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The Divine Comedy

Absent Friends (2020 reissue)

Divine Comedy Records

2cd (pre-order)

Expected Release: 21st Aug 2020


lp (pre-order)

Expected Release: 21st Aug 2020


"Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time - Thirty Years of The Divine Comedy"  In 1990 Neil Hannon started recording and releasing under the name The Divine Comedy.

Thirty years and twelve great albums later, Hannon is rightly adjudged one of the finest singer songwriters of his generation. To celebrate, Divine Comedy Records are remastering and reissuing nine of the band's classic albums. The reissues will be released by Neil Hannon’s own label Divine Comedy Records on August 21st, 2020 Absent Friends was first released in 2004. Describing the album, Neil said: "The songs use stories and characters as a framework to pin my ideas on. It's mostly about the eternal battle between the pull of personal freedom and the comfort of domesticity”. The album was recorded by Guy Massey, mixed by Nigel Godrich and features guest appearances by 6 Music DJ Lauren Laverne and French multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen. “The whole album is rich, beautiful and can make you smile and cry on the turn of a chorus” stated Phill Jupitus in the Radio Times, while the Guardian described it as an “ornate gem” and Word magazine said, “it’s Neil Hannon’s best yet”. Stand out tracks from the album include singles Come Home Billy Bird and Absent Friends, as well as fan favourites Our Mutual Friend and Charmed Life. The album has been remastered from the original tapes at the legendary Abbey Road Studios by mastering engineer Frank Arkwright (Blur, The Smiths.) Overseeing the audio throughout the campaign is engineer/mixer/producer Guy Massey, whose work on the Beatles Stereo Remasters won him a Grammy Award. The CD release consists of 2 discs: the original remastered album, with a second CD of B-sides, demos and alternate versions lovingly curated by Neil Hannon, much of which has never been heard before. The CD comes with a booklet of photos, credits and extensive liner notes written by Neil covering the context and inspiration behind the album and its songs. The LP release consists of the original remastered album, cut at Abbey Road, packaged with a download code for the album and bonus tracks. The LP is heavyweight black vinyl in a gatefold sleeve accompanied with photos, credits and Neil's liner notes.

Absent Friends (2020 reissue)


  1. Absent Friends
  2. Sticks and Stones
  3. Leaving Today
  4. Come Home Billy Bird
  5. My Imaginary Friend
  6. The Wreck Of The Beautiful
  7. Our Mutual Friend
  8. The Happy Goth
  9. Freedom Road
  10. Laika's Theme
  11. Charmed Life

Bonus cd

  1. Absolute Power
  2. Our Mutual Friend (early idea)
  3. The Bird Evolution
  4. Girl Least Likely
  5. Mr Right
  6. Sticks and Stones (demo)
  7. The Dark Horse
  8. Idaho
  9. All Things (alternate version)
  10. Rose For The Lady
  11. Smiler
  12. Absent Friends (demo)
  13. Anthem For Bored Youth (demo)
  14. Our Mutual Friend (alternate version)
  15. Antidepressant
  16. Windy Pop
  17. Laika's Theme (The Promise)
  18. Charmed Life (alternate version)