pere-ubu-worlds-in-collision ART
  • Worlds In Collision
  • Oh Catherine
  • I Hear They Smoke The Barbecue
  • Turpentine!
  • Goodnite Irene
  • Mirror Man
  • Don't Look Back
  • Worlds In Collision
  • Life of Riley
  • Over The Moon
  • Cry Cry Cry
  • Playback
  • Nobody Knows
  • Winter In The Firelands


Worlds In Collision

Pere Ubu
Worlds In Collision

Released May 7 1991.
Produced by Gil Norton.
Executive producer Stephen Hague.

Fire Records FIRECD368 Sep 21 2018 UK cd.
Fire Records FIRELP368 Sep 21 2018 UK lp.

Released in the vinyl box set Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés Fire Records FIRELP459, Apr 6 2018.

Release Notes

The album title comes from the Immanuel Velikovsky bestseller, Worlds In Collision. The intention was that the following album would be called Ages In Chaos.

After recording on Cloudland, Allen Ravenstine retired from Pere Ubu to become a pilot, and eventually a pilot trainer, with Northwest Airlines. He was replaced by Eric Drew Feldman.
I met Eric in an elevator at a festival in a castle in Bari, Italy. I knew his name from Beefheart's band. He was playing with Snakefinger. I was there with The Accordion Club which was based around Swedish identical twins Stefan (guitar) and Thomas (bass) Agaton. Chris Cutler was playing drums.
David Thomas
In January 1989, Eric rehearsed with the band in Cleveland. B-sides were recorded in anticipation of the release of Cloudland: Fedora Satellite, Down By The River, Bang The Drum and Wine Dark Sparks.

Fontana A&R man, Dave Bates, responsible for signing Pere Ubu, encouraged David to name a producer for the album that would follow Cloudland. David wanted it to be Van Dyke Parks. (The song Wine Dark Sparks was, obviously, a play on his name.)
I went out to LA to film promotional videos. I had Van Dyke's phone number but was too scared to call. On the next to last day I finally rang him. He answered. I panicked and hung up.
David Thomas
Bates suggested the producer of The Pixies, Gil Norton.

Before the release of the album, in an effort to break through the pre-conceptions that have always plagued Pere Ubu's story, Bates released a promo cassette of Fontana's 'new signing' Modern Solution. The tracks were I Hear They Smoke The Barbecue and Invisible Man. Whether anyone was taken in is unknown.

Production Notes

Engineered by Al Clay.
Original album recorded June 18 to July 8 1990 at Suma, July 21 to August 18 1990 at Wessex Studios, London, and September 15 to 17 1990 and September 25 to 29 at Livingston Studios, London.
Some London overdubs engineered by Felix Kendall. Tracking at Suma also engineered by Paul Hamann.
Mastered by Tim Young at CBS Studios, London.
Design by John Thompson/idrome.

Turpentine!, Goodnite Irene, Cry Cry Cry, Life of Riley, Over The Moon, Playback and Nobody Knows were mixed in October 1990 by Gil Norton at The Church, London. Mix engineered by Steve 'Barney' Chase.

I Hear They Smoke The Barbecue, Worlds In Collision and Winter In The Firelands were mixed in November and December 1990 by Stephen Hague at RAK Studios and Mayfair Studios, London. Mix engineered by Mike 'Spike' Drake.

Don't Look Back was mixed December 15, 1990 by Stephen Hague at RAK Studios, London. Engineered by Bob Kraushaar.

Oh Catherine was mixed December 7-8, 1990 by Dave Bascombe at Townhouse Studios, London.

Mirror Man was mixed November 29, 1990 by Mike "Spike" Drake at Mayfair Studios, London.

Around The Fire, Down By River, Like A Rolling Stone, and Invisible Man were recorded by Pere Ubu at another London studio, produced by David Thomas, while Gil Norton was doing some 'housekeeping.' They were to be b-sides. Mixed September 20-21 1990 by Steve Chase at Mayfair Studios, London.

2018 Fire remaster

The album was remastered and edited in 2017 by Paul Hamann and David Thomas.

Mercury Director's Cut 2007

Four extras were added: Like A Rolling Stone, Invisible Man, Around The Fire and Down By The River. The packaging was updated by John Thompson and liner notes added, written by David Stubbs.

All songs written by Feldman - Jones - Krauss - Maimone - Thomas, except Cry Cry Cry, Don't Look Back, Winter In The Firelands, Around The Fire, Down By The River, Like A Rolling Stone, and Invisible Man which are written by Cutler - Feldman - Jones - Krauss - Maimone - Thomas. All songs ©1991 Ubu Projex.

Pere Ubu (v.6,1)

David Thomas - vocals
Jim Jones - guitar, backing vocals
Eric Drew Feldman - keyboards, computers & synthesizers
Tony Maimone - bass
Andy Redhead - drums
Scott Krauss - drums on Like A Rolling Stone, Invisible Man, Around The Fire and Down By The River

Guest Players
Allen Ravenstine - EML synthesizers on Turpentine!, Life of Riley, Playback and Winter in the Firelands
John Kirkpatrick - Melodeon on Cry Cry Cry, Over The Moon and Worlds in Collision
Al Clay - Backing vocals on Don't Look Back, Goodnite Irene, Nobody Knows, Over The Moon and Worlds In Collision
Susie Honeyman - Violin on Over The Moon
Gil Norton - Backing vocals in various places

Singles and EPs

I Hear They Smoke The Barbecue b/w Invisible Man and Down By The River. Released March 4 1991.
Oh Catherine b/w Like A Rolling Stone and Around The Fire Released May 1991 (UK).

Release History

  • Fontana Records 848 564 May 7 1991 lp, cd, mc.
  • Fontana PHCR-1091 May 7 1991 Japan cd.
  • Mercury Records 9846173 Director's Cut, April 16 2007 cd.

Press Reaction

Stereo Review, February 1992
Record of The Year 1991, Editor's Choice Award.

Alan di Perna, Creem, December 1991
"The hard, honed glint of well-polished steel... Pop with a difference."

Tom Moon, Spin, December 1991
"The most atmospheric, carefully sculpted recording in the band's 13-album catalog... the kind of big-ideas pop songcraft that's painfully absent from 1991's more highly touted efforts."

Howard Hampton, Village Voice, 7/2/91
"Takes lush pop melodies and underscores them with austere forbodings... The outward signs of normalization - sing-along choruses, steady rhythms - must pass through Thomas's mouth, where they are reshaped into pleas and laughter, entered into the Ubu Codex like psalms reconstituted from loopy heiroglyphics... fueled by elation pitched at the brink of disaster... The patent incongruities aren't so deeply ingrained in the music - they're casually floating on the surface, easy to miss... Thomas's musings have a generosity that doesn't have much to do with "art," but plenty to do with living. The singer is holding his breath. I suspect he's caught sight of a drowning man and is thinking: How did he get in so deep? Will this rope reach him? Why does he have my face?"

Mark Deming, All Music Guide
"Not unlike the Velvet Underground's Loaded, Worlds In Collision shows that they could make an album capable of appealing to a broader audience without losing touch with what made them a singular creative force in the first place."