Pere Ubu Releases 1975-1995: BUG REPORT

REVISED 7/24/96

These were probably the best vinyl pressings we EVER had of anything. Cleveland Recording / Suma did all the cuts. The pressing plant returned the "30 Seconds Over Tokyo/Heart of Darkness" tapes saying,"There's a lot of noise all over these tapes, maybe you better send us another copy." We assured them that the noise was intentional.

THE MODERN DANCE (Blank/Mercury)
There's alot of nonsense spoken about vinyl. It's a hideous medium. (Digital is also a hideous medium and Sony, unfortunately, made some questionable decisions in the early days. Did you know, BTW, that compact disks were designed with the capability and intention of reproducing quadraphonic sound? Yet another tragedy on the long lonesome highway of missed opportunities.) Ubu never translated well to vinyl. We avoided signal compression, we flooded the mid & low mid-ranges, and the EML was and is an untameable sonic beast throwing spikes every which way. Indifferent corporate pressings and the Ubu laissez faire attitude to detail only made the situation worse. All vinyl issues of the Ubu catalog are disappointments to a greater or lessor degree.

DUB HOUSING (Chrysalis)
The entire second side seems to be distorted.

What happened to the mix of this record is a total mystery. The control room speakers must have been very oddly biased. We were breaking up at the time and tensions in the control room likely didn't help. You can add or subtract 12db at any point and still not effectively change the picture. Very odd. Astonishing in fact and in itself quite an achievement.

The release of this record was a botched affair. Two versions came out. The first was cut from a rejected master. The second was rushed out in a panic when the mistake was discovered. "Arabia" was recorded as an instrumental. The album was mastered. Meanwhile there were complaints about too many instrumental tracks. David panicked, recorded some vocals and edited "Young Miles In The Basement." A new master was cut. The old master got pressed. The Datapanik In The Year Zero box set restores the album to its original form, using the vocal-less "Arabia" and the longer, rambling "Young Miles In The Basement." During the reconstruction process a jew's harp version of "Misery Goats" was discovered and substituted.

Good pressing, probably the best vinyl sound Ubu ever had. It was cut at 45 RPM by Nimbus. But that's where the troubles began. Everybody said, "This isn't an lp, it runs at 45 rpm!" like we were trying to pull a fast one. And we said, "No, it IS an lp but you get better sound at 45 than you do at 33. It's a full length record! It's state of the art technology!" To which, inevitably, the reply was, "Yes, but it's not an lp, is it? It's a 45." We broke up not long afterwards.

TERMINAL TOWER (Rough Trade/Twin Tone)
The left & right channels are flipped and the tape transfer left all songs running at a slower speed. Both cd & vinyl releases are affected.

These are flat transfers. When songs are mixed they reflect the bias of the speakers on which they're mixed and the technology of the time. Older material tends to suffer from a more severe bias. A flat transfer doesn't account for this bias and is, therefore, often a disservice to the music.

RANKING & SKANKING (Rhino Records)
Rhino Records released "Heaven" on a cd compilation called RANKING & SKANKING, The Best of Punky Reggae." It is missing the entire right channel. It's not their fault. A "fixed" pressing should be on sale in summer 1995. The chorus is misquoted in the liner notes. The chorus was "It feels like heaven, It's such a problem."

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