Pere Ubu Modern Dance

Pere Ubu
The Modern Dance

(January 1978)
Produced by Pere Ubu and Ken Hamann.

Fire Records FIRECD360 cd.
  Aug 21 2015. 2015 Master.
Fire Records FIRELP360 vinyl.
  Aug 21 2015. 2015 Master.

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Modern Dance Links

FAQThe Annotated Modern DanceDigital transfer and remastering explained • Included in the Elitism For The People box set> • Download Print Quality Cover

Modern Dance Release Notes

Cliff Burnstein, the A&R man for Mercury Records in Chicago, trolled record stores. He came across the Street Waves / My Dark Ages Hearpen single. David happened to be at his parent's house when Cliff called. Cliff identified himself, said he loved the record but ended by saying that Mercury was not the right label for the band. He concluded by saying he was available for any advice David might want. A week later Chrysalis Records called from the UK. Cliff said to David, "Don't do anything. I'll get back to you right away." He called a week later to say he'd put his own label together at Mercury and wanted to sign Pere Ubu. It was to be called Blank Records.

Modern Dance Production Notes

Produced by Pere Ubu and Ken Hamann.
Assistant engineers: Paul Hamann and Mike Bishop.
Recorded at Cleveland Recording and Suma (Painesville OH), 1976-1977.
Original artwork designed by S.W. Taylor from an idea by David Thomas.
Photo by Mik Mellen.
Reissue package designed by John Thompson.

Modern Dance 2015 Master

The analog 1/4" 2-track mix tape from 1977 was digitally transferred by Paul Hamann at Suma at a 192khz / 24 bit resolution. Those files were mastered by Brian Pyle and 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.

Modern Dance 2005 Master

Digitally transfered at 96khz / 24 bit resolution and mastered by David Thomas and Paul Hamann at Suma on August 16 2005. Cds from this master can be identified by the words "2005 Master" on the back tray card.
NB. A pressing plant error meant that old artwork was used to package the one pressing run of the 2005 Master. In these cases there's a sticker on the front identifying it as the 2005 Master and the cd label is black and white with an Avant Garage logo.

Modern Dance 5.1 Master

This DualDisc release features a mix in 5.1 surround sound by Chris Haynes, Silverline Studios, Los Angeles CA, June 15-17 2005, from digital transfers of the original 2" multitrack tapes. The DualDisc format is a two-sided DVD. One side is the 5.1 surround sound remix of the album, a 30 minute interview with David Thomas, and a 2005 master of the 2-track master mix tape from 1977 at 96 khz / 24 bit resolution. The other side is a cd audio format of the 2005 master at 44 khz / 16 bit resolution, which is playable on standard audio cd players. Silverline Records are distirbuted by Essential Music UK.
David Thomas, who attended the surround sound remix session by Chris Haynes, reports: "This is the way we heard The Modern Dance in the studio... no, it's better than that, it's the way we heard it when we were playing it. The detailing is fantastic. The space reveals everything while still retaining the album's intensity and original intention. And the best thing is, if you want to hear something louder or quieter you just move your head a foot. Everything is there!"

Modern Dance 1994 Master

Digital transfer at 44.1 khz / 20 bit resolution and mastered by David Thomas and Paul Hamann at Suma in 1994.

Nonalignment Pact, Modern Dance

Recorded January 1977 at Cleveland Recording and engineered by Ken Hamann. Modern Dance is a remix of the Hearpen 45 side.

Street Waves

Recorded and mixed October 1976 at Cleveland Recording engineered by Ken Hamann. It is a remix of the Hearpen 45 side.

Laughing, Chinese Radiation, Life Stinks, Real World, Over My Head, Sentimental Journey, Humor Me

Recorded and mixed November 1977 at Suma, engineered by Ken Hamann.

Songs written by Herman - Krauss - Maimone - Thomas - Ravenstine, except 'Life Stinks' written by Laughner. ©1978 Fire Songs, under license from Ubu Projex in USA/Canada. ©1978 Virgin Music-BMG VM Music Ltd in Rest of World.

Pere Ubu (v.3.0)

David Thomas - vocals, musette, percussion
Tom Herman - guitar, backing vocals
Allen Ravenstine - EML 101 & 200 analog synthesizers, sax, tapes
Tony Maimone - bass, piano, backing vocals
Scott Krauss - drums

Modern Dance Release History

Modern Dance Songs:

Non-alignment Pact
Modern Dance
Laughing
Street Waves
Chinese Radiation
Life Stinks
Real World
Over My Head
Sentimental Journey
Humor Me

Press Reaction

Jon Savage, Sounds, 2/11/78
Uh-oh, this is getting frustrating, trying to tell you how good this is - black and white is an inadequate substitute for the impact heard... This is a brilliant debut. Granted it lacks the superficial accessibility of lesser works, but this time around the aroma lingers. This is built to last! Ubu's world is rarely comfortable, full of the space beyond the electric light and what it does to people, but always direct and unwavering. And courageous.

Ian Birch, Melody Maker, 3/18/78
It's a devastating debut...this album has struck me with a vengeance. Because it delivers such a powerful, complex and open-ended punch, it's almost impossible at such an early stage to explain why or how in full detail.

David Stubbs, Uncut, August 2006 - 5 Stars
This is a far more cerebral, imperishable proposition than a mere local cry of urban discontent. The Eraserhead-style sad-clown personna of singer David Thomas, Tom Herman's nerve-shredding slide guitars and Ravenstine's abstract electronics combine to form a rock music as visceral and essential as The Stooges, yet which reaches parts of the brain untouched by their peers, predecessors or successors... An album that's only gotten more awesome with age.


Pere Ubu in Mpls David Thomas, Pere Ubu at The Longhorn, Minneapolis, April 1 1978.