In the latest Pink Flag email newsletter, Wire have announced the forthcoming album, Change Becomes Us, due March 2013. The album consists of material not recorded between 1979-1980, existing until now mainly as "sketches" for a one-off performance. More information including ordering details below.
After a year's hectic touring in 2011, 2012 was a quiet one for Wire. The group played only a handful of festivals, including Wire's debut in Russia, at Moscow's Avant Festival, in April. This November saw Wire in Japan for three shows, including a happy return to Club Unit in Tokyo, where they performed in 2011. Wire's last performance of 2012 was at ATP's Shellac-curated "Nightmare Before Christmas" Festival, on ATP's return to a refurbished Camber Sands. Warm clothes proved to be essential!
Change Becomes Us (pf20)
We can now reveal part of the reason for the low number of performances in 2012 was to facilitate the recording of the next Wire album, "Change Becomes Us", now being readied for release on March 25, 2013. "Change Becomes Us" began as an exploration of unrecorded material originally written in 1979–80. Some of this material had only ever existed as quickly prepared sketches for one-off performance; however, subjected to the rigour of a Wire working process of both touring and studio, it evolved organically into what we think is a fascinating hybrid. Liberated from its historic roots, it simply took off! "Really fresh!" is the common quote of the few who've heard it!
The initial recording sessions were held at Rockfield studios, near Monmouth, Wales, during a very damp week in April. Rockfield, famous for being the first residential studio in the UK, has also been the location of the making of many legendary rock albums. Paul Morley recently visited Rockfield for his documentary Radio 4 series on recording studios, "Making Tracks". It was our intention to bring as much of the dynamic energy of the 2011 touring group to the recording and Rockfield is ideally set up to capture both power and nuance in recording. Wire have never recorded quite like this! This album is also the first time where Matthew Simms, previously Wire's touring guitarist, has been an integral part of the Wire recording process. Over the year, the 13 tracks which make up the Welsh Wire recordings have been refined and focussed at swim~ studio to arrive at the finished album: "Change Becomes Us".
Here's the tracklisting
01 Doubles & Trebles
02 Keep Exhaling
03 Adore Your Island
04 Re-invent Your Second Wheel
05 Stealth Of A Stork
06 B/W Silence
07 Time Lock Fog
08 Magic Bullet
09 Eels Sang
10 Love Bends
11 As We Go
12 & Much Besides
13 Attractive Space
UK Release date is 25th March 2013
Over the course of this and last year, another Wire-related project has been gathering pace towards a March 2013 resolution. Wilson Neate, who wrote the acclaimed book on the subject of "Pink Flag", has been working on what has been described as "the first serious, in-depth appraisal of Wire", a book entitled "Read & Burn: A Book about Wire". Although he has extensively interviewed the band and many of the key players in the Wire story, Wilson stresses this is not an "official" biography. (We understand by that he implies "not sanitised".) Indeed, he makes the point that "the musicians' perennially complex creative relationships" is very much part of the story. Expect "warts & all"! The book covers the entire history of the band and even has a chapter in which the recording of "Change Becomes Us" is discussed.
The subject of books brings us to the next Wire-related "book", which will be the "Change Becomes Us" special edition CD. Yes, you read that right. The special edition of the "Change Becomes Us" CD will be a glossy hard-backed book. Exclusively available from our Mail Order, it will contain documentation of the story of the album alongside extensive studio photos and the complete lyrics—plus, of course, the CD! There will be an edition of 1000.
The Legal Bootleg Series - Series 2
The Legal Bootleg series 1, which first became available in 2010, has proved to be a quietly popular hit amongst you. For those that don't know it, the series features selected live recordings from throughout Wire's history. The "masters", often sourced from the the original audience member who recorded it, are cleaned up (if needed) and mastered before being presented in a rolling digital series. These live recordings often show the band in a very different light to the studio recordings and are completist essentials!
We're now planning a second series of 9 recordings which will include gigs from the 70's up to the present and will also encompass radio recordings. Included will be West Runton Pavillion (1978), Amsterdam - Roxy Music Tour (1979), Berlin (1979) Amsterdam (1987), Metropol, Vienna (1987), Mean Fiddler (1990), The Garage (2000), Scala (2008), German Tour (2009), European Tour (2011) and we are sure we'll find some more! In addition there will be two digital special items, available exclusively to those that order the complete series. One will be the unreleased "Recycling Sherwood Forest", a reimagining of Wire's 23rd Feb 2000 pre-RFH show at Nottingham Social, enhanced from the original 8-track recordings and existing in a space somewhere between a live and a studio recording. The other will be US radio sessions at KEXP & WFMU recorded during the North American April 2011 tour. We will provide more information in a later newsletter and hope to have the first set available before Christmas. You can also pre-order now as part of the "Change Becomes Us" bundles.
We normally like to have some kind of plan for our core fans via our mail order when we put out a new album, and this time we have quite a serious one! We have already mentioned the special edition, and this is ready for pre-order right now! Not only that but everyone that pre-orders the special edition will receive the album digitally one week before release and will also go in the draw to be one of two of the "core fan" guitarists in the "Pink Flag Guitar Orchestra" for a special event in London on the eve of the album release—more about that later. You can also take the "Special Edition" in various combination bundles, making savings on buying the items separately. For example, there is also a T-shirt (black shirt/white text; "Change Becomes Us" on the front; "Wire" on the back) ONLY available with the special edition. Pre-order the "special edition" with the T-shirt and you'll get the T-shirt straight away..
You might want to add Wilson's book or the new Legal Bootleg series. There are bundles galore including "collector bundles" which you can check out below!
1. Special Edition - Pre Order
2. Special Edition + Wilson Neate's "Read & Burn" book - Pre Orders
3. Special Edition - Pre Order + "Change Becomes Us" T-Shirt
4. Special Edition + Wilson Neate's "Read & Burn" book - Pre Orders + "Change Becomes Us" T-Shirt - AKA "Full Pack"
1. Special Edition - Pre Order + legal bootleg series 2
2. Special Edition Full pack + legal bootleg series 2
'Collector' Special Edition Change Becomes Us Bundles Only available with Full Pack
1. Special Edition album full pack + Read & Burn 03
2. Special Edition album full pack + Read & Burn 01 (5 available)
3. Special Edition album full pack + Read & Burn 02 (5 available)
4. Special Edition album full pack + The Third Day (5 available)
5. Special Edition album full pack + It's All In The Brochure (5 available)
6. Special Edition album full pack + All 5 (2 available)
'Collector Vinyl' Special Edition Change Becomes Us Bundles Only available with Full Pack
1. Special Edition album full pack + Object 47 Special Vinyl edition with Read & Burn 03 (3 available)
2. Special Edition album full pack + Pf 456 (5 available)
3. Special Edition album full pack + 12 Times You 7" (1 available)
Collector T-Shirt' Special Edition Change Becomes Us Bundles Only available with Full Pack
1. Special Edition album full pack + pink flag t-shirt (M) (1 available)
2. Special Edition album full pack + pink flag t-shirt (L) (1 available)
3. Special Edition album full pack + Read & Burn 08 T-shirt (XL) - (1 available)
4. Special Edition album full pack + OBJ 47 T-shirt (blue design) (L) (1 available)
5. Special Edition album full pack + OBJ 47 T-shirt (blue design) (M) (1 available)
'Guitar' Special Edition Change Becomes Us Bundles Only available with Full Pack
1. Special Edition album full pack + Eastwood Breadwinner (white) (1 available)
2. Special Edition album full pack + Eastwood Airline Map (seafoam) (1 available)
Both guitars will have been played by Colin Newman and will be handed over personally by him in London after the 24th March 2013
We'd like to make it clear that this is the only format that will be available for pre-order from us so far ahead of release. The regular digipacked CD and vinyl will be available when they are released; in the case of the vinyl, it will be one month after the album release because we want to put out a special version for Record Store Day. (We love you to buy stuff from our shop but we also want to keep record shops in business!)
We will of course keep you up to date on further news, including that mysterious "special event" (or is that "special events"?) next March! Until then, all the best from Wire.