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    • CommentAuthorcc says...
    • (CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008 edited)
    the distinction between over- and badly produced is a hard one to apply to these albums. My sense from reading the book was that both Ideal Copy and Bell... are in a sense under-produced, in that the band was not expert with the machines it used to capture and build from the jams that the songs evolved from. There's a roughness to the final results--somewhat less, I suppose on Bell..--that makes them more exciting to listen to than stuff made at the same time by more polished producers with more rote methods.

    Bell... as I said sounds a bit less exciting to me, though I think the songs are better than on Ideal Copy. But it might be a CD issue--this was the stone age of analog-digital conversion. I don't have Bell... on vinyl--how does it sound?

    I hope, if the band keeps weaving old material into the setlists, that they continue to draw from these records, as "Boiling Boy" was a highlight of the South Street Seaport show, and plenty of other songs from this era would also qualify, I'm sure!
    I played Ideal Copy & Bell over the w/e for possibly the 1st time in a coupla years. despite IC having the 2 outstanding tracks in Ambitious & Feed Me, Bell is a cracking lp. i'd forgotten how good it was. I also played The First Letter &, for me, it's a) brilliant & 2) perhaps the mots 'Wire' lp they're released. for me it encompasses their aggressive pop/rock with the more considered longer instrumental passages (that i refer to as 'soundscapes') perfectly.

    as to the production - it sounds clear as a bell (no pun intended) to me. dunno why, but i had to clean Bell & Manscape b4 considering playing them, they were covered in, er, 'goo' & all my lp's are in perfect nick. i wondered if there was somat wrong with the vinyl used - anyone else had that prob with original copies of theose lp's. thankfully Bell (& hopefully, Manscape) cleaned up ok, so i don't have to invest in cd versions!
    Is there any live footage of this phase of Wire ?, there's been "On The Box" for the 70's and "The Scottish Play" for the 00's, nothing for the 80's, I never got to see them around this time, I'd be interested to see how the songs were performed.

    I've seen the Late Show Drill on Youtube, which whets the appetite nicely, is there any more out there ?
    Before the internet I only saw a few reviews of Wire's 1980's / 1990's albums and had no idea this era wasn't as highly regarded as the first run. I must admit, I'm still confused by it all.
    The first albums I like very much (especially in the early '80's when I discovered them), don't get me wrong. I play them once in a while. But...better than their later work? I cannot even begin to agree with that, but it's probably because of personal taste, I haven't cared for *punk* in many many years. If Wire hadn't grown and evolved I would have no interest in them at all, and if they hadn't have reunited I'd have long forgotten about them. That's just me.
    My two favorite Wire albums are "Manscape" and "The First Letter" and have been since I rediscovered the band in the early '90's. It's been almost 20 years and I'm STILL finding new things in those albums every time I play them; even Bob Dylan's stuff isn't that wondrous to me. And I love the more recent Wire, but somehow I keep going back to those two, although electronic alternative is not a genre I have ever had much use for.
    So imagine my shock when I found out how completely disregarded "Manscape" is to many listeners and how overlooked "The First Letter" is. (Sorry to all the fans as this is merely a rehash of what I've said over there).
    I'd love to find out why the albums aren't as highly rated as I think they should be. :-)
    Ah, there's 2 of us that REALLY rate Wire mk2!!! since signing up here & in anticipation of O47, i've played Wire's back catalogue & there's sooo much going on with Ideal Copy & especially Bell & Manscape (the latter 2 were on constant rotation for several days) that the 1st 3 flounder in their wake. i think there's some classic punk/pop songs on PF (particularly) & Chairs and 154 still sounds fresh & original today, but it's Wire mk2 that float my boat with its consistency of quality, original choons across 4 brilliant lp's!

    but yeah, it's all about personal choice & it's great that even within a band (possibly a genre on their own!) there's so many different styles to choose from. it's why we're here innit!
    >>Ah, there's 2 of us that REALLY rate Wire mk2!!! <<
    Hello! I'm sure we're out here. :-)

    >>but yeah, it's all about personal choice & it's great that even within a band (possibly a genre on their own!) there's so many different styles to choose from. it's why we're here innit!<<
    Exactly. I couldn't tell anyone what genre Wire belong in or to. Thats part of their genius.
    I would like to tell you that when the late great John Peel (Crazy About PJ Fall Banana) played
    'A Snake of Seriocity' I had an acute attack of moderninity and projected furniture far into the future
    I marched upon ancient Persia and summoned a green turbanned angel
    So what ya gonna do about it, huh?
    I think very few bands in the eighties who utilised the latest production techniques made it work for them instead of letting the technology dictate their sound. Wire managed it, even though the eighties albums don't hold up as well as the unsurpassable brilliance of 154 and Chairs Missing. The only other bands I can think of who have expensive eighties production and weathered the time storm are Killing Joke (Night Time) and the Banshees (Tinderbox)
    Does anyone have a link to any '80's Wire concert footage? I've seen the Drill with SS but have been unable to unearth anything else. There has to be something...right?
    I haven't seen much. I keep hoping that DA Pennebaker will reveal that he was testing his cameras for Depeche Mode's 101 film by shooting Wire's set at the Rose Bowl show, but I'm not holding my breath. With my luck he filmed OMD instead.
    • CommentAuthoruri says...
    • (CommentTimeApr 17th 2010 edited)
    Don't think that much '80's live footage has made it onto the web. From memory, there's a few videos about however. The Bloomsbury Theatre show in '85, the Reading Festival '90 (almost '80's ;) ) -audience recording and from what I can remember, their Oxford Museum of Modern Art show in '85 was properly video'd but I've never seen a copy of that.

    It's strange that now almost every gig appears on youtube a day or so after, recorded on someone's mobile.

    • CommentAuthoruri says...
    • (CommentTimeApr 18th 2010 edited)
    Speaking of '80's wire on the web, I've just come across this fabulous video of Colin's band in '81 soundchecking for Hurrah's in the US. They're playing fave of mine, 'Lorries'.

    The archive it comes from, although only very partially released is a treasure trove of late '70's/ early eighties bands with some sets I'd dearly love to see.
    Good spot Uri! Wish there was more of this. One would assume that there was a recording of the actual set. Lets hope it surfaces.

    I really like what Lorries became (as compared to the version on Turns & Strokes)
    Lorries is one of the best things Colin Newman has ever written, and it was great to see a live version.

    Is that Desmond with the glasses and big hair? Oh dear.
    Cheers Uri. Enjoyed that!
    Nice haircuts!
    I made the link between the 'Turns and Strokes' Lorries and the Colin Newman one by the name, how could there possibly be two songs called Lorries that weren't related? So I went back to T&S and listened again to Lorries mk1. There is no relationship bar the name I swear it. They're two different songs! Buggered if I can hear anything in common. Can anyone?

    If not, did Colin just like the title or did it warp into a totally different song?

    There is some kind of precedent for this in the wire anthology, have many spotted the link between 'Dot Dash' and '23 years too late'? At least you can hear it if you listen for it. They had the grace to change the title. '23 years too late' is a 3rd generation of 'Dot Dash' with the secong generation being the unreleased song 'Dip Flash' if I recall its title correctly that wire performed at the M25 theatrical event in the early 2000's.

    Goddamn, you're right. Now that it's pointed out, I *can* hear Dot Dash in 23YTL!
    There's a definite link between Lorries by Wire as heard on Turns & Strokes and Lorries on Not To. To my (admittedly compromised) ears the churus has the same tune, although radically different lyrics and mood
    check out this Colin Newman piece from the Crammed era.