FRONT OF Elitism DESIGN Elitism For The People 1975 - 1978

Fire Records
Released August 21 2015
FIRELP406, 4 lp (vinyl) box set


The limited edition vinyl box is sold out.
'The Modern Dance' and 'Dub Housing' are available as cd and lp releases. See here for details.
The digital download of the entire box (£25), in a variety of high quality formats, is still available.
"Their chemistry seeped into the post-punk water table but Pere Ubu still dance alone." Q Magazine, October 2015.

"Four decades on, it sounds as revolutionary as ever." The Independent 8/17/15.

"Channelling prog ambition, punk attack and all the daring of Krautrock, Pere Ubu were extraordinary." Mojo, September 2015.

"Ultimately, Elitism for the People 1975-1978 functions as a veritable primer for not only those interested in the band, but also those looking to explore the possibilities of popular music." PopMatters, 9/24/15.

"Even a listener deeply familiar with these records--no, especially that listener--will enjoy a high reward for the outlay." Magnet, 9/22/15.

"Pere Ubu were using the tools of experimental music to essentially reinvent rock & roll from the ground up... Elitism For The People confirms two things, essentially: that Pere Ubu were possibly the most original band to emerge from the embers of America's punk scene and, more importantly, one of the best rock & roll bands to have ever spat out riffs, lyrics and noise. " Joseph Burnett, The Quietus

"In a nutshell, Pere Ubu is one of the very greatest of bands." Joseph Neff, The Vinyl District
Contents:
  • The Hearpen Singles, vinyl lp
    1. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo (6:21)
    2. Heart of Darkness (4:44)
    3. Final Solution (4:57)
    4. Cloud 149 (2:37)
    5. Untitled (3:31)
    6. Street Waves (3:05)
    7. My Dark Ages (4:00)
    8. Modern Dance (3:28)
    9. Heaven (3:04)
  • The Modern Dance, vinyl lp
    1. Non-alignment Pact (3:19)
    2. Modern Dance (3:29)
    3. Laughing (4:35)
    4. Street Waves (3:05)
    5. Chinese Radiation (3:28)
    6. Life Stinks (1:53)
    7. Real World (4:00)
    8. Over My Head (3:52)
    9. Sentimental Journey (6:06)
    10. Humor Me (2:44)
  • Dub Housing, vinyl lp
    1. Navvy (2:40)
    2. On The Surface (2:35)
    3. Dub Housing (3:40)
    4. Caligari's Mirror (3:49)
    5. Thriller! (4:36)
    6. I Will Wait (1:46)
    7. Drinking Wine Spodyody (2:44)
    8. Ubu Dance Party (4:46)
    9. Blow Daddy-o (3:39)
    10. Codex (4:54)
  • Manhattan (Live at Max's Kansas City 1977), vinyl lp
    1. My Dark Ages (6:53)
    2. Heaven (3:55)
    3. Sentimental Journey (8:04)
    4. Over My Head (7:38)
    5. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo (6:56)
    6. Life Stinks (2:40)
  • Datapanik '77 poster

  • Code for free audio downloads
Pere Ubu explained If you really want to understand what Pere Ubu does, read this.

Links:
BioPhotosLyrics to the Hearpen SinglesLyrics to The Modern DanceLyrics to Dub Housing

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Background:
The progression from 'The Hearpen Singles' to 'New Picnic Time' is a straight line.

The singles, one after the other, open doors and step inside rooms that are individual spacetimes, each suggesting an alternative future for the band. This process culminates with the 'Manhattan' disk. 'The Modern Dance' is a collection of individual songs. With 'Dub Housing' the individual songs begin to coalesce into an overarching story. 'New Picnic Time' completes that process. Every subsequent Pere Ubu album reflects that paradigm.

The technique used to tell a Pere Ubu story is pointillist. Each song is a collection of pinprick-like dabs of paint. Only by stepping back can you see that the collection of dabs makes for an image and that the assembly of songs makes for a story. The listener must cooperate with a Pere Ubu song and a Pere Ubu album and that involves a degree of submission.

Production Notes:
For the 'The Modern Dance,' 'Dub Housing,' and 'The Hearpen Singles' releases, the following procedure was used. The analog 1/4" 2-track mix masters from 1975 to 1978 were digitally transferred by Paul Hamann at Suma at a 192khz / 24 bit resolution. The resultant digital files were mastered by Brian Pyle. The vinyl was cut by Pete Norman at Finyl Tweek in London, on a Neumann VMS80 lathe. David Thomas prepared the download audio files from the 192khz / 24 bit masters. For cd production, the digital files were output as an analog signal which was processed by the Sumex Brown Box converter, designed and built by Ken Hamann, to yield 44.1khz / 16 bit cd audio.

Purchase of either cd or vinyl comes with free codes for download of MP3 (VBR), MP3 (320 kbps), FLAC, Apple Lossless, AAC (iTunes), or Ogg Vorbis audio files.

'Manhattan' was recorded live on cassette on February 15 1977 at Max's Kansas City, New York City. It is provided courtesy of hearpen.com, where the rest of the show is available. At various points over the decades Pere Ubu has opened alternative paths off into an alternative sound/future.

"I called it Manhattan, not because it was recorded at Max's, but because we went into our nemesis city and said, 'Here's what you people should be doing,'" David Thomas said. "It was our NYC sound. We were 'coming home' to Max's Kansas City, which was what NYC was for us - not CBGB's. Like visiting Graceland."

A limited edition of the box set was released in the UK for National Record Store Day on April 18 2015.

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