camper van beethoven’s new album of old songs

[Part seven of the New Music from the Past 30 Years series… kind of]

In 1983, Camper van Beethoven began playing what is now a well-known, if not over-used, label for rock that is supposed to be cool – indie. They were making and putting out their own music by themselves and with true independent labels… before one would ask “independent from what?”

I wasn’t going to add to this series but for the fact that they’re releasing a 25th anniversary album of their greatest hits tomorrow – Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty.

Releasing a greatest hits isn’t all that exciting. However, they apparently re-recorded five of their songs for the album because their original record label wouldn’t release the songs for use nor would they sell the rights back to the band. So, they just recorded them again for inclusion. No word from anywhere that I can find as to what those songs are.

I found Camper in the mid-80s when “Take the Skinheads Bowling” was hard to avoid on local independent radio station WMSE in Milwaukee. Their music is most notable for the sheer volume of experimentation with rhythms, sounds, instruments and lyrics. Somewhat of an Eastern European punk Zappa sound.

They’ve been touring a lot in the last eight years, and if you haven’t seen them, you should. Their show now is a great tour through the history and catalog of an important “indie” original.

Here’s “Sweethearts.” Not only my favorite song of theirs, but one of my favorite ever… especially live.


2 Responses to “camper van beethoven’s new album of old songs”

  1. June 24, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    The five re-recorded songs would be the ones from Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie-

    From OBRS:
    Eye of Fatima
    One Of Thes Days

    From KLP:
    When I Win The Lottery
    All Her Favorite Fruit
    Picture of Matchstick Men

    Agreed, Sweethearts is awesome. I was surprised not to find it on the tracklist.

  2. 2 Jon
    June 25, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for doing the math on that, Tim.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

June 2008
« May   Jul »

RSS feed


%d bloggers like this: