They make great indie music in Milwaukee? Bon Iver and the Violent Femmes would be on the top of our list and you could certainly add Steve Miller and Les Paul as well. Has it really been 30 years since the Violent Femmes released Why Do Birds Sing? That makes us feel rather old as we were listening to them in the 1980s.
Blending jittery folk-rock and punk sensibilities with a heavy dose of teen spirit and sexual angst, the band gained a rather passionate fanbase, thanks to their 1983 self-titled debut. Several of the album’s enduring tracks, including “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” and “Please Do Not Go” became college radio hits and made the Violent Femmes one of the biggest alt-rock groups of the decade.
Craft Recordings is pleased to celebrate the 30thanniversary of the Violent Femmes’ Why Do Birds Sing? with a reissue of the bestselling album from the folk-punk pioneers. Due out October 8th and available for pre-order beginning today, the deluxe 2-CD and digital formats will feature newly remastered audio, a trove of previously unreleased material (including alternative takes and outtakes), and a complete concert from 1991 (captured at The Boathouse in Norfolk, VA).
The CD edition also offers new liner notes from acclaimed songwriter and journalist, Jeff Slate, who spoke in-depth with founding members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchieabout the making of the album.
Fans can visit digital platforms today to pre-save the album or stream or download the advancesingle, “Me and You,” a track recorded during the album’s original recording sessions, but unreleased until now. Also available is a vinyl reissue of the original 13-track album, featuring freshly remastered favorites like “American Music” and the band’s inspired cover of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.”
A limited pressing on translucent red vinyl will be available exclusively via the band’s website and CraftRecordings.com, while select indie record stores will offer a smoke-colored edition. The bonus-filled CD and digital editions offer early versions of songs that wound up on later albums, including a stripped-down version of “Color Me Once,” which was later released on The Crow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), as well as original takes of “4 Seasons” and “Breaking Up” from the band’s 1994 album, New Times.
Rounding out the unreleased material is an alternate mix of the song “American Music,” which is quite different from the album version. Also included is “Dance M.F. Dance!” which was originally released as a B-side internationally. Meanwhile, the live recording from The Boathouse concert in Norfolk, VA is being released in audio format for the firsttime(previously available only as part of the band’s 2005 DVD collection, Permanent Record: Live & Otherwise).
Pre-order the black vinyl version now at Amazon. The release date is set for October 8, 2021.