We haven’t been this excited about lost master tapes since Jamie Oliver excavated an old bank vault in Manchester and uncovered early Joy Division recordings.

lost  ABC tapes

You might remember that, in March of 2012, builders for the celebrity chef excavated the site of a former branch of Midland Bank and found an unopened safe.  Inside were guns, gold, jewels, and various out-takes from Unknown Pleasures, which Jamie handed over to Peter Hook and co..

This week we can exclusively reveal that a dozen tapes from the early days of ABC have come to light containing rare mixes and unheard songs from the sessions for their first three albums: The Lexicon of Love, Beauty Stab and How To Be A Zillionaire.

From Zillionaire, there’s unheard remixes including a “That’s It Folks!” mix of So Hip It Hurts.  From Beauty Stab, reams of early studio takes have come to light including one song, You And Me, that never made the final album.  From the Lexicon of Love era, the group’s own, pre-Trevor Horn demos of All Of My Heart have come to light and – most bizarrely of all – a reel entitled “4 Ever 2 Gether – The Outtake, Starring Martin Fry as Ken Dodd”.

Look for the full story of how, when and where these tapes where found – and comments from a delighted Martin Fry – in issue 12 of Classic Pop, out 17 July.