Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story

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Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story


Sire was, at its best, Seymour Stein's whims and hunches on Warner Bros.' dime. However much the albums did or didn't sell, only Stein's splendid ears ever governed Sire's sizable roster. Several acts didn't even make Rhino's 3-CD/1-DVD set, but these did: Ice-T, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, Seal, Wilco, Replacements, Pretenders, Ramones. Some gal from Detroit named Madonna, who kicks off disc one with 1982's "Everybody," precedes your neighborhood retro night's greatest hits: "Oh L'amour," "Tainted Love," "People Are People," "Kiss Me," "Genius of Love." Stein's more singular signings (Ofra Haza, Brian Wilson, Little Jimmy Scott, the Cult) bring up the rear. The second disc rocks and rolls through "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Back on the Chain Gang," and (yay!) Uncle Tupelo's "Give Back the Key to My Heart," plus period pieces like Laid Back's "White Horse," Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer." and Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hotrod." Choice cut: the Flamin' Groovies' "Shake Some Action." Ignited by the Undertones' eternal "Teenage Kicks," disc three is an Anglophile's delight: Smiths, Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Morrissey's gloriously glum "Everyday Is Like Sunday." Before My Bloody Valentine and Ride close out the audio portion in a shoegazer fog, you'll remember why you loved Plastic Bertrand, Bomb the Bass, the Rezillos, and most of all the Normal's hilariously stoic "Warm Leatherette." The DVD has priceless videos from Depeche Mode, Talking Heads, Belly, Madonna, and many more. Thanks to Stein, Just Say Sire is rich with something sorely missing among today's bean-counting record men: personality.


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