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Change Becomes Us

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Price: £10.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Mar. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pink Flag
  • ASIN: B00B2FMFTG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,111 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

'It seemed like a good idea at the time...,' begins the explanation of Wire's original motivation for 'Change Becomes Us'. Not only was it a good idea, it actually turned into a superlative one. In spring 2012, Wire's plan had been to review the rudimentary blueprints of songs that had never made it beyond a few live performances in 1979 and 1980 a time when the band-members were in creative overdrive yet the band itself was disintegrating. The aim wasn't simply to resuscitate and record old songs; in fact, many of them hadn't become proper songs in the first place, existing only as basic ideas or undeveloped parts. Rather, the objective was to approach that unrealized work as an oblique strategy, a potential springboard for Wire's contemporary, forward-looking processes a possible point of departure for new compositions. This took place with Wire firing on all cylinders, as a four-piece studio entity again, the core line-up of Newman, Graham Lewis and Robert Grey now enhanced by guitarist Matthew Simms. Out of those sessions and subsequent extensive development and production, the ostensible source material became, in the classic Wire tradition, something quite other than what it may have once been or what it might have become if it had been pursued in 1980. 'Love Bends' is a case in point. Its roots lie in a raucous, octave-hopping number performed in February 1980 at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, but it s now morphed, improbably, into an irresistible, totally modern pop song. Just as improbably, the gently lilting 'Re-invent Your Second Wheel' is tangentially connected to a performance piece that was mostly shouting and banging, executed by a stageful of Wire cronies in funny hats. Similarly transformed, '& Much Besides' is a six-minute oneiric-melodic interlude that gives no hint of its putative origins in 'Eastern Standard' a dreary, obtuse three-minute track from the Electric Ballroom concert. Colin Newman's songwriting and production on 'Change Becomes Us' reimagines the past in ways that ultimately break any substantive connection with it, making entirely new pieces and these songs themselves enact Wire's restless drive to become other, often thriving on a fundamental tension between opposing sonic characteristics. With its stop-start, soft-hard, quiet-loud structure, 'Adore Your Island' veers between prog and unhinged punk rock, never quite resolving itself; the drama of 'Attractive Space' hinges on a progressive splitting of the song's personality, between its calm, expansive, anthemic orientation and an increasing sense of intensity and claustrophobia. 'Change Becomes Us' encapsulates the paradoxical essence of Wire's creativity. The tendency of these new songs to refuse a single, settled identity is emblematic of the band's ever-evolving aesthetic one that's always hinged on sustained tensions and oppositions: between the familiar and the unfamiliar, the comfortable and the unsettling, the melodic and the brutal, the cerebral and the visceral, the smart and the moronic, the obvious and the inscrutable, the rational and the absurd. This intrinsic, core ambivalence generates the essential otherness that has characterized Wire's most memorable and distinctive work from the epochal innovations of 'Chairs Missing' and '154' to the electronic-pop deconstructions of 'A Bell Is A Cup...' to the postmodern-punk expressionism of 'Send' and the widescreen lyricism of 'Red Barked Tree'. 'Change Becomes Us' is an undeniable part of that illustrious lineage. Definitely more than just a good idea at the time.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Charles Miller on 30 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD
The highest praise that can be given to a Wire album is to say it sounds like a Wire album and such is the case yet again. Change Becomes Us is the first album since the band's debut album, Pink Flag, with a new member, Matt Simms. In the mid-2000s, charter member and lead guitarist, Bruce Gilbert, left Wire. The next two albums were recorded with the remaining three original members: Colin Newman, Edvard Graham Lewis and Robert Grey. The first of these, Object 47, Wire sounded more like a Newman/Lewis collaboration than Wire. It was a fine album as a collaboration between those two meant a high quality album, but it was Red Barked Tree where the band truly returned to form, sounding more like Wire than they even did with Bruce Gilbert on board.

A bonus EP, given away with pre-orders of Red Barked Tree from Wire's website, was entitled Strays and it was a harbinger of what was yet to come. Not only did it gather 4 tracks, which in the main did not receive studio treatment until its release like Change Becomes Us, it also had for the first time, lead guitarist, Matt Simms playing along. Change Becomes Us picks up where Strays left off. Live material from 1979, which never saw the light of day as official studio releases, has been resurrected here as the source material for this new release. And like Strays, Matt Simms is present as the new and official lead guitarist.

Quite honestly, when I first heard about all of this, I was holding my breath. New old material? New guitarist? As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. Being familiar with their older live material, there was indeed a familiarity with the tunes on this new album, but Wire has reinvented them into something completely new. Not for second does anything sound as if it is 35 years old.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy C on 9 April 2013
Format: Audio CD
I have followed Wire since the early days of 1977, seen them many times, including their 2000 concert at the South Bank when they reformed

This album is interesting it links 1979/1980 to 2013, the production is very good, much thought has gone into the guitar sound, Simm's being a great new input.

Red Barked Tree, Object 47 and Send are good albums, particularly Red Barked Tree, but Change Becomes Us really does take us back to their heady days of the late 70's and early 80's and is amplified and enhanced for the 2000's

Highly recommended album

Enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Dark on 12 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wire defy the limit of being linked with an era. They were here, suddenly in the late 70's and sporadically since, with the line up morphed somewhat, but not drastically changed. The music on this album is excellent throughout, vocals non too removed from their earlier albums but a very good balanced listen from start to finish. As I said earlier, if you were to listen to this alongside some earlier albums (say "Ideal Copy") , it would be difficult to differentiate the age and era.The production and sounds on the earlier albums, still very modern sounding and on this the sound is stripped back by modern standards, giving a somewhat similar feel. Excellent!!
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
This album is simply breathtaking.....the tracks that have always been some of my favorite Wire songs are given a revisiting that in almost every case improves upon the originals and certainly the versions available on Document and Eyewitness and elsewhere. Far from an exercise in nostalgia, this is a a reinvention of the band's history for which the only equivalent might be Laibach's recent revisiting of their earliest Rekapitulacja material. Wilson Neate's Read and Burn is a highly complementary reading choice but most of all it's great to revel in the wonderful transformations of tracks like 'Ally in Exile' into 'Doubles and Trebles' and so many more amazing reconfigurations.
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By Lovblad on 23 Sept. 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
While Wire had already showed promise with a clear increase in quality of their releases over the last two records, this is a very pleasant surprise. It is clearly superior to their previous records in all ways, both musically and lyrically and the quality of the recording is also improved. Some of the songs are really fantastic in my opinion. While it is clearly Wire material, some songs are even more joyful than usual. It is some ways also a more conventional record for a group like Wire. In my opinion, their best since 154, even maybe better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kev on 4 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is best recording they've made in years; even better than the Read/ Burn / Send albums and I thought those were good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wayne t on 20 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you love Wire, then buy this album,they are still producing glorious innovative music,it is wonderful.
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