Ripping off Wire is how a whole generation of indie bands came to be. From their first three albums for Harvest/EMI to their later psychedelic material, the masters of pith have left a rich line of musical templates in their trail. Wire’s riffs and rhythms come with more hooks than a tackle box, and their lyrics are loaded with absinthe-inspired symbolism. Lesser acts have plundered them mercilessly, trying to fit into their cast-off clothes.
Fitting, then, that Wire should turn the tables on those feeding on them. Not About to Die, their Record Store Day contribution for 2022, is an official release of demos originally submitted to EMI for Chairs Missing and 154. It is believed that EMI employees copied them for their mates outside the label. One second or third generation cassette is thought to have served as the master for a notorious bootleg issued under the same name in the early 1980s.
Wire have cleaned up the recordings from their archives and provided new artwork, correcting the shabby if enthusiastic efforts of the easily forgotten Amnesia Records. Their version of Not About to Die comes in vinyl and CD forms from pink flag on 24 June 2022. Expect each note to be picked over by wannabes hoping to discover their formula.
1. Oh No Not So (Save The Bullet) – 4th demo
2. Culture Vultures – 4th demo
3. It’s The Motive – 4th demo
4. Love Ain’t Polite – 4th demo
5. French Film (Blurred) – 4th demo
6. Underwater Experiences – 4th demo
7. Stalemate – 4th demo
8. Options R – 5th demo
9. Indirect Enquiries v1 – 5th demo
10. Chairs Missing (Use To) – 5th demo
11. Being Sucked In Again – 5th demo
12. Ignorance No Plea (I Should Have Known Better) – 6th demo
13. Once Is Enough – 6th demo
14. The Other Window – 6th demo
15. Stepping Off Too Quick (Not About To Die) – 6th demo
16. On Returning – 6th demo
17. Former Airline – 6th demo
18. Two People In A Room – 6th demo