Bizarro CD+DVD, Box set
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Bizarro was the second Wedding Present album, originally released in 1989. The band's first album on a major label, Bizarro saw The Wedding Present toughening up rather than selling out. Toying with extremes of tempo and mood, the result was a vibrant hybrid of astringency and the band's quintessential pop euphoria. The 3CD + DVD Expanded Edition includes the original album remastered, non-album single tracks, bonus tracks, BBC sessions and a live concert recording from Germany plus promo videos, live & studio footage & a new acoustic version of ‘Thanks’ accompanying an interview with David Gedge discussing the album. All the content is housed in a hardback book which includes lyrics, imagery and memorabilia scans and extended notes.
Top customer reviews
I can't really put my finger on what it is about this album that makes me want to keep playing it but many, many albums have come and gone since I originally bought this one, some of which I thought I would never tire of, and yet Bizarro is still top of the pile.
From the opening intro' of "Brassneck", through the haunting lyrics of "What Have I Said Now?" to the near seven-minute guitar-led instrumental of "Take Me", every track seems to be so strong and nothing carries that over-produced sound so common nowadays. In saying that my favourite track is "Unfaithful", one of the extras on this version of the album, which carries some of Dave Gedges trademark cutting lyrics so common throughout Wedding Present tunes.
Ok, so Martin Stephenson and the Daintee's "Boat to Bolivia" comes close, but for me Bizarro is THE album I want to grow old with and as I happily enter middle-age it is still hitting the spot. My kids love it, I love it and my wife even likes a couple of tracks - proof positive if it is ever needed.
I tell you, I'll be dancing around the residential home to this in twenty-odd years time!
For me it sets the benchmark for blokes with guitars, amps that go all the way up to 11 and a story to tell.
Buy it, play it. Love it.
If Morrissey was the guy that never had a girl and sang songs of wistful regret, Gedge was the guy that had a girl and either f*ed it up or got f*ed over and sang songs of anger, spite and recrimination.
The production is early 80s jangly post-punk but with oddly subdued vocals, making some of the lyrics almost decipherable. Brassneck (the opener) and Kennedy were both singles at the time, I believe, and are strong tracks. But the killer for me (and I do so love an over-long pop song - see Spectral Mornings by Cornershop, Us v Them by LCD Soundsystem or even Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who) is "Take Me" - a 9-minute epic that sounds like it was recorded in a single take with the whole band playing "live" - none of those fancy studio over-dubs, edits or people sitting in soundproof booths playing their instrument while listening to the beat through headphones. Okay, I know nothing of musicianship or recording techniques but that's what it sounds like - and it's wonderful!
If anything, the album is too long with all the extra tracks. Nice to have but I don't feel they add a great deal to the original 10-track album. But tracks 1-10 are the perfect early 80s guitar-pop album: come in, smash the place up for 45 minutes, leave with the booze from your parents' sideboard. Recommended.
On the strngth of this I came back for "Seamonsters" - not as immediate, but it's growing on me. I'll be back for "George Best" just as soon as Amazon drops the price!
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