Wire - 154 (1979) (1 Viewer)

rettucs

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I agree with Lili. It's great but it's not really what I want to be listening to these days. I haven't the time to be writing long posts these days but I wanted to stick in my 2c.

I'm familiar with wire since the mid-to-late 00s and have dipped in and out since then. I bought some kind of early years collection (with a grey cover) and loved it. The first actual album I Iistened to wasn't for a few more years, when Red Barked Trees came out. I really like that album, and went to see them in Whelans on the back of it. That gig was fairly notable for them having a massive row on-stage, and storming off. About 10 minutes later they re-emerged, apologised, and got on with it. Great gig too (cheers to Fin in MCD for sticking me on the guestlist for that one!)

I've dipped in and out of their other stuff over the years. 154 would be one I'd know slightly better than most others. My opinion of it has always been, starts great, dips a bit, one or 2 more bangers, but generally lose interest by the end.

It starts to feel a bit long once you hit the last 2/3 songs.

Agreed on The 15th. Great song. My favs were always A Mutual Friend and I Should Have Known Better.

5/5 but give me a condensed 7 or 8 track version of it any day. A Tomson original, if such a thing exists.
 

Benny Cake

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Last two reviews are strange: “I am obliged to give this a perfect score but it’s actually a drag”.
 

rettucs

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Last two reviews are strange: “I am obliged to give this a perfect score but it’s actually a drag”.
that sums up my attitude to music these days. No enthusiasm to listen to a lot of stuff I loved to listen to in the past. The fact I have no appetite for it now is no reason to say that I think it's anything other than great. It was great then, it's still great now. The difference is me, not the album.
 

Lili Marlene

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I was listening to the last episode of Chart Music there today and they were talking about this song on Top of the Pops, and how at the time it had a context of what was going on in the music papers at the time; all the post-punk talk of stripping things down, rewriting pop music and all these art school ideas, it was very in the air and a lot of music fans were engaged with this stuff, enough to make it a hit. As a song it's a largely forgotten now probably because it doesn't have a huge chorus and when a new generation come to these things with no context they'll just judge it based on whether or not it moves them immediately.

All of that is to say that when I listen to Wire I am aware that they are part of that huge conversation that was going on amongst a relatively small but big enough dedicated core group of music fans, and while I might not myself get a load from listening to this album there was a context at the time that is now gone (music journalism nowadays is just patronizingly explaining the correct way of listening).

So that is why I can give this album 5/5 and still say it's not really for me.
 
Last edited:

nuke terrorist

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the On The Box DVD / CD came out in 2004,
so just prior to the start of YouTube anything like this was an
essential buy e.g. DVD collections of DEVO and CABARET
VOLTAIRE early videos came out about the same time.

the Rockpalast TV concert was recorded in Cologne/Koln in
February 1979 several months before the 154 sessions.
i love this and it's actually the WIRE recording i've listened
to the most.
Alan Bangs the presenter seems to have got them on the show.
he was also on British Forces Broadcast Service Radio in Germany
but like the John Peel show broadcast in Germany it was in reality
was for the benefit of German kids rather than music loving soldiers.

a lot of these early versions of these songs sound markedly different
the 154 versions.
i'm going to pick out a few those tracks:
(bear with me i'm going somewhere with this)

'40 Versions' sounds great here (above)

they also do several more 154 tracks in the concert.

also want to mention the version of Mercy (Chairs Missing)
which is awesome. blows away the album version.
the intro to this is hair raising - G'wan Robert.

Cologne's neighbouring city Dusseldorf had perhaps the best
punk scene in West Germany at the time.
WIRE had maybe the biggest influence then in Dusseldorf.

MITTAGSPAUSE (Lunchbreak) did two records and several members
went on to better known bands after.
this is their first release (1979) a 10 song double 7" :
the songs are almost URINALS level simple at times.
this contains an early version Militurk aka Kebabtraume
a song parodying ignorant attitudes to Turks and East Germans.

a big step forward from the from the same year was the brilliant
single 'Herrenreiter'
PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS ! if you don't know it.

(reminds me slightly of 'I feel Mysterious Today')

after splitting several of them formed FEHLFARBEN (colour printing mistake)
FEHLFARBEN's debut LP - Monarchie und Alltag (EMI, 1980)
is a landmark LP of German rock having steadily sold several
hundred thousand copies.
heavily under the influence of WIRE but with some odd twists like
a ska song and a novelty CHIC style song that later became a hit
in 1982 Ein Jahr (released without band's permission as 7").
great LP, lots of cool songs, more direct than WIRE.

despite this records status in Germany it was never released in
English speaking world and i was so stuck trying to locate a copy
that i succumbed to ordering it off Amazon (yucko ! fuck Bezos).


singer Peter Hein left after the debut LP and the band did two
weaker commercial LP's before disbanding (and later reformed).

Kurt Dahlke aka (electronic musician) PYROLATOR appears
on the final track.
Dahlke was also a founder member of DAF and played on their first LP
Gabi Delgado-Lopez had also sung backing vocals for MITTAGSPAUSE
before he formed DAF.

the live tracks on the second DAF LP Die Kleinen und die Bosen (1980)
were recorded supporting WIRE at the one of the concerts on the
Document and Eyewitness Live LP (Electric Ballroom, London early 1980)
i think was the first album Mute ever released ??
these live tracks are great - love Gabi's singing here
this is my fave period of this band.

Michael Kemner who plays bass on this joined FEHLFARBEN afterwards
and plays on Monarchie ... LP.

am i able to digress or am i able to digress ?
 
Last edited:

rettucs

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the On The Box DVD / CD came out in 2004,
so just prior to the start of YouTube anything like this was an
essential buy e.g. DVD collections of DEVO and CABARET
VOLTAIRE early videos came out about the same time.

the Rockpalast TV concert was recorded in Cologne/Koln in
February 1979 several months before the 154 sessions.
i love this and it's actually the WIRE recording i've listened
to the most.
Alan Bangs the presenter seems to have got them on the show.
he was also on British Forces Broadcast Service Radio in Germany
but like the John Peel show broadcast in Germany it was in reality
was for the benefit of German kids rather than music loving soldiers.

a lot of these early versions of these songs sound markedly different
the 154 versions.
i'm going to pick out a few those tracks:
(bear with me i'm going somewhere with this)

'40 Versions' sounds great here (above)

they also do several more 154 tracks in the concert.

also want to mention the version of Mercy (Chairs Missing)
which is awesome. blows away the album version.
the intro to this is hair raising - G'wan Robert.

Cologne's neighbouring city Dusseldorf had perhaps the best
punk scene in West Germany at the time.
WIRE had maybe the biggest influence then in Dusseldorf.

MITTAGSPAUSE (Lunchbreak) did two records and several members
went on to better known bands after.
this is their first release (1979) a 10 song double 7" :
the songs are almost URINALS level simple at times.
this contains an early version Militurk aka Kebabtraume
a song parodying ignorant attitudes to Turks and East Germans.

a big step forward from the from the same year was the brilliant
single 'Herrenreiter'
PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS ! if you don't know it.

(reminds me slightly of 'I feel Mysterious Today')

after splitting several of them formed FEHLFARBEN (colour printing mistake)
FEHLFARBEN's debut LP - Monarchie und Alltag (EMI, 1980)
is a landmark LP of German rock having steadily sold several
hundred thousand copies.
heavily under the influence of WIRE but with some odd twists like
a ska song and a novelty CHIC style song that later became a hit
in 1982 Ein Jahr (released without band's permission as 7").
great LP, lots of cool songs, more direct than WIRE.

despite this records status in Germany it was never released in
English speaking world and i was so stuck trying to locate a copy
that i succumbed to ordering it off Amazon (yucko ! fuck Bezos).


singer Peter Hein left after the debut LP and the band did two
weaker commercial LP's before disbanding (and later reformed).

Kurt Dahlke aka (electronic musician) PYROLATOR appears
on the final track.
Dahlke was also a founder member of DAF and played on their first LP
Gabi Delgado-Lopez had also sung backing vocals for MITTAGSPAUSE
before he formed DAF.

the live tracks on the second DAF LP Die Kleinen und die Bosen (1980)
were recorded supporting WIRE at the one of the concerts on the
Document and Eyewitness Live LP (Electric Ballroom, London early 1980)
i think was the first album Mute ever released ??
these live tracks are great - love Gabi's singing here
this is my fave period of this band.

Michael Kemner who plays bass on this joined FEHLFARBEN afterwards
and plays on Monarchie ... LP.

am i able to digress or am i able to digress ?
my kinda digression! Just checked out one of those german vids. Will be back for more later cos it sounded great.
 

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