Skip to content

Tunnelvision \ Watching the Hydroplanes [LTMCD 2409]

This remastered anthology features all studio recordings made by youthful Factory Records group Tunnelvision between 1980 and 1981, including both sides of the Fac 39 7" single produced by Martin Hannett.

In addition there are eight studio demos recorded at Cargo Studio in Rochdale, the second of which was mixed by Peter Hook of New Order. Detailed sleevenotes, artwork based on the original Fac 39 sleeve design by Martyn Atkins.


1. Watching the Hydroplanes (Fac 39)
2. Morbid Fear (Fac 39)
3. The Man Who Would Be King
4. 100 Men
5. Guessing the Way
6. Whitened Sepulchre
7. Old Comrades
8. Glenn Miller
9. Morbid Fear
10. Watching the Hydroplanes
11. 100 Men
12. Guessing the Way
13. The Man Who Would Be King
14. Whitened Sepulchre
15. Watching the Hydroplanes (Portastudio version)

Available on CD and digital download. To order CD simply click on the shopping button below the cover image, or contact LTM by email.

Watching the Hydroplanes [LTMCD 2409]
CD shipping options


"No one could accuse Tunnelvision of being over-achievers: the group released just one single over the course of their career, the ethereal gem that gives this compilation its title. But as legacies go, it's hardly a bad one" (eMusic, 09/2006)

"Following on some years after a single-disc compilation of available Tunnelvision material, LTM returned to the band by offering up two separate discs, generally divided between live and studio cuts. Watching the Hydroplanes was the studio offering, starting with the one item LTM had been unable to license for re-release the first time through - the actual Watching the Hydroplanes / Morbid Fear single itself, the one item the band released during its initial lifetime. Given a remix from original demo tracks by Martin Hannett, it bears less of that producer's imprimatur than might be thought - the feeling is much more one of murk than crispness balanced with echo, say - but Watching the Hydroplanes itself is a hypnotic blend of lost-somewhere vocals, steady rhythm, and a calm but persistent spindly guitar part. The remaining tracks mostly come from two demo sessions - in an odd compare/contrast offering, one session, the second chronologically, is repeated twice, one in its Peter Hook-remixed form and the other as originally recorded, though taken from a muddy source tape. In both versions the band's performances are quite good, if also betraying signs of picking up on the work of bands like Bauhaus and the Cure (musically if not vocally), with Hook proving to be a more sympathetic producer than Hannett, perhaps unsurprisingly bringing the bass to more prominence and emphasizing a strong band performance all around even while letting the individual players stand out. The other demo, the first chronologically, covers the recordings that produced the eventual single (the difference Hannett made being clearly audible), with Old Comrades in particular sounding like it might have been a better choice than Morbid Fear for the flip side in the end. A final, extremely rough alternate take of Watching the Hydroplanes concludes the disc. The liner notes are up to the usual high standard of LTM-related work, giving a solid history of the group while noting that the band reunited in 2003 to carry out more live and studio work, perhaps in the wake of Crispy Ambulance's own striking re-formation" (All Music Guide, 10/2005)