My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: The Modern Dance was recorded throughout the end of 1976, the entirety of 1977 and released in January of 1978. This is the debut album by the Cleveland band.
What I think: I’ve never listened to Pere Ubu before, but I knew the band had a reputation for being a bit odd, or maybe even pretentious. That left me expecting something a somewhat out there and I wasn’t disappointed. But even though this is out there, it is for the most part really great. The music is the key for me here. Looking at the album credits, it looks like there were a number of people who participated in the recording. The result of the album though, is of a tight sounding three or four piece band. The bass and drum sounds are perfect, the guitar is energetic and technical in short spurts. Singer David Thomas’ vocals are distorted and spastic and perfect for the music. I could see not liking them at all if paired with a different band.
In fact, these guys deconstruct things on the second half a bit in “Real World” and the schizophrenic “Sentimental Journey” in a way that highlights those negative vocal pairings perfectly. Those two songs make that second half drag along, but the first side is almost perfect with my favorite songs being the title track and “Street Waves”.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? It’s good… for the most part. I think it deserves a listen.
Rating (Out of 5) 3.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (308/406)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 76%