Jackamo and Short and Sweet.
1. Closet Love
2. Third Gear Kills
3. Turkey Girl
4. Burnt Offerings
5. To Know Evil
6. Sad Shadows
7. Viet Not Mine, El Salvador Yours
8. Waiting for the Fun
Running Time: 48 minutes
Released: January 2011