Boomkat Product Review:
2022 re-release of Wire's early 80's bootleg, Not About To Die.
"The album was made up of selections from demos recorded by the group for their second and third albums: Chairs Missing and 154. These demos had been recorded for EMI, with cassette copies circulated amongst record company employees. However, they were never intended for release.
A typically shoddy cash-in, the songs on Not About To Die were taken from a second or possibly third generation cassette, with the album housed in a grainy green and red photo-copied sleeve. Compared with the high standards of production and design Wire have always been known for, it was something of an insult to band and fans alike.
Now, in a classic act of Wire perversity, the group have decided to redress the balance and reclaim one of the shadier moments of its history, by giving Not About To Die its first official release. All the tracks have been properly remastered, with the relevant recording details in place.
Not About To Die emerges as a fascinating snapshot of Wire in transition with embryonic versions of classic songs such as ‘French Film (Blurred)’, ‘Used To’ and ‘Being Sucked In Again’, that the group would develop considerably for their epochal 1978 album Chairs Missing. Later demos such as ‘Once Is Enough’, ‘On Returning’ and ‘Two People In A Room’ would surface in radically altered form on 1979’s 154. Some songs, such as ‘The Other Window’, are virtually unrecognisable from their later iterations but the biggest prizes here may well be the tracks that were omitted from Wire's later studio albums... Highlights include ‘Motive’, which has an undeniable power.
These properly mastered tracks have never been available before, and they provide an opportunity to hear Wire at a point in their development when they were bursting with fresh ideas and a will to communicate them. This is post-punk at its very finest."