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FRONT OF Drive, He Said DESIGN Drive, He Said 1994 - 2002

Fire Records
Released March 10 2017
FIRELP TBC, 4 lp (vinyl) box set


"If underground rock had a Hall of Fame that gave awards for influence and creativity, Pere Ubu would be more decorated than Magic Johnson." Rolling Stone, review of 'Raygun Suitcase,' May 1995

"From the beginning they obviously understood the nuts and bolts of popular music, and then loosened them." Mojo, review of 'Pennsylvania,' April 1998

"Uncompromising is an epithet bandied around with frightening abandonment these days, and one which should really only apply to those who strive to push beyond musical boundaries and bend the parameters of modern music. Bands such as 70s art-punk collective Pere Ubu." Kerrang!, review of 'St Arkansas,' August 2003
Contents:
  • Raygun Suitcase, vinyl lp
    Side One
    Folly Of Youth 4:06
    Electricity 4:09
    Beach Boys 3:16
    Turquoise Fins 2:38
    Vacuum In My Head 3:51
    Memphis 3:47
    Side Two
    Three Things 4:08
    Don't Worry 2:48
    Red Sky 3:58
    Montana 4:23
    My Friend Is A Stooge 2:38
    Down By The River II 3:17
  • Pennsylvania, vinyl lp
    Side One
    Woolie Bullie 2:52
    Highwaterville 1:30
    SAD.TXT 3:19
    Urban Lifestyle 2:56
    Silent Spring 2:52
    Mr Wheeler 3:35
    Muddy Waters 3:21
    Side Two
    Drive 4:39
    Indiangiver 0:51
    Monday Morning 2:56
    Perfume 4:26
    Fly's Eye 2:38
    Wheelhouse 5:02
  • St Arkansas, vinyl lp
    Side One
    The Fevered Dream Of Hernando DeSoto 2:42
    Slow Walking Daddy 4:52
    Michele 3:08
    333 4:02
    Hell 4:58
    Side Two
    Lisbon 3:28
    Mr Steve 2:46
    Phone Home Jonah 2:40
    Where's The Truth 3:17
    Dark 9:14
  • Back Roads, vinyl lp
    Side One
    My Name Is Ellipsis 7:35
    Surfer Girl 2:59
    Horse 5:11
    Electricity (board mix) 4:28
    Side Two
    Dr Sax 4:54
    Slow 1:09
    The Duke's Saharan Ambitions 6:52
    Ray Gun Suitcase 3:33
    SAD,TXT (live) 3:49
  • A3 sized Raygun Suitcase poster by Johnny Dromette

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

Links:
BioBox ArtLyrics to Raygun SuitcaseLyrics to PennsylvaniaLyrics to St Arkansas

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Background:
'Raygun Suitcase,' 'Pennsylvania,' and 'St Arkansas' were written to be a trilogy. That they are grouped in the 'Drive, He Said' box is fitting.

"For the longest time I have considered Mark Twain's 'Life On The Mississippi' to be the Great American Novel," David Thomas said. "It's influence on my writing began to appear with The Tenement Year. By the 90s I was determined to write my own Great American Novel based on it. That was those three albums. The mistake would be to look for a linear construct. There is no such thing as a 'linear' Ubu story or construction. Pere Ubu winds and snakes back on itself like the Mississippi. There are hidden dangers just below the surface. The boiler might blow at any moment, or the River decide to cut itself a new course through the wilderness."

These three albums were the catalyst finally uniting critics and the establishment to recognize that the band's music was a force to be recognized, prompting a four day David Thomas/Pere Ubu festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London and a three day festival at UCLA in Los Angeles. The Knitting Factory in NYC and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame similarly honored Pere Ubu with special events.

'Raygun Suitcase' was the winner of the 'CD Review' Editors' Choice Award in 1995. 'Pennsylvania' was voted #1 in the 'Village Voice' Music Critics Poll in1998. In 2002, 'Mojo' said, in reaction to 'St Arkansas,' "It's difficult to think of a more important band currently working."

Noted American critic Greil Marcus wrote about 'Pennsylvania in 'Double Trouble' (Faber & Faber):

"What comes into view is a secret country: barely recognizable, and undeniable. And it's a thrill to hear, now, all of David Thomas's voices swirling around the listener, on the street. Pennsylvania seems to draw out of its own spectral geography and that street can be wherever you find yourself.."

Current band members Michele Temple and Robert Wheeler joined Pere Ubu during the 'Raygun Suitcase' sessions, Steve Mehlman immediately thereafter. it is a defining period for Pere Ubu,

Production Notes:
Pere Ubu is Scott Benedict, Tom Herman, Jim Jones, Scott Krauss, Steve Mehlman, Michele Temple, David Thomas, Robert Wheeler and Garo Yellin.

The three studio albums were remixed in 2016 by Paul Hamann and David Thomas. 'Back Roads' is a collection of outtakes, which have been also remixed and/or remastered. The three albums were recorded for cd release. In the case of 'Raygun Suitcase' and 'Pennsylvania,' there were too many songs included to fit on a vinyl release. Songs have been edited in some cases or moved to 'Back Roads,' where appropriate.

All tracks have been re-mixed to take advantage of the latest technology and the original version of 'Electricity' is reinstated with the vocals that David thouht were considered "too brutal" at the time of recording.

Box packaging designed by John Thompson and Alex Hornsby.

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