The Modern Dance was constructed around the Hearpen singles, fundamentally. The Dub Housing session was the band's first effort at an album of songs that would fit together. Work began after the first US and European tours. Another more extensive set of tours was planned to follow.
Cliff Burnstein, now the band's manager, came out to Suma to hear the final mixes. It's great, he said. Do two more albums like this and you will be pop stars.
"What if we don't know how," Allen asked. "But more to the point, what if we don't want to?"
"As long as you make good music, someone will want to put it out."
Cliff was also managing a young group from England called Def Leppard. He would have them come out to study how Pere Ubu conducted soundchecks at a show during the November tour. Cliff went on to manage a number of heavy metal bands, including, finally, Metallica.
This was the first album designed by John 'Johnny Dromette' Thompson. He put it together using the xerox machine at the drug store at the bottom of the street, next to the Discodrome. The cover is a view of the Plaza, 3206 Prospect Av, from its back parking lot. Many of the band lived at the Plaza. The girl in the window was Jean Kormos, the 'Ubu Girl.' She appeared on the back of The Modern Dance album, under the bridge on the New Picnic Time cover and on the car hood on the front of the Datapanik In The Year Zero EP.
Where did the Dub Housing title come from?
"The first show of our first tour, the Coed Jail Tour in 1978, was in Baltimore. Where we were driving, all the cross-streets were lined with identical terrace houses. Dub music was playing on the van stereo. 'Look,' I said, pointing out the window, 'Dub housing.'"
Produced by Pere Ubu and Ken Hamann.
Engineered by Ken Hamann.
Recorded and mixed at Suma in 1978 on July 31, Aug 1, Aug 7-10, Aug 28-31, Sep 4-7, Sep 14-15, Sep 17-20, and Sep 22 and 24.
Portions of 'Thriller!' were recorded at the Discohome, Bellfield Rd, Cleveland Hts, OH. Original lp mastered at Air Studios, London.
Original artwork designed by John Thompson.
Photos by Mik Mellen.
Reissue package designed by John Thompson.
The analog 1/4" 2-track mix tape from 1978 was digitally transferred by Paul Hamann at Suma at a 192khz / 24 bit resolution. Those files were mastered by Brian Pyle and with them Pete Norman cut the lacquers for vinyl at Finyl Tweek, London, on a Neumann VMS80 lathe. David Thomas prepared the download audio files from the 192khz / 24 bit masters. CD audio was produced by processing an analog signal run through the Sumex Brown Box converter, designed and built by Ken Hamann.
Digital Transfer at 192 khz / 24 bit resolution and mastered by Paul Hamann at Suma in 2008. Cds from this Master are identified with the words "2008 Master" on the tray card in the lower left.
Digital transfer at 44.1 khz / 20 bit resolution and mastered by David Thomas and Paul Hamann at Suma in 1994.
David Thomas - vocals, Ace-Tone organ, percussion, musette
Tom Herman - guitar, bass, backing vocals
Tony Maimone - bass, guitar, piano, organ, backing vocals
Allen Ravenstine - EML 101 & 200 analog synthesizers, sax
Scott Krauss - drums, organ, percussion
CHR 1207 (UK) lp mc, Nov 1978.
CHR 1207 (US) lp, April 1979.
Chrysalis/Phonogram 6307 646 (France) lp.
Rough Trade Records
Rough Benelux RB1 (NL) lp, 1985.
Rough CD 6002 (UK) cd, 1989.
Rough US 14 (US) cd, 1989.
Base Record (Italy) lp.
Bomba Records BOM816 (Japan) cd, Dec 20 1998 (1994 Master).
Cooking Vinyl Records
COOK CD 170 (UK) cd, Mar 1999 (1994 Master).
COOK CD170 (UK) cd, Nov 17 2008 (2008 Master).
Thirsty Ear Records thi 57069.2 (US) cd, Jun 22 1999 (1994 Master).
RTI Records CKV 2153 2 (Italy) cd, (1994 Master).
Get Back Records
GET 58 (Italy) lp (180g), Apr 1999.
GET 90058 (Italy) red-vinyl lp (140g), 2004.
Fire Records FIRE362 (UK) cd lp, Aug 21 2015 (2015 Master).
Jon Savage, Melody Maker, 11/4/78
A week is a month and you could be forgiven for thinking that the times would catch up with Pere Ubu (and overtake them) as they do so many others... Here, on their second album, Pere Ubu outflank and transcend these pressures. Not gratuitously but through the breadth and consistency of their vision. (I think I like it.) At very first, "Dub Housing" appears harsh, impenetrable and repellent... it seems to be working on some hidden internal logic, from some parallel (and disquieting) universe. On subsequent listens, the "logic," if indeed the tapping of the subconscious and intuition can be called "logic," becomes clearer; the album remains baffling, infuriating, haunting, menacing and ferociously funny... As in "The Modern Dance," they stomp all over "rock n roll's" accepted language and then create, with fire and discipline, one of their own...This album will last.
New Musical Express
Considered in a reasonably recent rock stream, it [Dub Housing] is more aggressively "symphonic" than Henry Cow (deep), but more sympathetically alienated or alienating than The Sex Pistols (shallow). Conventional avant garde music can sometimes be too wrapped up in educated guesswork. Pere Ubu play within terms of a possible resolution, but not into one. People are annoyed by Ubu's accessibility. Or ashamed!
Artrocker, December 2008
Ancient modernism... A telescope into the future. And we're still not there, thirty years later.