The Squid's Ear Magazine

Pere Ubu

Elitism For The People: 1975-1978 [4 CD BOOKBACK + DOWNLOAD]

Pere Ubu: Elitism For The People: 1975-1978 [4 CD BOOKBACK + DOWNLOAD] (Fire)

Compiling two of the earliest and most essential albums from legendary Cleveland art rock band Pere Ubu--The Modern Dance and Dub Housing (1978), along with the 1995 compilation the Hearpen Singles and a 1977 live set in Manhattan, in a four-disc 'bookback' set featuring excerpts from the Pere Ubu scrapbook 75-82, written by David Thomas, including historical photos.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



David Thomas-vocals, musette, percussion, production, organ

Tom Herman-guitar, bass, backing vocals, production, organ

Allen Ravenstine-analog synthesizers, saxophone, tapes, production

Tony Maimone-bass, piano, backing vocals, guitar

Scott Krauss-drums, production

Tim Wright-bass guitar


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




UPC: 809236140623

Label: Fire
Catalog ID: CD-FIRE-406
Squidco Product Code: 33844

Format: BOOK + 4 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: UK
Packaging: Hardcover Book bound w/ 4 CDS
CD 1-3 recorded at Suma Recording Studio, in Painesville, Ohio, in November, 1975 to 1978, by Ken Hamann. CD3 recorded live at Max's Kansas City, New York City, on February 15th, 1977 .

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Elistism For The People 1975-1978 is a four-disc 'bookback' set featuring excerpts from the Pere Ubu scrapbook 75-82, written by David Thomas, including historical photos. It features the seismic debut album Modern Dance, it's follow up Dub Housing and The Hearpen Singles and the incendiary Live At Max's Kansas City.

The set collects the bracing and brilliant Pere Ubu in their earliest incarnation, with the devasting one-two knockout blow of 1978 studio bookends.

"The Modern Dance is one of the first and greatest art-rock records." The Guardian Reinventing rock music from the ground up, Pere Ubu are equally at ease with Sun Ra and The Monkees, Glen Campbell and The MC5, Can and The Raspberries, they are the white Funkadelic. "Harsh and willfully ugly, yet always mindful of certain rock & roll imperatives: a solid beat, snappy lyrics and engaging themes" Rolling Stone As vital as ever, no band before or since has ever sounded like Pere Ubu - period."-Fire


Artist Biographies

"David Lynn Thomas (born 1953) is an American singer, songwriter and musician based in Great Britain.

He was one of the founding members of the short-lived proto-punkers Rocket from the Tombs (1974-1975), in which he played under the moniker "Crocus Behemoth," and of post-punk group Pere Ubu (1975-present, intermittently). He has also released several solo albums. Though primarily a singer, he sometimes plays melodeon, trombone, musette, guitar or other instruments.

Thomas has described his artistic focus as being the "gestalt of culture, geography and sound". Common themes crop up throughout much of his work, such as the US Interstate Highway system, images of roadside or "junk" tourist culture, Brian Wilson, AM radio, birds, and many others.

Thomas has a distinctive, high pitched voice; Emerson Dameron described Thomas's singing as "James Stewart trapped in an oboe", and Greil Marcus writes, "Mr Thomas's voice is that of a man muttering in a crowd. You think he's talking to himself until you realize he's talking to you."

Thomas was an early member of Rocket from the Tombs, which disbanded after about a year. Along with Rocket from the Tombs guitarist Peter Laughner, he then formed Pere Ubu, which was originally active from 1975 to 1982.

Afterwards, Thomas worked with a variety of musicians including guitarists Richard Thompson and Philip Moxham, and Henry Cow alumni bassonist/oboist Lindsay Cooper and drummer Chris Cutler. Initially, his solo recordings eschewed Pere Ubu's "rock" focus. Lindsay Cooper's bassoon was often prominent, and, when Richard Thompson's guitar was not featured, the guitar would be absent (such as the entirety of 1985's More Places Forever). Thomas's lyrics became increasingly whimsical, and birds became a common theme:

Somewhere along the line, I wrote a song that had birds in it. And then by pure coincidence, another. Some critic asked, "Why all these songs about birds?" And I said to myself, "You think that's a lot of songs about birds?!? I'll show you a lot of songs about birds!" So, for a while, I stuck birds in everywhere I could.

Eventually, several former members of Pere Ubu gravitated into Thomas's group, and by the time of 1987's Blame the Messenger, were sporting a sound distinctly similar to the former band. This fact along with other considerations led directly into the official reformation of Pere Ubu in 1987, and the group has remained active to the present day.

Thomas appears to have been at one point a Jehovah's Witness, an affiliation that has been reflected lyrically in the final song of Pere Ubu's 1979 album New Picnic Time, originally titled "Jehovah's Kingdom Come!" However, in subsequent releases of the album, the song has been re-titled "Hand A Face A Feeling" and then "Kingdom Come"; in the albums' lyric sheet, maintained by Thomas on Pere Ubu's official website, the titular line has been changed to "God's Kingdom Come"; the song itself has been re-mixed to remove references to Jehovah.

Thomas's solo activities were diminished, though not extinguished, by the reformation of Pere Ubu. Throughout the 1980s, Thomas maintained a rotating trio dubbed the Accordion Club, which at various times included John Kirkpatrick, Chris Cutler, Garo Yellin, and Ira Kaplan. While these groupings tended to share a repertoire with Pere Ubu, the focus was smaller. Thomas stated: "I often use the same songs in both projects ... I can explore the stories behind the songs. I can extend/expand/interpolate those stories." Though the Accordion Club never recorded any albums, two songs appeared on Rē Records Quarterly Vol.2 No.1, and it led to the formation of Thomas's current "solo" project, the Two Pale Boys. Devoted to "spontaneous song generation", they feature Keith Moliné on guitar and Andy Diagram on "trumpet through electronics;" both make frequent use of MIDI, giving them a broader tonal palette than might be expected from two instruments. In addition to singing Thomas frequently plays melodeon. Says Thomas:

Pere Ubu is a big rock experience, often overwhelming in its power and intensity of dataflow. It's a Hollywood blockbuster on a cinemascopic screen. Projects like the [Two Pale Boys] are intended as indy arthouse films.

Thomas typically has a large number of ongoing projects at any one time. He has performed in theatrical productions, including several productions by Hal Willner, and a London West End production of Shockheaded Peter. He has delivered his lecture "The Geography of Sound in the Magnetic Age" at Clark University and UCLA, among other venues. He has staged his "improvisational opera" Mirror Man at venues in Europe and North America, featuring at various times contributions from many of his previous collaborators, as well as Linda Thompson, Bob Holman, Robert Kidney, Van Dyke Parks, Frank Black, George Wendt, and Syd Straw. In 2010 he performed with the backing of Australian band The Holy Soul.

Most recently he has alternated recording and performances primarily between Pere Ubu, David Thomas and Two Pale Boys, and the reunited Rocket from the Tombs."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Thomas_(musician))
11/27/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Tom Herman (Thomas E. Herman ) b. 1949 in Buffalo, New York. Graduated Cathedral Preparatory School For Boys and the U.S. Army. Tom is happily married to Linda, and has four wonderful children: Avery, Sally, Irreverence, and Echo.

Tom has worked in a steel mill, a fish factory, on an oil rig, in an a.m./pm., a car wash, a couple restaurants, a couple hospitals.

Pops, as he insists on being called, started on electric bass in '66, guitar in '68. He can also play tenor sax, and synthesizer, and has some knowledge of piano. He studied music theory and composition at the D'Angelo School of Music, Mercyhurst University for a short time. Otherwise, he is mostly self taught.

Tom is a founding member of Pere Ubu. He left the band in 1979. He returned to Pere Ubu in 1995. He also played in other bands, notably Tripod Jimmie, with three independently released albums. In the early '80s, Tom created music for several San Francisco Bay Area performance artists.

Tom left the band again in 2016."

-UBU Projex (http://www.ubuprojex.com/facts/bio.html)
11/27/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Allen Ravenstine (born May 9, 1950) is an American keyboard player, most recognized for his work in the experimental rock group Pere Ubu. In 1991, he quit music to become a commercial airline pilot.

Allen Ravenstine was born on May 9, 1950. He had much exposure to music at a young age, his interest derived from his mother playing Sergei Rachmaninoff and other classical music and his father's interest in jazz and percussion records. He played the trombone in grade school but quickly lost interest. Ravenstine's first real experience as an artist came in 1971 after abandoning his college pursuits. He met visual artist Bob Bensick, who was experimenting with sending distortion into oscillators and out to a stereo system. Eventually, they discovered a way to attach lights and have them work in conjunction with the sounds being produced and decided to stage art shows. The act was short lived as Ravenstine moved out of the area and lost contact with Bensick. Soon after, Ravenstine purchased his first synthesizer, an ElectroComp EML 200, and began associating with the garage band Rocket from the Tombs and recording their performances.

Ravenstine owned the apartment building called "The Plaza", which served as home and gathering place for the developing art and music scene in Cleveland in the early 70s.

Ravenstine first worked with Pere Ubu in 1975 after being asked to contribute to the band's recording of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo". However, he was discouraged by the thought of having to perform live shows and opted to discontinue his involvement with the band. After watching Pere Ubu perform at a few venues, Ravenstine changed his mind and returned as a full-time member of the band, replacing keyboardist Dave Taylor. He continued his work with Pere Ubu until 1989 with the release of Cloudland, when he decided to leave the group and pursue his own interests.

Ravenstine obtained a pilot's license after Ubu's initial breakup, and after leaving the band permanently, worked as a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also completed a novel which was never published. Ravenstine largely avoided musical activity of any kind after leaving Pere Ubu, once making a guest appearance at a Red Krayola show in Los Angeles in 2004. In 2012, an invitation to contribute to "I Dream of Wires: The Modular Synthesizer Documentary" led to the recording of an impromptu duo performance on the EML-101 and 200 synthesizers, with current Ubu synthesist Robert Wheeler. Culled from this were a pair of albums and singles, entitled City Desk/Farm Report, which were self-released in 2013. On June 29, 2018, he released a solo album entitled Waiting for the Bomb on Recommended Records.

In reviewing Dub Housing, critic John Dougan writes, "Ravenstine, who may be one of the all-time great synth players colors the sound with ominous whooshes of distortions, blips, and blurbs that sound like a sped-up Pong game." "

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Ravenstine)
11/27/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Tony Maimone (born September 27, 1952) is a bass guitarist, producer, and recording engineer, who lives in Brooklyn, New York.

He was a member of Pere Ubu from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, often playing with the drummer Scott Krauss. They were dubbed by a critic "one of the great unheralded rhythm sections in all of rock". He is known as one of the former members of They Might Be Giants from 1992 until 1996.

Maimone has also worked with Bob Mould, Frank Black, The Mekons, They Might Be Giants and Jon Langford.

Maimone currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, where he owns and operates Studio G Brooklyn, a recording studio with Joel Hamilton. He has produced and/or engineered/played on albums for artists including No Grave Like The Sea, The Book of Knots, Ani DiFranco, The Dixons and The Shondes, Felili, Destronauts, Laura Brennemen, Will James, Bob Kidney, Lord Ward, Peg Simone, Gachupin, Jon Langford, Cock Lorge, Sam Johnson, Steve Northeast, Shark?, Golem, Revel Switch, Mike Watt, Megan Reilly, Zigitros, Fai Baba and CC Carana.

Currently,[when?] he is playing with Megan Reilly, Home and Garden, Book Of Knots, CC Carana, Sasha Dobson, and No Grave Like The Sea."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Maimone)
11/27/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Scott Krauss played drums in Pere Ubu from 1975 through 1981, then again from 1987 through 1994. On the album ,Story of My Life, Scott also took over some keyboard duties.

Scott is also the central figure in the band Home and Garden, which is generally a studio project and is now his main musical outlet."

-Nadir-Novelties (https://nadir-novelties.net/ubu/krauss.htm)
11/27/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Tim Wright (1950 August 4, 2013) was an American musician. He was the original bassist with Pere Ubu, but left in 1978 to join Arto Lindsay in the no wave band DNA. He stayed with the group until they disbanded in 1982. Timothy Wright was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1950. He died of cancer on August 4, 2013, aged 63."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Wright_(bassist))
11/27/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Non-alignment Pact 03:18

2. Modern Dance 03:28

3. Laughing 04:35

4. Street Waves 03:05

5. Chinese Radiation 03:28

6. Life Stinks 01:52

7. Real World 04:00

8. Over My Head 03:51

9. Sentimental Journey 06:05

10. Humor Me 02:43

CD2



1. Navvy 02:40

2. On The Surface 02:35

3. Dub Housing 03:39

4. Caligari's Mirror 03:48

5. Thriller! 04:36

6. I, Will Wait 01:45

7. Drinking Wine Spodyody 02:43

8. (Pa) Ubu Dance Party 04:46

9. Blow Daddy-o 03:38

10. Codex 04:54

CD3



1. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo 06:21

2. Heart of Darkness 04:43

3. Final Solution 04:57

4. Cloud 149 02:36

5. Untitled 03:31

6. Street Waves 03:04

7. My Dark Ages 03:59

8. Modern Dance 03:28

9. Heaven 03:04

CD4



1. My Dark Ages 06:53

2. Heaven 03:55

3. Sentimental Journey 06:56

4. Over My Head 07:38

5. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo 06:56

6. Life Stinks 02:29

Related Categories of Interest:


Book
Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
Song Based Music
Jazz Reissues
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New in Rock Forms
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