pere-ubu-shape-of-things ART
  • Shape Of Things
  • Heart of Darkness
  • Cloud 149
  • Gone Gone Gone
  • 30 Seconds Over Tokyo
  • Life Stinks
  • Final Solution
  • Pushin Too Hard
  • The Way She Looks
  • Doris Day Sings Sentimental Journey
  • Can't Believe It
  • I Wanna Be Your Dog
  • Heroin


Shape Of Things

Pere Ubu
Shape Of Things

Out of print. Copies may still be available from Ubutique. Email to enquire.

Note that a higher quality audio download is available from our Bandcamp site. It's entitled 'Taking Shape.'

Release Notes

This live recording is raw but a unique look at very early Pere Ubu playing early versions of their songs and covers - many of which are not available anywhere else. It is the Ubu equivalent of Velvet Underground Live At Max's Kansas City.

The Shape of Things is one of a series of live official "bootlegs," warts & all recordings. It was recorded on cassette April 7 1976 at the Mistake, Cleveland OH. Pere Ubu and Tin Huey shared the bill, each doing 2 sets. The first set was recorded by future Ubu guitarist Jim Jones. The source of the second set recording is not known but it is from the same evening.

NB The actual date is uncertain. One cassette box listed 4/7/76, the other May 5. The later date seems unlikely in light of the stage announcement of the imminent release of the second single, Final Solution.

The only editing involved cutting down dead air between songs. You may still find those breaks interminable. Imagine the horror of the unedited expanses. Even Jim's "Te deum / tedium" mantra was cut down. These shows marked a turning point in the group's history. Soon afterwards the line-up was disbanded, the two guitar format was ditched and the switching of instruments severely curtailed.

Three of these songs appeared on '390° of Simulated Stereo': Can't Believe It, The Way She Looks (an early version of Over My Head) and Doris Day Sings Sentimental Journey (an early version of Sentimental Journey). An early version of Street Waves appears here as Gone Gone Gone.

After leading the discussions about becoming a 'real' band after the recording of the first single, Allen decided that he was not ready to play out after all. He was replaced by Dave Taylor, who worked at a record store with Scott Krauss and owned the same E.M.L. synthesizers that Allen played. Dave graciously stood aside when Allen announced that he was ready to play out and wanted back in. It could be that this is the last show he played and it could be that this is the last show Peter Laughner played in the band.

Production Notes

Recorded on cassette April 7 1976 at the Mistake, Cleveland OH.
Digitally mastered by Paul Hamann at Suma.
Package design by John Thompson/idrome.

I Wanna Be Your Dog is written by Alexander - Asheton - Asheton - Pop, Bug Music. Heroin is written by Reed, BMI. Pushin Too Hard is written by Saxon, Neil Music.

Pere Ubu (v.1.1):

David Thomas - vocals, harp
Peter Laughner - guitar, vocals, bass
Tom Herman - guitar, bass
Tim Wright - bass, guitar
Dave Taylor - EML synthesizer, Ace Tone organ
Scott Krauss - drums

Release History

  • Hearpen HR113 Oct 2000 cd.

Press Reaction

70's Rock: The Bad Vibes Continue, Howard Hampton, NY Times 1/14/1
"With the band playing such manifestoes as the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and the Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard," as well as such gnomic statements of its own like "Can't Believe It," "Gone Gone Gone," "Doris Day Sings Sentimental Journey" and the suicidal teenage misfit anthem to end them all, "Final Solution," nihilism is the point of departure but not the final destination. The music's dark humor - a sense of life as a cosmic joke and a boundless conspiracy - is shrouded in a corrosive, unforgiving noise. That sound is like a transmission from a vanished world of refusal and doubt, about as far from what rock had become as one could imagine. Heard today, it can make you wonder if the purpose of most of what is on the market now is simply to help you forget that anything like this music was possible in the first place, or could ever be again."