Every summer at South Street Seaport in NY there is a summer concert series. This year’s inaugural act was Wire. It was a perfect evening – Wire playing on the pier with the ocean as a backdrop and surrounded by bobbing clipper ships in a rare perfect NYC summer evening. The scene was pretty sweet, and free to boot. Also the show was packed with Wire fans. Who knew there were so many? Evidently Wire’s opinion of their legacy is similar to what I had gathered in a pre-show recon (see below) since Wire only played songs off of the first three albums and the “return to form” recent album(s?!?). My little buddy, Super-Dave and I were remarking about how minimal and non-affected the music was but yet totally unique and modern. It became pretty clear that it is mind blowing that the stuff they were playing came out of England about the same time as The Sex Pistols…essentially a raw and punk approach to music but with a totally different outcome.

My knowledge of Wire is scant, so I tried to beat out some info out of an on-site Wire fan by basically asking “What is their deal-io, Homes?” In sum, this Wire fan said that starting in 1977 they put out three seminal albums and a number of electronic records throughout the 80s. He went on to say that the first three Wire 70s records are pure gold and then they indulged a long fallow period in their electronic phase in the 80s. I asked if his opinion of the electronic period as being stinky is the prevailing opinion with Wire fans and he affirmed. Since the only stuff I remember hearing from Wire while growing up listening to college radio (KTEQ and WRVU hola!!) was the electronic stuff that might explain my, until now, Wire indifference. I have to ask Wire fans out there, “Is the Wire electronic period really that stinky?”

This is the track “The 15th”. I picked this track because it was covered well by the recently The Sound Of Indie featured artist, FischerSpooner.
[audio: http://thesoundofindie.com/archive/2008/20080613/Wire-The15th.mp3|titles=The 15th (Live)|artists=Wire]
Download: Wire – The 15th (Live)


  1. You should definately check out Collin Newman’s first two solo albums. A-Z, & ‘provisionally entitled the Singing Fish’. Both are excellent. A-Z has the original version of ‘Not Me’ which was covered in This Mortal Coil’s It’ll End in Tears.

  2. I am a fan of Wire’s entire career, in contrast to many people who are only fans of their first 3 albums. Their later endeavors exhibited a willingness to experiment with sound and

    instrumentation, as well as an ability to work against expectations. Their more electronic albums were rejected by many former fans because of the adoption of surface elements of dance

    music, but underlying the pop elements of some of the music on “A Bell Is A Cup…” and “It’s Beginning To & Back Again” are constant themes of surrealism, experimentation, and

    variation/repetition that keep the music in an intellectual realm. In my opinion, Wire’s later career is excessively disparaged, rather than being recognized as the uncompromising

    creation of a band unwilling to stagnate.

  3. Pingback: The Sound Of Indie

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