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Document And Eyewitness

Wire Audio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Jun 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B000026ZJF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 322,182 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Go Ahead
2. Ally In Exile
3. Relationship
4. Underwater Experiences
5. Witness To The Fact
6. 2 People In A Room
7. Our Swimmer
8. Heartbeat
9. 5-10
10. 12XU (Fragment)
11. Underwater Experiences
12. Everything's Going To Be Nice
13. Piano Tuner (Keep Strumming Those Guitars)
14. We Meet Under Tables
15. Zegk Hoqp
16. Eastern Standard
17. Instrumental (Thrown Bottle)
18. Eels Sang Lino
19. Revealing Trade Secrets
20. And Then....Coda
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dada theatre 1 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is another matter. Of course the first three albums come first--but then, especially if their 80s bump-and-grind never appealed to you, you really must get this set and settle in with it. It is a kind of endpoint for punk's relationship with its audience--not just the pose of hostility followed by loud/fast pure entertainment, this is a record where the hostility is real, on both sides. It's more like Iggy's "Metallic KO" or Dylan's "Live 1966" electric set--it is the MUSIC that is too much for this audience, and the band just shoves its loopy, difficult dadaist music back down the throats of these would-be pogo-ers. And the music is great! For anybody who loved the bonus tracks on "154," that's how "out" this gets at times. But you also get perfectly wonderful late-Wire music like "We Meet Under Tables" and "Go Ahead." Lousy, distorted (overloaded) but full-range and listenable recording, better than a bootleg anyway, and capturing the tension of what must've been a hell of a weird show. This is not "Live at the Hollywood Bowl"...!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is great! 2 April 2009
By Russ M
Format:Audio CD
This is great and I'll tell you why. Think of one of your favourite bands. A live album appears. In fact, its an album and three quarters. But it is not the usual selection of slightly inferior versions of popular tunes - it's all new, strange and unfamiliar. How often does that happen? A group ditches its hits and performs a whole new batch of material. Of course, this is Wire, so it isn't pipe and slippers stuff. In fact the bulk is them trying to be funny in front of a punk audience that didn't get the joke. There are numerous flaws, but your average band could simply never deliver this sort of surprise.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wire wilfully self-destruct before your ears! 4 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Tread carefully folks this really is very much for fans only. If you are new to Wire go and order their first three albums, check out their mid-80s stuff, devour the solo works. If you still need more come and get this. This is Wire's very own Metal Machine Music (see Lou Reed), their very own Commercial Suicide. It contains Wire's very last performance of their first incarnation, from 1980. The band had parted company with EMI and were on the market for a new deal. At the Electric Ballroom, Camden Town in February 1980 before an audience of expectant A&R men from new labels and a sell out audience expecting to hear a selection of their critically aclaimed Art-punk Wire proceeded to perform a set of entirely un-heard and under rehearsed material. Their only concession to the crowd was to play a mockingly haphazard version of the often requested 12XU. The rest consists of half finished ideas for new tracks. The sleeve notes helpfully document what was happening on stage during each item, 'Woman enters pulling two tethered men and an inflatable jet'...'Vocalist accompanied and lit by illuminated goose'. The tension between band and audience is detactable throughout. Bottles are thrown, expletives are shouted. The gig itself was poorly recorded and quite distorted and Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis have edited the tracks together in their own inimitable way included the occasional commentary. For the dedicated fan its interesting to hear the tension in the band between the abstract solo work Lewis and Gilbert would produce as Dome, and Newmans more pop-orientated songs. For the Wire completist there is the further bonus of the first eight tracks recorded live at the Notre Dame Hall, which include four unrleased tracks and the last two tracks consisting of the superb 'Our Swimmer' single and its equally essential flipside. An interesting curiosity rather than an essential album.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A prime example of why live albums do not work 10 April 2002
Format:Audio CD
Am really not a fan of live albums, but they can serve as a worthwhile document for a bands history, and become an essential part of the discography. This album should never have seen the light of day, and is saved only by the excellent single Our Swimmer, and its B Side. Wire were a fantastic band, and recent impersonaters such as Blur and Elastica are way off in comparison, their studio albums are a must, this one is to be avoided, having said that I myself have 2 copies of this album, an LP which I bought years ago in great anticipation, and I have the CD, as I can't get hold of the last 2 tracks anywhere else which are not on the LP.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...makes the Stooges' METALLIC K.O. seem like a Phish jam." 23 Nov 2001
By Nicholas S. Blakey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The single best line ever written about Wire's DOCUMENT AND EYEWITNESS comes from an article A.D. Amorosi wrote for MAGNET magazine (August/September 2000 issue): "...a violent live album that makes the Stooges' METALLIC KO seem like a Phish jam." And while one can hear the bottles being thrown on this album as well (literally: on "Instrumental (Thrown Bottle)"), unfortunately Flipper tactics had not yet come into their own so Wire chose to throw dada instead at their dense and impatient audience. Amid screams for PINK FLAG material, the audience never once allow Wire to demonstrate their amazing chameleon-like capability to never do exactly the same thing twice (like Coil and Madonna after them). Read: they never got it. This CD is split into four parts: part one is a relatively calm excerpt recorded live in London in July 1979 performing tracks from what ultimately would have been the follow-up to 154 but which never happened. The opening sonic slaughter of "Go Ahead" (which absolutely destroys the studio version) has to be heard to be believed, drumming mistakes and all. Part two is an excellent version of "Heartbeat" performed in Montreux when Wire opened for Roxy Music (sort of like when Prince opened for The Rolling Stones), much to the chagrin of Roxy's audience. Listen for the whistling. Part three is an excerpt of Wire's last concert for five years: The Electric Ballroom in London on 29/2/80, opened by D.A.F. (and documented by them on DIE KLEINEN UND DIE BOSEN, also on Mute) who were at a starvation-amphetamine meltdown peak. Wire perform an avante-garde/dada performance perfectique, goading the audience with their music and sarcasm, not really indicating if they mean any of it or not. An examination of this document by headphones reveals the absolute apall of the audience, who came to hear "12XU" (which Wire gratefully disembowel) and not the outre art-attack of such pieces as "ZEGK HOQP". By the end, the concert boils down to merely being one big pissing contest. Brilliant and exceptional. Part four is the band's last, posthumous single ("Our Swimmer" b/w the exceptional "Midnight Bahnhof Cafe") added as a bonus and near pre-cursor to what was to come in 1986 with SNAKEDRILL (see "A Serious of Snakes" for the link, "Drill" for the mood). A worthwhile purchase for the casual fan and an absolute must for the die-hard.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A live album with a difference 9 Nov 2003
By filterite - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Live albums are usually nothing more than cheap giveaways that you already have heard in their studio life and are usually much better. Everybody knows that you'll get the same tracks with the crowds cheering the performer on for more more MORE. So why should you buy this? Well the fact of the matter is that it's everything a usual live album is NOT. Yes that's right - this is NOT your usual live album. First of all many of the tracks here are new. Secondly the band are practically hated mainly because there isn't 12XU which eventually comes up in fractured form ( not a bad thing ). Their MC is the one that helps the fans get what they want because it's his " request spot " despite being called a fat.....well you know - can't say it here for obvious reasons. And in the mix there's a few snippets of conversations from an interview. And at the end there's two studio tracks which are OK but dilute the whole experience of the concert(s) completely
I guess it's one for the diehards but everyone should try this live album for the chaos within because if not you'll be missing out. Oh and you can't resist the bottle being thrown in the middle of a song with the reply " Who's a clever boy then! "
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing 25 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'd read so much about the "Electric Ballroom" gig before I ever heard it that I was very excited when I finally got this CD and popped it in my stereo. I wanted to hear what was it that made this gig really famous. I couldn't really hear anything at all, as it turns out. Seriously, I've heard 4th generation bootlegs that sound better than this, and I can't help asking myself "Why did they bother?". Not to rip on Wire or the individual members, mind you, as they are, quite simply, one the best bands that ever existed. This particular album, however, is for completists and/or masochists only.
2.0 out of 5 stars An electric soup of mangled memories and submerged vision. 11 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This curiosity, the only live entry in the Wire canon, is the antipathy of the stadium live opus despised by these art school graduates on a punk rock mission. Sounding almost wholly improvised, this smorgasbord of decaying power pop and art gallery installations is at best chaotic, at worst narcissistic in its own sense of post punk artrock indulgence. Impossible to single out songs, but titles include: "Eels Sang Lino", a Burroughsesque barrel roll and "Piano Tuner (Keep Strumming Those Guitars)", a bedlamatic strip of shouty pop. These two disparate items are indicative of the album's psychotic appeal. An overview would recommend this strongly to existing Wire fans but the unconverted should begin with "154" or "Chairs Missing".
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential live Wire album 1 Sep 2008
By Said Head - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Aside from Wire's John Peel sessions, this is Wire's only release that includes a large amount of unique content. The latest live albums (On The Box, etc.) are really more what you would expect from such a release: more aggressive performance to accommodate the missing use of live electronic instrumentation, poorer sound quality, and so on. Well, the live performances on D&E are no exception to poor sound quality, but this time Wire keep a fair amount of electronic influence in their work; not just guitars and percussion here, which makes this all the more valuable in my opinion. This release, to me, is more suited to be considered the 4th Wire album over Newman's A-Z (for one Newman wrote nearly all the tracks on that album on his own, so why would they be referred to as Wire songs?)

I also don't understand what some people consider to be issues with this release. You do hear a lot of experimental work, which I love, and if you're a Wire fan so should you, but there are also a great deal of more conventional songs, like 'Go Ahead' and 'Relationship'. Basically, you get to hear at least a dozen tracks that haven't been recorded in the studio (some of these tracks were re-recorded by Newman for solo work, and I know that 'Underwater Experiences' was an earlier demo). One thing I don't get is why 'Heartbeat' is just thrown in with the mix, as it was from a different performance altogether; just doesn't fit well, despite its being a good track.

I don't want to spoil the atmosphere of the album by explaining much of the music, but I will comment that it crosses between more aggressive Chairs Missing-era and something not quite Wire (mainly because without having come from the studio it's hard to picture what the final production qualities would be like).

And yes the final two tracks are from their Our Swimmer EP (can't really call it a single because it wasn't promoting anything, it just was). These two tracks are quite different from what you hear on E&D, and for that matter, Wire's other albums. I would've really enjoyed getting to hear more than just these two songs from this new style that they developed.

But this album is still valuable even for people who aren't fans of live recordings (a lot of time the audience is just too noisy and compromises the music, but in this case the audience was so baffled by what they heard you really don't hear much of them.) I did take one star off because it isn't perfect, but still great.
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