MEMORY HOLE: Colin Newman – A-Z [1980]

I’ve been writing a series of reviews that are more of a look back at under-appreciated albums and artists. Here at Static+Distance, we’re gonna call it “Memory Hole.” I’m your resident old guy and keeper of the flame, Kyle McBee. enjoy!

Remember how awesome Pink Flag by Wire was? Remember how Chairs Missing was a an artier, but equally satisfying follow-up to that stellar debut? Yeah.

Well if you haven’t already, you really need to be listening to A-Z, the 1980 solo debut by Wire lead vocalist Colin Newman.

Further into darkness than most wire, but retaining a hard edge that started to dissipate from Wire over time, A-Z is a late night driving record, a fifty cigarettes in a writing or painting session record. Its got white noise to piss off the dog, ambient minimalist moments to satiate you Phillip Glass/ Brian Eno-philes, and enough muscle to make a forward thinking punk rocker happy.

The record takes some Death-Rock turns (in a good way), meanders here and there (not always in a good way), but over all never wobbles too far from its nearly perfect song arc. Give it a listen!

“I’ve Waited Ages”

“Alone” (You may recall this one from the film “The Silence of the Lambs”)