Is Wild Gift X's best album?

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I think so...of the first four anyway (haven't got the others). A great group but curiously uninfluencial?

yugi ex, Monday, 19 May 2014 19:41 (eight years ago) link

Los Angeles, then Wild Gift

grindie cindy (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 19 May 2014 19:45 (eight years ago) link

I like MFITNW best. I just do. Wild Gift might be my 2nd favorite.

Yarli Simon (rattled), Monday, 19 May 2014 19:58 (eight years ago) link

Wild Gift > Los Angeles > Under the Big Black Sun > More Fun in the New World, and then you're done.

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 19 May 2014 20:00 (eight years ago) link

"More Fun in the New World" might be my favorite.

Immediate Follower (NA), Monday, 19 May 2014 20:02 (eight years ago) link

More Fun, just cuz that's where I came in, hits all the right teen nostalgia buttons. Good songs, too. Anybody else remember that Elektra records ad that ran on MTV, pushing MFITNW and Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil as roughly equivalent doses of the new new? Can't think of any other television commercials for albums...

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Monday, 19 May 2014 20:13 (eight years ago) link

you've never seen this one?

Οὖτις, Monday, 19 May 2014 20:19 (eight years ago) link

ha, no, i hadn't

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Monday, 19 May 2014 21:43 (eight years ago) link

appropriately dispiriting

katsu kittens (contenderizer), Monday, 19 May 2014 21:43 (eight years ago) link

WG and UTBBS are tied. I burned the first out, still love the second.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 May 2014 21:44 (eight years ago) link

Under the Big Black Sun just ahead of Wild Gift for me.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 19 May 2014 21:56 (eight years ago) link

Wild Gift by a considerable margin over the others.

kornrulez6969, Monday, 19 May 2014 22:49 (eight years ago) link

Los Angeles & Wild Gift above the others.

that's not my post, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 01:36 (eight years ago) link

My issue with Wild Gift is that it's a mix of eras and recordings - songs going back 2 or more years, 2 different studios, 2 different mastering jobs. certainly it has songs on it that predate Los Angeles, that said I prefer the remade versions of "We're Desperate" and "Adult Books." Something about it never felt as cohesive as the other three, at least to me. I gave this album a fair number of listens before going to see them last December, and one thing that stuck out for me is the recycled verse on "Back 2 The Base", it shows how hard they were trying to fill in the last few missing pieces on a great album, imo ending up w/only a very very good one. I'd probably rank them UTBBS > MFITNW > LA > WG with the middle two very close

KrafTwerk (sleeve), Tuesday, 20 May 2014 01:49 (eight years ago) link

Wild Gift is probably better overall than the first, but my favourite songs are "Los Angeles" and "The World's a Mess." Don't remember the next three very well. Don't play any of them anymore.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 02:24 (eight years ago) link

wild gift, la, mfitnw, utbbs for me

updates from chuck and betty (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 20 May 2014 02:38 (eight years ago) link

Haven't listened to these guys much lately, but Wild Gift was - and probably still is - my favorite. I kinda agree with "curiously uninfluential", though arguably they did influence some - mostly forgettable - second-wave cowpunk and punkabilly bands. Perhaps their most lasting influence has been the voice of Exene Cervenka - whom I think influenced Kim Gordon and other "alternative" women singers.

o. nate, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 03:08 (eight years ago) link

I'm beyond actually criticizing the first four albums, but I think Wild Gift is the least of them because it has two songs I don't like very much, and because it sounds thin, like I'm listening to it through a tin can or something. Those songs are enormous on stage and I'm disappointed by their lack of kick when I revisit the studio versions. It's a problem that's unique to Wild Gift for some reason.

I usually listen to UTBBS these days, just because it reminds me of their live act, it burns a little slower, and it's more cohesive. It feels like those songs all came out of some smoky session in the valley at 1 in the morning.

P.S. Weird how Ain't Love Grand and Poor Little Critter both came out in '85 and Critter is a complete joy but Ain't Love Grand is miserable.

kaleb, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 06:21 (eight years ago) link

I order the four biggies: WG, MFITNW, UTBBS, LA...probably. I find the songs on UTBBS a bit clunky for some reason, melodies seem a bit forced or something. MFITNW has some fantastic stuff on it, but a bit of dross too.

yugi ex, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 18:44 (eight years ago) link

wild gift has my favorite x song, "the once over twice," and poor little critter on the road is my favorite of all the albums mentioned here.

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 18:50 (eight years ago) link

Under The Big Black Sun by far for me. Just feels like they made the record they hadd been struggling to make before - and find themselves kind of defeated by that success. Kind of a Peggy Lee-style "Is that all there is to the circus?" world-weariness to the whole thing. They're firing on all cylinders as musicians as songwriters, but it's not enough. There's death, and drinking, and what sounds like infidelity and a marriage falling apart. It's maybe the most grown-up album that still feels completely punk to me - and that might be part of what's so sad about it.

brio, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 19:45 (eight years ago) link

Is it weird that "True Love Pt. 2" is one of my favorite X songs? I want to DJ a big dance party just so I can play it.

Immediate Follower (NA), Tuesday, 20 May 2014 20:01 (eight years ago) link

My brother has that as his ringtone. It's the only X song he listens to.

kaleb, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 20:04 (eight years ago) link

I've had problems with "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" for years but I've learned to like it with reservations. John and Exene are trying not to think bad thoughts about those Brits with synths and lip gloss, which is honest.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 May 2014 20:17 (eight years ago) link

I always thought True Love Pt 2 was trying to be Tom Tom Club in a kind of cheesy way, but I always liked the super-medley of lyrics at the end, wish that part went on a bit longer.

More Fun is a bit of a wreck but at least it's got some desperation and fight left in it.

Are Ain't Love Grand and See How We Are worth giving another shot? Found them completely dull years ago, never revisited.

brio, Tuesday, 20 May 2014 20:19 (eight years ago) link

Ain't Love Grand was the sound of X trying to sell out but not being capable of it. There's a few great songs on it (Burning House of Love, My Soul Cries Your Name, Around My Heart, What's Wrong With Me), and a few indifferent ones. The production definitely hurts it, but it could have been worse (witness the atrocious bombast of the "Wild Thing" cover they recorded at the same time).

See How We Are is a marked improvement--better songs and better production throughout. Some of their best ballads (Dave Alvin's Fourth of July, When It Rains, and especially the title track) and lotsa rock (I'm Lost, Left and Right, and In the Time That It Takes will crawl thru your back yard and whack your yappin' dog). Plus a great heartbroken Exene song (You) and those John & Exene harmonies all over the place.

The forgotten 7th album Hey Zeus! is pretty much fans-only; some good songs but overall weak.

The live acoustic Unclogged is definitely worth hearing.

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 22 May 2014 02:58 (eight years ago) link

The forgotten 7th album Hey Zeus! is pretty much fans-only; some good songs but overall weak.

i quite liked "country at war" from that album. can't remember anything else from it though.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 22 May 2014 03:11 (eight years ago) link

This is the first X I ever heard, and I was really disappointed when the corresponding album didn't sound much like this.

That's So (Eazy), Thursday, 22 May 2014 04:00 (eight years ago) link

That's So (Eazy), Thursday, 22 May 2014 04:00 (eight years ago) link

^ great stuff

He's such an amazing singer. Love the part where he cracks up.

Immediate Follower (NA), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:33 (eight years ago) link

There's a fair number of late X demos out there that are far, far better than the released albums.

Three Word Username, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:42 (eight years ago) link

eight years pass...

I randomly decided to fix my X-sized blind spot a few days ago, having only knowingly heard a couple tracks from Los Angeles before. This might be honeymoon phase hyperbole, but I think Wild Gift is the greatest punk rock album I've ever heard. Every second of this thing is smart, seedy, sexy, and exploding with hooks. Exene and John's vocal chemistry is magical. The riffage is outrageous. "Got a hole in my heart the size of my heart." I'm kicking myself for sleeping on this band for so long.

I'm digging the other classic-era albums too, especially More Fun In the New World, but Wild Gift is on a whole other level

J. Sam, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 03:12 (one week ago) link

this post adds joy to my world

i'm right back on my shit (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 03:42 (one week ago) link

it needs that, it does

i'm right back on my shit (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 03:42 (one week ago) link


J. Sam, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 04:08 (one week ago) link

Cervenka’s first solo LP is amazingly underrated, but Doe’s work outside of the group is just so consistently solid

beamish13, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 04:53 (one week ago) link

Do you mean "Old Wives Tales"?

I love John's solo best-of, it shows that consistency you mentioned.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 15:18 (one week ago) link

A lot of folks from that era have strong but somewhat overlooked solo catalogs. John Doe, Dave Alvin, Chuck Prophet, Peter Case ...

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 15:30 (one week ago) link

Yes, Old Wives Tales. Her later work outside of X is really solid, too. It’s only Zoom who’s never really recorded much of note outside of the band, but I think he still operates a very high-end custom guitar company?

beamish13, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 19:33 (one week ago) link

I like this album better than Los Angeles, but it feels like the quality control drops suddenly at the finish. Ending your album with three progressively weaker up-tempo throwaways is maybe a way of proving your punk bonafides, but it doesn't result in a great record 40 years later.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 03:25 (one week ago) link

I'm a huge fan of Back 2 The Base, but otherwise yeah.

peace, man, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 03:59 (one week ago) link

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