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  • 154
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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
19
154
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 20 May 2018
Well it’s v nice - 7” Square book and 3cds...nice articles, lyrics (with a few boo boos) and photos...But no new recordings- the demos are same as “behind the curtain” from 1995. A great album for sure but for the committed or lucky 154 virgins (if you get my meaning).
4 people found this helpful
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on 9 June 2018
Ok,this is the weaker of the three special edition re-releases just out.Not as punky as the other two,but it does have loads of great tracks.This also has various single releases and of course a full disc of demo tracks.Again,a superb package with pictures and lyrics and general album info.Though I don’t like the way the tracklisting of the three discs has been omitted from the book cover,being placed inside instead.The other two releases have them on the back cover.On the whole a great series of releases.I bought all three.
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on 15 January 2014
I think this album was ahead of its time, and still is! So no problem in giving it five stars.
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on 5 November 2014
Magnificent album!
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on 2 January 2011
I think everyone sould know about wire I started from the start with pink flag people I had spoken to who were in to the post punk stuff like myself said this was the album they had and sould get.I did not really get it at first but then I did start to get in to it.I really wanted to hear more so I moved on to chairs missing and liked outdoor miner and I am the fly.But in my humble opion the best was yet to come when I got 154 from I sould have known better to The 15th its a great album buy it.
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on 13 February 2006
The philosophy of 1978's 'I am the Fly' which dismissed punk and cast Wire as punk-spirited outsiders in a blurred French Film of their own was carried on into the great 'Chairs Missing' LP. Late 1978 saw the band shift again, the effect of touring and travel excerting an influence over the material - which came in various origins - Lewis writing on his own, Gilbert writing on his own, Newman writing on his own...and the odd collaboration between members (the e.p. included with this album and on later reissues is effectively solo-work from each member).The band seem at odds with each other at odds with the world - so it was unsurprising they would disintegrate following the 'Document + Eyewitness' performance, resurfacing as a different (but same spirited) Wire on Mute-records in the mid-1980s. '154' was the conclusion of their years on a major label and another obligatory purchase.
'154' remains for me their most complete LP, as great as many albums of this era - 'Unknown Pleasures', 'Metal Box', 'Cut', 'Secondhand Daylight','Entertainment!','Fear of Music', 'Dub Housing', 'The Only Fun in Town', 'The Scream' etc. Lewis' opener 'I Should Have Known Better' is a different kind of angular pop, a building melancholy reflected in the manic-guitars towards its climax. & it even uses the word 'albeit'! There are kind of pop songs here - 'The 15th' still sounds terminally sublime and was later covered by proto-Scissor-Sisters outfit Fischerspooner (essentially Sigue Sigue Sputnik with a smaller budget and a bit more taste) while 'Map Ref 41 N 93 W' (title!) is essentially catchy - setting the precedent for things like 'Eardrum Buzz' and 'Not Me'. Sadly it never became a hit when the record label opted to put their money behind reductive Japan-tribute outfit Duran Duran!
There's an abiding melancholy here - B.C. Gilbert's 'Blessed State' an anti-National Anthem that always sounds pertinent with its refrain "oh what a perfect, what a well-made world." 'Two People in a Room' shows the angry punk thing wasn't completely erased - while 'A Mutal Friend' explores more oblique territories. 'The Other Window' is the missing link between Eno and hip-hop, opening as an ambient-guitar dirge with vocals from Gilbert, oblique chatter that becomes something else when an electro-beat kicks in! Newman's 'On Returning' is poppier, slight-pop not far from Talking Heads and some of the material found on his solo LP 'A/Z'. My two favourite tracks remain closer '40 Versions' which is Gilbert's guitar-dominated ode to entropic options ('total eclipse and Niagra falls'!) - the guitar itself is brilliant and could be cited as the birth of Interpol's career! Lyrically it feels somewhat sci-fi, reflected in the artwork the albums Wire released on Harvest and the feel of '154.' The epic 'A Touching Display' remains the other favourite, even longer than 1978's 'Mercy', Lewis' offers something that lyrically recalls (predicts to be accurate) Julian Cope's bombed-out state ('Wilder' to 'Fried') with music that sounds like Young Marble Giants playing Siouxsie & the Banshees. I love the way the vocals become more passionate, and then nothing - words not required anymore and the band drift off into drones and avant-solos. Math-rock could be argued to have stemmed from here, as well as things like Theoretical Girls and Slint then!
'154' is a great album, the Harvest-trio is deservedly reissued - though I think the later/contemporary Wire-product should be celebrated, as well as material on Newman's Swim Label and various members releases as Colin Newman, He Said, A.C. Marias, and Wir. Highlight reissues of 2006 and records that may not have made much sense at the time, but more than work now.
22 people found this helpful
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on 24 December 2014
While not quiet scaling the heights of Pink Flag or Chairs missing it is still head and shoulders above the majority of music on offer during that period and neatly rounds of Wires's first phase of existence
One person found this helpful
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on 1 August 2017
Probably one of the most innovative British bands of that era. 154 is by far Wire's masterpiece. I bought the original LP many years ago and still find it an incredibly refreshing album. They were years ahead of their time. One of the few bands of that time to incorporate melodies and harmonies, from menacing riffs to pop chords. It's wonderful that a younger audience is discovering this band. The track Map Reference is a particular favourite of mine It's got this big wall of sound, harmonies and so much more. However, all the tracks have a distinctive quality to them. If you enjoy Wire you might also be interested in early Pink Floyd. Either way, listen to it. You're in for an indelible musical treat.
2 people found this helpful
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on 15 January 2006
The philosophy of 1978's 'I am the Fly' which dismissed punk and cast Wire as punk-spirited outsiders in a blurred French Film of their own was carried on into the great 'Chairs Missing' LP. Late 1978 saw the band shift again, the effect of touring and travel excerting an influence over the material - which came in various origins - Lewis writing on his own, Gilbert writing on his own, Newman writing on his own...and the odd collaboration between members (the e.p. included with this album and on later reissues is effectively solo-work from each member).The band seem at odds with each other at odds with the world - so it was unsurprising they would disintegrate following the 'Document + Eyewitness' performance, resurfacing as a different (but same spirited) Wire on Mute-records in the mid-1980s. '154' was the conclusion of their years on a major label and another obligatory purchase.
'154' remains for me their most complete LP, as great as many albums of this era - 'Unknown Pleasures', 'Metal Box', 'Cut', 'Secondhand Daylight','Entertainment!','Fear of Music', 'Dub Housing', 'The Only Fun in Town', 'The Scream' etc. Lewis' opener 'I Should Have Known Better' is a different kind of angular pop, a building melancholy reflected in the manic-guitars towards its climax. & it even uses the word 'albeit'! There are kind of pop songs here - 'The 15th' still sounds terminally sublime and was later covered by proto-Scissor-Sisters outfit Fischerspooner (essentially Sigue Sigue Sputnik with a smaller budget and a bit more taste) while 'Map Ref 41 N 93 W' (title!) is essentially catchy - setting the precedent for things like 'Eardrum Buzz' and 'Not Me'. Sadly it never became a hit when the record label opted to put their money behind reductive Japan-tribute outfit Duran Duran!
There's an abiding melancholy here - B.C. Gilbert's 'Blessed State' an anti-National Anthem that always sounds pertinent with its refrain "oh what a perfect, what a well-made world." 'Two People in a Room' shows the angry punk thing wasn't completely erased - while 'A Mutal Friend' explores more oblique territories. 'The Other Window' is the missing link between Eno and hip-hop, opening as an ambient-guitar dirge with vocals from Gilbert, oblique chatter that becomes something else when an electro-beat kicks in! Newman's 'On Returning' is poppier, slight-pop not far from Talking Heads and some of the material found on his solo LP 'A/Z'. My two favourite tracks remain closer '40 Versions' which is Gilbert's guitar-dominated ode to entropic options ('total eclipse and Niagra falls'!) - the guitar itself is brilliant and could be cited as the birth of Interpol's career! Lyrically it feels somewhat sci-fi, reflected in the artwork the albums Wire released on Harvest and the feel of '154.' The epic 'A Touching Display' remains the other favourite, even longer than 1978's 'Mercy', Lewis' offers something that lyrically recalls (predicts to be accurate) Julian Cope's bombed-out state ('Wilder' to 'Fried') with music that sounds like Young Marble Giants playing Siouxsie & the Banshees. I love the way the vocals become more passionate, and then nothing - words not required anymore and the band drift off into drones and avant-solos. Math-rock could be argued to have stemmed from here, as well as things like Theoretical Girls and Slint then!
'154' is a great album, the Harvest-trio is deservedly reissued - though I think the later/contemporary Wire-product should be celebrated, as well as material on Newman's Swim Label and various members releases as Colin Newman, He Said, A.C. Marias, and Wir. Highlight reissues of 2006 and records that may not have made much sense at the time, but more than work now.
2 people found this helpful
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on 13 June 2000
Played my old vinyl copy so many times it wore out. Greatest record I've ever heard. At least I've played it more than anything else. So varied but so cohesive, this album still sounds as fresh as the first time I heard it. The best in existential soured relationship analysis to the nature of the universe all summed up in lyrics delivered with total conviction, then the music... impossible to relate the effect it's had on me. Not even digital remastering can spoil the sound like it did to Pink Flag. Wire are now playing together again and are as impressive as ever. I doubt anyone will ever match what these four can do with 2 guitars, bass and drums. Add producer Mike Thorne's synths and keyboards and what they made was perhaps the most fascinating art of the 20th century.....
8 people found this helpful
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