Friday, 8 June 2018

Totally wired

Wire's first three albums have been reissued. Again. This time there are vinyl versions. If I'm being totally honest, I'm not a big fan of '154'. There are a few really good tracks on it, but it doesn't hold me like the first two records. Now I'm not going to go on about what huge influences Wire were to so many bands that came after them - you can still hear that for yourselves. Neither am I going to use the word 'seminal' like it has become de riguer to do whenever someone mentions these albums. I am, however, going to draw your attention to one particular track that seems to get overlooked.

French Film Blurred appears on 'Chairs Missing' and, to me, could quite easily appear unaltered on one of Blur's later LPs and you wouldn't notice the difference. The hint is there in the song title for starters. Go on - try dropping it randomly somewhere in '13' and see what I mean.

The new 'Special Editions' of 'Pink Flag', 'Chairs Missing' and '154' come with a batch of extras, including numerous demo session recordings. There are two demos of French Film Blurred, both from different sessions and both completely different to each other. The first is a straight-out punk blast lasting little more than a minute. The second is much more akin to the finished album version, only less polished and with a rather abrupt ending.

I would like to dedicate this post to our mate Brian, a wonderful fella who very kindly sent me a vinyl copy of Kate Bush's 'The Dreaming' all the way from the States. Seems he found it while perusing the wares at Crossroads in Portland. Dunno whether this was just before or after his encounter with the lady with the Postcard Cat tattoo... I really hope I can repay him someday soon. What a top bloke!


  1. Hey Robster. Glad you liked the record. It's always nice to see our list of vinyl wants shrink. I'll continue to keep an eye out for those last few from your top 50 you're taking to your grave. Yes, the Dreaming did indeed come from the stall of that woman with the Postcard tattoo, and that's all I found that day. Glad I didn't go home empty-handed.

    As for Wire, 154 is the one from this trio that I don't have. I plan on picking up this vinyl reissue when it becomes available over here next month, but the price is pretty steep. My edition of Chairs Missing has no extras, and I really enjoyed these demos.

  2. It's the heavy manners and Krautrock influences that make 154 my favorite Wire album. As a 16 year old, the emotional darkness and discontent was exactly what I was looking for. Opener I Should Have Known Better is so dark that it's black. The Punk tropes of Two People In A Room has such an urgency that it seems time is running out for it to be played before everything begins to collapse. Finally, Map Ref 41ºN 93ºW has always been one of my favorite Wire songs.

  3. I know those two (with the Postcard tattoos; at Crossroads Records in Portland). They're great!