Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story

Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story


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Asking a dozen music fans about their impressions of Sire, a label founded by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer in 1966, would likely yield several dissimilar responses. Sire was the label to boost American punk bands like Ramones, Talking Heads, and Richard Hell & the Voidoids, only to call them new wave in an effort to make them seem less antagonistic and more marketable. Sire licensed some of the most groundbreaking European electronic pop: the Normal's "Warm Leatherette," Telex's "Moskow Diskow," Soft Cell's "Tainted Love." Sire was the favored American label of '80s Anglophiles, importing the Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Aztec Camera, and later, prime shoegaze bands My Bloody Valentine and Ride. Sire was home to American college-radio favorites Throwing Muses, the Replacements, and Dinosaur Jr. During these years, the label also had some strays: Ofra Haza (exotic), Kid Creole & the Coconuts (festive), Barenaked Ladies (plain silly), Aphex Twin (scary silly), Madonna (big), Little Jimmy Scott (small). All of the above-mentioned artists and songs are present on Just Say Sire, a four-disc box containing three somewhat erratically sequenced CDs, one DVD, and a colorful booklet packed with photos and text. Despite the label's 40-year existence, the real theme tying the set together is a 30-year association with distributor Warner Bros., though there aren't any inclusions dating from 2000 and onward. You aren't alone if you're wondering whether or not it needed to be made. The label had the spirit of an independent, but it was hardly as stylistically focused as collectable labels like the early Rough Trade or Creation (incidentally, just two of the U.K. labels Sire licensed from). And, unless you know Seymour Stein or have followed the man's career, there's no way you could look at the track list here and sense a consistent aesthetic, though hooks were obviously the top -- if not uncommon -- priority. Part of what validates the set is that nearly every selection has some value to pop culture freaks and those who favor pop music that's a little left of center. While few music fans have actively sought out Sire releases as if the label were a cult like 4AD, plenty of them have just happened to wind up with a whole bunch, which helps make an undertaking like this rather unique. If you examine it all deeply enough, you might find yourself wanting to crawl inside Stein's head and attempt to discern how his label could have gone from something as raw and primitive as the Flamin' Groovies' "Shake Some Action" to something as polished and dramatic as Seal's "Crazy," or from something as wimpy as Tin Tin's "Kiss Me" to something as knuckleheaded as Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hotrod." As with any other label-specific box, complaints can be made about poor picks, omissions, and inclusions, but there are no atrocities (the absence of Alexander Robotnick's "Problèmes d'Amour" comes dangerously close), and the selections form a wholly representative look at a big chunk of the storied label's history. The DVD contains 20 of the label's most memorable videos, including Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime," M's "Pop Muzik," and Ramones' "Rock 'n' Roll High School." (Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy" following Barenaked Ladies' "One Week" is a perversely jarring sequence, like a television channel airing a David Cronenberg film after an episode of Charles in Charge.) The booklet is almost as valuable as the music, featuring artist summaries and photos, writings from Stein and Gottehrer, and dozens of recollections and testimonials from artists who have been on Sire, artists who have never been on Sire, and many industry vets.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/27/2005
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227466527
catalogNumber: 74665


Disc 1

  1. Everybody
  2. Mirror in the Bathroom
  3. Kiss Me
  4. Oh l'Amour
  5. Tainted Love
  6. Situation
  7. People Are People
  8. Living on the Ceiling
  9. That Summer Feeling
  10. Young at Heart
  11. One Step Beyond
  12. Genius of Love
  13. Im Nin'alu
  14. Endicott
  15. Love and Mercy
  16. Each and Everyone
  17. All the Way
  18. Crazy
  19. Fire Woman
  20. Constant Craving

Disc 2

  1. Teenage Kicks
  2. This Charming Man
  3. I Melt with You
  4. Moskow Diskow
  5. (I'm) Stranded
  6. Ça Plane Pour Moi
  7. Top of the Pops
  8. Nowhere Girl
  9. Part of the Process
  10. Come Together
  11. Beat Dis
  12. The Love Cats
  13. The Killing Moon
  14. Warm Leatherette
  15. Everday Is Like Sunday
  16. Never Never
  17. Oblivious
  18. Inside Out
  19. Soon
  20. Leave Them All Behind

Disc 3

  1. Blitzkrieg Bop
  2. Alex Chilton
  3. Come on Let's Go
  4. Aloha Steve & Danno/Theme from Hawaii Five-O
  5. The Wagon
  6. Sonic Reducer
  7. White Horse
  8. Blank Generation
  9. I Want That Man
  10. I'll Be Your Everything
  11. Summer Teeth
  12. World Class Fad
  13. Back on the Chain Gang
  14. Give Back the Key to My Heart
  15. Shake Some Action
  16. Counting Backwards
  17. Boy
  18. Romeo Had Juliette
  19. O.G. Original Gangster
  20. Jesus Built My Hotrod
  21. Burning Down the House

Disc 4

  1. Pop Muzik
  2. Rock 'N' Roll High School
  3. Let's Go to Bed
  4. A Little Respect
  5. Brass in Pocket
  6. The Cutter
  7. Bastards of Young
  8. She Sells Sanctuary
  9. Once in a Lifetime
  10. Like a Prayer
  11. Enjoy the Silence
  12. Feed the Tree
  13. Drifting, Falling
  14. Reach
  15. Groovy Train
  16. Things Can Only Get Better
  17. New York City Boy
  18. In the Meantime
  19. One Week
  20. Come to Daddy

Album Credits

Technical Credits

David Byrne   Composer
Jerry Harrison   Composer
Richard Hell   Composer
Chris Mars   Composer
Mighty Lemon Drops   Composer
Modern English   Composer
Ramones   Composer
Lou Reed   Composer
Jonathan Richman   Composer
Doug Sahm   Composer
Dave Wakeling   Composer
Brian Wilson   Composer
Stephen Duffy   Composer
Ocean Blue   Composer
David Thomas   Composer
Stiv Bators   Composer
Telex   Composer
Tracey Thorn   Composer
Ed Kuepper   Composer
Cecil Campbell   Composer
Chris Bailey   Composer
David Morales   Composer
Paul Westerberg   Composer
Bezalel Aloni   Composer
Neil Arthur   Composer
Izhar Ashdot   Composer
Ian Astbury   Composer
Tom Bailey   Composer
Johnny Blitz   Composer
Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Sammy Cahn   Composer
John Callis   Composer
Cheetah Chrome   Composer
Madonna   Composer
Vince Clarke   Composer
Ed Cobb   Composer
Andy Cox   Composer
Alannah Currie   Composer
August Darnell   Composer
Lou Deprijck   Composer
Billy Duffy   Composer
Brian Eno   Composer
Siobhan Fahey   Composer
Roddy Frame   Composer
Chris Frantz   Composer
Bobby Gillespie   Composer
Martin Gore   Composer
Richard Gottehrer   Liner Notes
Gibby Haynes   Composer
Robert Hodgens   Composer
James Honeyman-Scott   Composer
Steve Hovington   Composer
Chrissie Hynde   Composer
Bill Inglot   Producer
Andrew Innes   Composer
Cyril Jordan   Composer
Gilbert Kaufman   Liner Notes
k.d. lang   Composer
Patrick Leonard   Composer
Chris Lowe   Composer
Jeff Magnum   Composer
Johnny Marr   Composer
Ian McCulloch   Composer
Daniel Miller   Composer
Ben Mink   Composer
Morrissey   Composer
Everett Morton   Composer
Alison Moyet   Composer
John O'Neill   Composer
Pattinson   Composer
Joey Ramone   Composer
Dee Dee Ramone   Composer
Johnny Ramone   Composer
Will Sergeant   Composer
Robin Scott   Composer
Kevin Shields   Composer
Mort Stevens   Composer
Tommy Stinson   Composer
Stephen Street   Composer
Deniz Tek   Composer
Neil Tennant   Composer
Andy Todd   Composer
Laurence Tolhurst   Composer
Ritchie Valens   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Ben Watt   Composer
Tina Weymouth   Composer
Rob Younger   Composer
Jimmy Zero   Composer
Pete de Freitas   Composer
Tanya Donelly   Composer
Wilco   Composer
Robert O'Hearn   Composer
Ted Ottaviano   Composer
Bill Bentley   Liner Notes
Pascal Gabriel   Composer
David Schelzel   Composer
Seymour Stein   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Royston Langdon   Composer
John Guldberg   Composer
Jordan Knight   Composer
Dave Steele   Composer
Paul Godfrey   Composer
Ross Godfrey   Composer
Skye Edwards   Composer
Steve Woolard   Annotation
Paul Conboy   Composer
Bill Paxton   Composer
Yves M. Lacomblez   Composer
Arthur Luscombe   Composer
Roger Charlery   Composer
Peter Cunnah   Composer
Mark Gardener   Composer
Steve Grimes   Composer
Peter Hooton   Composer
Rick Holliday   Composer
Robin Hurley   Executive Producer
Tracy Morrow   Composer
Risa Morley   Liner Notes
Ed Robertson   Composer

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