Saturday, March 16, 2013

NOMEANSNO: [2004] Mama

NoMeansNo's independent debut album, Mama, was for a decade the Holy Grail for punk record collectors. The initial pressing of only 500 copies had been snapped up locally, once the band started to tour, and then, inexplicably, the master tapes were lost and the independent pressing plant closed down -- it seemed the album was gone forever. The band ingenuously made a tape copy from an album, and sold it through their record label for a few years, but that was it. Its price among collectors skyrocketed, as the band's status among aficionados grew, mainly because of their incendiary live performances. Finally, in the late 1990s, a record store owner in Vancouver found the masters in the estate of the pressing plant, and returned them to the band. NoMeansNo, the least business-oriented band in punk rock, was at that time becoming increasingly estranged from their longtime record company, Alternative Tentacles, and had decided to leave Jello Biafra's label, simultaneously withdrawing all their masters and releases from public distribution. For almost two years they continued to play big sold out concerts all over Europe and Canada, without having a single title available in retail stores. Only NoMeansNo could get away with such a business decision and survive. Throughout their career NoMeansNo have refused to play suitor to record companies, even refusing to put A&R reps waving record deals on the guest list. It took a year to find acceptable distribution -- John Loder's Southern Distribution, founded by legendary iconoclasts Crass, became their new home. When it came time to relaunch their back catalog, John Wright's top priority was to remaster and release Mama which finally, in 2004, saw its debut CD release.

Living Is Free / My Roommate Is Turning Into A Monster / Red Devil / Mama's Little Boy / We Are The Chopped / No Sex / Rich Guns / No Rest For The Wicked / Living In Detente / Try Not To Stutter / I'm All Wet / Approaching Zero / Forget Your Life.


1 comment:

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