Friday, January 23, 2004

Michael Gira has said that he had to face up to financial constraints when he went about his Swans and Swans-related reissues. I can understand this, and I'm glad that a lot of these items are back in print, but some nice aspects of the albums did get lost.

My favorite record from the "Swans discover melody" era of the late 80's and early 90's is The World Of Skin's Ten Songs For Another World. A couple of tracks from this didn't make the compilation that reissues this period, but what actually bothers me the most is the fact that the original album was incredibly well-sequenced.

The first three songs from Ten Songs are available on the Various Failures reissue, but they pop up separately. On the original album, they really make a lot more sense. Song #1, Please Remember Me, and song #3, The Child's Right, sound pretty similar, which makes song #2, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, seem more like an interlude. And since that song teeters on the edge between beautiful and pretentiously silly (if you're going to enjoy M. Gira's music, you're going to have to learn to deal with's worth the effort) I think it works much better as a transition. To my ears Please Remember Me just plain sounds like an album opener, what with the counting intro and the flock-of-birds outro. And I love the moment where the birds go silent and then there's one piano note before Jarboe starts singing. Finally, you can tell by the background noise, which overlaps the tracks, that song #2 and #3 go together.

Anyway, I'm hoping that you'll download all three songs and set your player to go straight from one track to the next without a pause. (Note: I haven't had time to compare, but I'm just about certain that the versions on Various Failures are different than the ones I'm posting here.)

On Monday I'll do more from this album, as it's one of my favorite records.

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