Sep 9, 2008

HOME & GARDEN "History & Geography" (US,1984)

PERE UBU`s hybernation years, while frontman David Thomas was releasing a series of experimental solo works, founding Pere Ubu drummer Scott Krauss and bassist Tony Maimone were giving life to a lower ambitions project called HOME & GARDEN. With friends contribution they released an experimental, ambient flowing EP called "How I Spent my Vacation". Gradually things got more serious and with addition of guitarist Jim Jones and singer/lyricist Jeff Morrison, became more like a band, and made the LP "History & Geography". Using various keys & synths they brought new, strange, technological and yet exotic sounds and noises in marriage with songforms and alternative pop structures. Jeff Morrison`s poetic-intellectual-spoken style and his lyrics for unusual subjects (Marco Polo, King John, monkey towns, penguins...) reinforced the dreamy, really historical & geografical spirit of an album that carried Pere Ubu`s avant view to a less garagy and more atmospheric level. Briefly, an excellent work that would be great mistake if ignored as one more of family`s byworks. It really needs no support of PERE UBU`s fame to be more widely known.
After History & Geography, few more HOME & GARDEN releases followed (singles, EPs, compilation tracks, etc), but since core members jointed PERE UBU`s reunion, the band gradually diminished activities.

Home & Garden, 1985

Jeff Morrison

History & Geography reissued edition (2006) includes 6 extra tracks (sessions out-takes) plus the complete How i spent my vacation EP. This post presents only the 8 tracks of the original release (riped from cd reissue).

1.Marco Polo, the voyage
2.Marco Polo, the city of Kin Sai
4.Monkey town
5.Big winter
6.King Penguin
7.The bells of Ever and Never
8.From the life of King John


Anonymous said...

hey thanks for posting this original version. I downloaded the 'new improved' version from iTunes, and it's DIFFERENT. I don't just mean there are other songs on it, i mean that some of the songs are different versions. F'instance, the version of King John on the re-release doesn't have the buzzing ringing guitars right up front. It sucks. So thanks for posting the vinyl version, which is what I first bought.

Anonymous said...

Me again. I just listened to the songs and re-read your post. It's not the vinyl version; it's the CD mix which was re-mixed for some reason. I don't care for the redone versions.

Some are just subtle differences, others are blatent -- like taking all the piss and vinegar out of King John. The vocals SHOULD be buried in a cacophony of guitar.

Any idea why someone decided that the CD version should be re-mixed?

Keith said...

There are in fact 3 versions of "King John" floating out in the world. The version released of the 1984 LP edition of "History and Geography" was the second recorded version. That version was remixed for the 1985 "Hideout" EP. The version of "King John" on the 2006 CD is in fact the first version of the song recorded (previously unreleased - and unlike the rest of the CD tracks, was not remixed). The 1984 version was not included on the CD because the original master tapes of v.2 of that song (recorded at a different time and place than the rest of the album)were unable to be located. It was decided to include v.1 of "King John" on the CD (which there is a master of) as opposed to pulling v.2 off a scratchy vinyl pressing and trying to get the fidelity to match the rest of the "new" album. Unfortunately, that was the best option available.

As for the rest of the remixes. They were done by Scott Krauss and Ryan Weitzel (H&G's current guitarist) with input from Jim Jones and Tony Maimone. The band was never happy with the sound of the original LP - feeling that the whole thing had an unwanted "layer of gauze" over the music. The original tapes were baked - then individually - layer by layer - track by track - carefully remixed. The original mixes were often referenced. No 180 degrees were taken and no creative choices that were unavailable in 1984 were made. The band just wanted the songs to have more punch.

Anonymous said...

could you repost this? i've been dying to hear H & G for a good while now. thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

could you please repost this? i've been dying to hear the H & G album. thanks so much!