Monster [Box Set]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
David Thomas has been the bizarre and wonderful voice of Pere Ubu since the band's emergence from the Cleveland underground in the mid-'70s. In that capacity, he's attracted critical accolades from every quarter, if not teen idol status or platinum sales -- which isn't completely puzzling, given that he tends to write songs about birds, dinosaurs, and hats, that he sings in a sort of strangled warble, and that his early stage name was Crocus Behemoth. If Pere Ubu is obscure, the solo albums Thomas made in the early to mid-'80s are downright abstruse; until this five-disc set came out, every single one was long out of print. The five studio albums and one live set included...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
David Thomas has been the bizarre and wonderful voice of Pere Ubu since the band's emergence from the Cleveland underground in the mid-'70s. In that capacity, he's attracted critical accolades from every quarter, if not teen idol status or platinum sales -- which isn't completely puzzling, given that he tends to write songs about birds, dinosaurs, and hats, that he sings in a sort of strangled warble, and that his early stage name was Crocus Behemoth. If Pere Ubu is obscure, the solo albums Thomas made in the early to mid-'80s are downright abstruse; until this five-disc set came out, every single one was long out of print. The five studio albums and one live set included here create an entire musical world that is both inviting and forbidding. David Thomas has always been able to surround himself with a shifting constellation of genius -- from Richard Thompson to reedman Lindsay Cooper, drummers Chris Cutler and Anton Fier, and Ubu bassist Tony Maimone -- all of whom have managed, over the years, to serve his singular muse in diverse ways. The horns and rock guitar of "The Sound of the Sand" and "Variations on a Theme" give way to the spare but lovely textures of "More Places Forever," on which Thomas is accompanied only by bassoon, bass, and drums. On "Monster Walks the Winter Lake" which shares a disc with "More Places", Thomas goads the band into helping him write a song about improvisation and lurches through a song cycle written through the eyes of a monster at various stages of its life. "Don't Blame the Messenger" is a bracing rock record by a Thomas band called the Wooden Birds, who subsequently looked around at each other and realized they were Pere Ubu, just like the old days; four more Ubu albums followed before that particular lineup flew apart again. The last disc is 74 minutes of live recordings by Thomas' latest group, the Two Pale Boys, consisting of Thomas, a guitarist, and a trumpeter. If it sounds kind of sparse, don't be fooled: the guitar player is all MIDI'd up, and the trumpeter has some kind of machine as well, so they might as well be a marching band at times. Thomas covers himself Ubu faves "Kathleen" and "Busman's Honeymoon" both appear and continues to indulge the Beach Boys obsession that first showed itself in the "Sloop John B" cover on his first solo album, back in 1981. There is absolutely nothing here that will convince the unconverted, but this box will be a gold mine for fans.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/5/2002
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • UPC: 711297152128
  • Catalog Number: 521

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Birds Are a Good Idea (1:58)
  2. 2 Yiki Tiki (2:15)
  3. 3 Crickets in the Flats (4:59)
  4. 4 Sound of the Sand (3:28)
  5. 5 The New Atom Mine (5:17)
  6. 6 Big Dreams (2:22)
  7. 7 Happy to See You (3:33)
  8. 8 Crush This Horn, Pt. 2 (1:49)
  9. 9 Confuse Did (2:34)
  10. 10 Sloop John B. (5:10)
  11. 11 Man's Best Friend (4:27)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Pedestrian Walk (4:34)
  2. 2 Bird Town (2:43)
  3. 3 A Day at the Botanical Gardens (3:21)
  4. 4 The Egg and I (2:55)
  5. 5 Who Is It? (3:39)
  6. 6 Song of the Hoe (6:03)
  7. 7 Hurry Back (4:19)
  8. 8 The Rain (5:17)
  9. 9 Semaphore (5:12)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Through the Magnifying Glass (2:58)
  2. 2 Enthusiastic (4:45)
  3. 3 Whale Head King (5:49)
  4. 4 Song of the Bailing Man (4:42)
  5. 5 Big Breezy Day (3:24)
  6. 6 The Farmer's Wife (4:31)
  7. 7 New Broom (4:20)
  8. 8 About True Friends (4:33)
  9. 9 My Theory of Spontaneous Simultude/Red Tin Bus (3:05)
  10. 10 What Happened to Me (2:47)
  11. 11 Monster Walks the Winter Lake (11:18)
  12. 12 Bicycle (4:21)
  13. 13 Coffee Train (2:25)
  14. 14 My Town (3:19)
  15. 15 Monster Magee, King of the Seas (2:16)
  16. 16 Monster Thinks About the Good Days (3:40)
  17. 17 What Happened to Me (2:40)
Disc 4
  1. 1 My Town (3:07)
  2. 2 A Fact About Trains (4:23)
  3. 3 King Knüt (5:30)
  4. 4 When Love Is Uneven (3:29)
  5. 5 The Storm Breaks (3:35)
  6. 6 The Long Rain (4:13)
  7. 7 Having Time (4:53)
  8. 8 Friends of Stone (3:18)
  9. 9 The Veilkovsky 2-Step (6:49)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Obsession (4:37)
  2. 2 Nobody Knows (9:38)
  3. 3 Red Sky (5:36)
  4. 4 Can't Help Falling in Love (3:51)
  5. 5 Nowheresville (6:00)
  6. 6 Fire (5:35)
  7. 7 Kathleen (10:26)
  8. 8 Surfer Girl/Around the Fire (10:30)
  9. 9 Beach Boys (6:38)
  10. 10 Weird Cornfields (5:51)
  11. 11 Busman's Honeymoon (5:34)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Thomas Primary Artist, Keyboards, Vocals
John Greaves Overdubs
Mayo Thompson Overdubs
Ralph Carney Overdubs
Alan Greenblatt Overdubs
Scott Krauss Overdubs
Allen Ravenstine Overdubs
Paul Hamann Overdubs
Tan Tan Overdubs
Jim Jones Overdubs
Technical Credits
Richard Thompson Contributor
David Thomas Arranger, Composer, Producer, Remixing, Audio Production, Equalizing
Chris Cutler Producer
Lindsay Cooper Contributor
Luigi Creatore Composer
Anton Fier Contributor
Kenneth Hamann Producer
Hugo Peretti Composer
Tony Maimone Contributor
Philip Moxham Contributor
Robert Vogel Engineer
George David Weiss Composer
Garo Yellin Contributor
Adam Kidron Producer
Paul Hamann Engineer, Digital Editing, Remixing, overdub engineer, Equalizing
Andy Diagram Contributor
Mary Thomas Cover Art
Jim Jones Remixing
Leo Blokhuis Producer
Janet Weber Producer
Martyn Lambert Artwork
Mik Mellen Cover Photo
Jack Monck Contributor
Keith Moline Contributor
Colin McLean Engineer
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