Galaxie 500


Phases & Stages

Galaxie 500

Today (20-20-20)

Galaxie 500

On Fire (20-20-20)

Galaxie 500

This Is Our Music (20-20-20)

"In 2010 the American 'alternative' music scene is an historical artifact," declares Byron Coley in the liner notes to Galaxie 500's deluxe reissues. True, but the Cambridge, Mass., trio always sounded authentically British, Dean Wareham like Bowie's more sensitive little brother. With three Galaxie discs getting expansion, the full scope of just how evolved their tastes were becomes clear. The cover of 1988 debut Today could've been a color poem for their whole catalog: looking through sepia-toned flowers on what seems like a hot summer day. That seminal album comes paired with bonus track "King of Spain" and Uncollected, a mix of rarities and outtakes from 1987-90. Rough Trade follow-up, 1989's On Fire, adds bonus takes on Joy Division ("Ceremony") and the Red Krayola ("Victory Garden"), but the addition of Peel sessions from the same year is the money shot here, a collection of the threesome at their shimmery, off-key melodic best, especially covers of the Sex Pistols ("Submission"), Buffy Sainte-Marie ("Moonshot"), and an ecstatic version of Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste," proving, as on the 2004 live DVD of the same name, that they could be a fierce band outside the studio. Swan song This Is Our Music from 1990 comes paired with Copenhagen, nine songs live on Danish radio, tape changes and all, plus a nearly eight-minute thrill ride through Yoko Ono's "Listen, the Snow Is Falling" and the Velvets' "Here She Comes Now." All together, a nice slow clap for all the losers and dreamers.

(Today, This Is Our Music) ***

(On Fire) ***.5

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