Having got the 2013 Wilder reissue for Christmas, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Teardrop Explodes in the last few days.
Compared to the 3 CD Kilimanjaro set last year, though, the Wilder reissue is a missed opportunity. Initially announced as a 3 CD set, the actual release was a slimmed down 2CD set which meant that there was less room for material which hasn’t so far made it to CD.
First off though the main record itself. I confess that Wilder was a disappointment at the time of its original release but it’s a record that’s certainly grown on me in the intervening decades. Wilder was something of a departure (and for this young fan, something of a far from welcome surprise) but there’s a good few songs that recall the classic pop of the early Teardrops.
Otherwise there’s a funkier sound to the likes of ‘The Culture Bunker’ whilst ‘Tiny Children’ is a fragile, haunting tune. From its mixed reception initially Wilder’s reputation has grown over the years and rightly so.
However it sounds to me like the main album is the same mastering as the release 10 years or so ago. So there’s nothing new on the main album.
Much of the extra material on the second CD isn’t new either as most of tit has previously been issued on CD, including the ‘You Disappear From View’ E.P. But bizarrely the Club Zoo live version of ‘Sleeping Gas’ is included here again after being (admittedly somewhat misplaced) on the Kilimanjaro reissue.
It’s a good example of a lack of a clear approach to the reissue programme not least since some of the other post Wilder material is missing (‘Serious Danger’ and ‘Count to Ten and Run For Cover’) and probably won’t ever see the light of day as there’s little left for a reissue of Everyone Wants To Shag… since half of it is on here.
Consistent with the drip feed of Peel session songs, this release does finally release ‘I’m Not The Loving Kind’, ‘… And The Fighting Takes Over’ and ‘Screaming Secrets’ into the wild. But the final 3 track Peel session (and a Skinner session version of ‘Serious Danger’) all remain stubbornly unavailable.
Ultimately this isn’t the definitive release of Wilder that it could have been – a third CD’s worth of the post Wilder material both studio and session would have done that. It’s certainly worth getting if you don’t own a CD copy of the LP but it’s an expensive way to gain a handful of tracks for the completists.
The Teardrops though were unquestionably bloody brilliant as these videos prove: