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Wire’s first three albums need no introduction. They are the three classic albums on which Wire’s reputation is based. Moreover, they are the recordings that minted the post-punk form. This was adopted by other bands, but Wire were there first. These are the definitive re-releases. Each album is presented as an 80-page hardback book – the size of a 7-inch, but obviously much thicker. After a special introduction by Jon Savage, Graham Duff provides insight into each track. These texts include recording details, brand-new interviews with band members, and lyrics.
The original album is presented on its own CD, accompanied by discs that feature relevant extra tracks: singles; B-sides; demos; and many previously unreleased songs. Pink Flag is a two-CD set; Chairs Missing and 154 have three CDs each. All audio has been painstakingly remastered (or, in some cases, mastered for the first time).
This stunning set of presentations also includes a range of images from the archive of Annette Green. Wire’s official photographer during this period, Green also shot the covers for Pink Flag and Chairs Missing. Promotional and informal imagery – in colour and black and white – is featured throughout the books. Most of the photographs have not been seen for 40 years – and many have never been published anywhere before.
These special editions are something every Wire fan will want to own. It has been a number of years since these albums were readily available. The aim with these new vinyl and CD releases is to approximate the original statements as closely as possible, but with remastered audio. The vinyl releases have the same covers and inners as the originals (minus the Harvest logo). The digipack CDs have identical tracklistings to their vinyl counterparts. These versions should be considered Wire’s classic 1970s albums, pure and undiluted.
Please note: although the three original albums remain available through digital stores and streaming services, the extra tracks from the special editions will not be released digitally.
1979’s 154 represented the final tableau in Wire’s Harvest released ’70s Triptych and was the first Wire album to be released to a universal set of 5 star reviews from the British Rock Weeklies thus it represented the point when the British “pop culture establishment” publicly recognised Wire’s primacy. “154 makes 95 percent of the competition look feeble” wrote Nick Kent in the NME; “Wire are achieving a lot of things other – and more recognised - names have been striving for” wrote Chris Westwood in Record Mirror (a paper that had slagged off Pink Flag); “The album is a musical Tour de Force” wrote Jon Savage in Melody Maker. Many said it was the album that Bowie & Eno had failed to make with Lodger (as hinted in the RM review), it was on John Lennon’s playlist. Without a doubt, even if record sales did not bear it out, Wire had “arrived.”