The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wire


4-11-08 Wire

Wire – a great UK new wave / no wave singles band!

LP 154 HARVEST UK SHSP 4105

CD 154 re PINK FLAG US PF 13

CD CHAIRS MISSING RESTLESS 72361.2

CD DOCUMENT AND EYEWITNESS MUTE UK WIRE 80CD

7" DOT DASH / OPTIONS R HARVEST UK HAR 5161

7" I AM THE FLY / EX LION TAMER HARVEST UK HAR 5151

12" IN VIVO MUTE US 75528-0

CD IT'S BEGINNING TO AND BACK AGAIN MUTE US 73516.2

12" KIDNEY BINGOS MUTE US 72245-0

7" MANNEQUIN / FEELING CALLED LOVE / 12XU HARVEST UK HAR 5144

7" MAP REF. 41N 93W / GO AHEAD HARVEST UK HAR 5192

7" OUR SWIMMER / MIDNIGHT BAHNHOF CAFE ROUGH TR UK RTO 79

7" OUTDOOR MINER / PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT HARVEST UK HAR 5172

LP PF456REDUX PINK FLAG UK PF 456REDUX

7" QUESTION OF DEGREE, A / FORMER AIRLINE HARVEST UK HAR 5187

CD5 READ & BURN 01 PINK FLAG UK PF 4

7" SONG 1 / GET DOWN (single w/”154”) HARVEST UK PSR 444

Wire are also one of the few bands who seem to have more currency in the new century than many of their contemporaries.

They arrived at the same time as all of the unlistenable punk 45’s did – from England. It’s a small miracle that I got (and kept) their debut 45, “Mannequin” – I guess I kept it because they were on the Harvest label – EMI UK’s progressive rock label that had recently ‘turned punk’.

Anyway – to the point of the matter – great singles band! “Outdoor Miner” is short, but sweet. “A Question of Degree” is fantastic, just amazing. And I dearly love their ‘thrown-off-of-EMI’ 45: “Our Swimmer” – which is ‘very commercial’ in my opinion.

It’s a shame that you had to buy the “Document and Eyewitness” double LP to get a decent sounding copy of “Our Swimmer” on an LP or CD. It should’ve been the last single on EMI / Harvest, but it wasn’t.

I got some of the Colin Newman solo albums, as well as some Gilbert / Lewis CD’s (Dome etc). – just noisy. Different than Wire, not at all comparable. Some of the Newman LP’s were OK, but I do not remember which ones. And I never particularly went for the (re-formed) Wire titles on Mute – but I kept a few of them.

The last blip on the Wire radar for me was finding an inexpensive copy of “Read & Burn 01” – which I thought was really good. I never got any of the DVD’s they were hawking – and I only found one of the re-mastered CD’s (“154”, always my favorite Wire LP). Are they going to play L.A. this time? Or did they, and I missed ‘em?


2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

In Sync -

Ron, we're definitely in sync. Yesterday I got the Al Kooper book and today I managed to pull the new Was (Not Was) from the player long enough to listen to Wire's The Ideal Copy coming to work. I found it one of my favorite albums of 1987 when it came out.

I think I may have mentioned that I never have heard the first note that Wire did in their 1st phase! I came on then they reformed. I have about 4 of the modern albums and I love each one. I am always up for picking up a Wire modern recording. The last I got was the WIR album, which I loved.

Their appearance on Fox's The Late Show, apres Joan Rivers and with Suzanne Somers hosting, is a mind-melting CLASSIC! They perform "Drill" SO F*CKING LOUD that the sound transmitted in broadcast was so heavily distorted one can only imagine the horror in the audience. THEN Ms. Somers interviews the band afterward and Bruce Gilbert is videotaping HER the whole time! She seems to have an IQ of about 40. Needless to say, the party broke up!

But you dismiss the solo records! I have the deluxe Singing Fish from Colin Newman - it's pretty good, but it's Graham Lewis' He Said: Take Care album that I love deeply - even moreso than any Wire albums! John Fryer of 4AD mixed it and the arrangements are fantastic!

But I do need to take the plunge and probably just buy the remastered EMI Wire CDs when I get a birthday gift certificate. I'll cop to the fact that I'm probably missing a lot!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Buy them in this order:

1) 154
2) Chairs Missing

much later

3) Pink Flag
4) Document and Eyewitness (albeit for just one cut, 'Our Swimmer')

Better yet - get the "A Question of Degree" 45, "Outdoor Miner" and then "Our Swimmer.

5:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home