Slightly off the pace with this ‘news’ but the entire Sugar back catalogue is to be reissued by Edsel . Deluxe editions of the band’s 3 LPs are being released in May/early June to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of the classic ‘Copper Blue’.
I’d be inclined to make a case for Sugar being the best band ever – at least on a song by song statistical basis.
I’m sure that other bands have issued more great songs (Husker Du even) but of the three Sugar LPs both ‘Copper Blue’ and ‘Beaster’ are stone cold classics. The bar may have dropped a little for ‘File Under Easy Listening’ but I can’t thing of any bands who have had a comparable lifespan and kept the standard so high over 3 records.
There were two reasons for that. Firstly there’s the line-up itself – Sugar simply were an awesome combination of musicians. And just as importantly the lifespan of the band coincided with a peak in Bob Mould’s songwriting prowess.
All the reissues take the format of CDs and a DVD with the DVDs featuring a mixture of promos and live tracks.
All the officially released Sugar material is present on the CDs and if there’s a disappointment with the reissues it’s that there’s very little new stuff for the hardcore fan.
So ‘Copper Blue’ has 2 CDs plus a DVD. The bonus live disc with Copper Blue is an 18 track recording “LIVE AT THE CABARET METRO, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 22nd JULY 1992”. Tracks from this set (which largely mirrors the set on the band’s debut UK tour) did feature as B-sides to the UK singles but I’ve never heard the whole set (although it has been much bootlegged).
‘Beaster’ is the only reissue without a corresponding live CD (although it is cheaper than the other two) although the live tracks on the DVD are unusual in that they haven’t surfaced before.
‘FU:EL’ meanwhile also has an unreleased live set on CD – at least in the UK. “THE JOKE IS ALWAYS ON US, SOMETIMES – LIVE AT FIRST AVENUE, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, 2ND NOVEMBER 1994” was actually released in the States as a bonus disc with the ‘Besides’ compilation but not, as far as I know, on this side of the Atlantic.
In total there’s over 40 Sugar songs on here, several never officially recorded in the studio. The whole package is well worth investing in.
Pester your local records to stock the CDs.
Bob Mould and his current band are playing ‘Copper Blue’ in its entirety over the next few months. The only London date is at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Friday 1st June.