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Beyond and Back: The X Anthology

XAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 28, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002HQW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,202 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Los Angeles
2. The World's A Mess; It's My Kiss
3. Yr Ignition
4. Year One
5. Hungry Wolf
6. We're Desperate
7. Beyond & Back
8. Back 2 The Base
9. Blue Spark
10. Some Other Time
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The New World
2. Breathless
3. Poor Girl
4. What's Wrong With Me
5. How I (Learned My Lesson)
6. The Have Nots
7. Someone Like You
8. The Stage
9. See How We Are
10. Surprise Surprise
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

This two-disc retrospective serves better as a wild gift to fanatical Xtremests rather than as a serviceable overview for the casual fan who never had much time for the band in the first place. Only 11 of the collection's 45 tracks were culled from the nine official albums released over a decade and a half span. Unlike a standard best-of, Beyond and Back is heavily weighted with demos, outtakes, rare singles, and live recordings. Some will no doubt bemoan the supplanting of studio recordings of high-tension band standards such as "The World's a Mess; It's in My Kiss," "The Once Over Twice," and "Johny Hit and Run Paulene" with raw, lo-fi alternates. Still, the candid approach certainly suits the band's original aesthetic, and there are a surplus of enticing rarities to be found that even dabblers will enjoy. --Steven Stolder

Product Description

Jon Doe and Exene Cervenka: the king and queen of West Coast punk! From high-powered punkabilly to simmering acoustic sets, this 2-CD set contains some of the best tracks ( We're Desperate; Johnny Hit & Run Paulene ) from their albums, plus mostly unreleased demos, outtakes, rehearsals and cuts from their legendary live shows. Includes notes from the band and testimonials from the musical peers who revere them, plus exclusive photos from the band members' own collections.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Look for 'Make The Music Go Bang' July 28, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Casual fans and folks who want to get introduced to X should first get 'Make The Music Go Bang'. That compilation serves up a 2-CD slice of some of their biggest songs and serves as a proper Greatest Hits package.

'Beyond & Back' is served better as a complimentary collection to 'Make The Music Go Bang' by delving further into the X catalog with rarities, outtakes, B-Sides, and alternate takes on some of their greatest songs.

Together, 'Make the Music Go Bang' and 'Beyond & Back' makes a nice 4 disc set that covers much ground over X's illustrious career.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This album is an anthology of X in the same way as the Beatles' Anthology albums are anthologies of the Fab Four. In other words, as the Amazon review mentions, most of the tracks here are alternate takes, live recordings, rough demos, and heretofore-unreleased tracks.
As such, it is interesting, especially for fans that already have all of the proper studio albums (as I do). But as with the Beatles Anthology albums, a lot of these tracks make me wish I were listening to the familiar versions rather than the almost invariably inferior versions included here.
While true to the rough, homegrown DIY aesthetic that is X, sometimes production and execution DO matter. If these had been the versions that had been originally committed to wax for their studio albums, I probably would not have become the huge fan of X that I became.
Also, a post-Billy-Zoom version of X just doesn't do it for me. Yes, John Doe and Exene were the major songwriting talent in the band, but Zoom's incredible "atomic rockabilly" blasts were the fuel that lifted the songs off the ground into the stratosphere. ANY other guitarist just doesn't fit, especially when X is playing versions of their older classics. Can you imagine the Beatles' "Abbey Road" without George Harrison's masterful guitar work? I can't either. Same effect here with Zoom.
The good news is that a lot of the tracks (at least the earlier ones) DO feature X's original lineup, with Zoom. It's great as a historical document, and it has its rough-hewn charm, but don't confuse this with a best-of album. If you want the real deal, get X's first four albums before you buy this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real X LA in the late 70s/early 80s March 10, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If you never made a show of Xs in the late 70s or early 80s this is the one to get! It was 1980 -- I was living in LA going to college and my girlfriend and I just called it quits. A friend of a friend suggested a trip to the Wiskey-a go go in Hollywood to see a band called X. In that show that night I became a X fan. To this day any X record takes me back to those days of the very early 80s of the LA music scene. This CD -- tho not the best technically -- captures the vitality of the scene - I know I saw it at the time. However the lyrics do not speak to just that time but the themes and feelings relevant today. It speak of lust and love, society and justice (or lack there of) and the 'scene' -- thier music - is a thinking person's punk. A must have CD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gods and Goddess of West Coast rock May 13, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
One night after seeing X in 1983, I had a dream I was at Denny's with Billy Zoom. He fed me Caramel Apple Cake from his golden guitar pick. Thusly, if you cannot find a song to love on this thrilling collection of gorgeous hits from this absolutely ground-breaking, earth-shattering, legend-making band, you've been dead too long. No one can claim to know modern music withou knowing X. Amen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Xtremely Xstatic!!!!!!!!!! October 4, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
For years I have been listening to a tape I made back in college that I dubbed "The best of X". When I recieved this album, I put it away in a safe place since this recording will now be my "Best of X". Live cuts, concerts, demos and studio versions are featured on this "must have" recording. John Doe, Billy Zoom, Exene Cervenka and JD Bonebreak rocked in the 80's and this showcases that fury. This one will not leave the tray of my 5 disc changer for quite a while. Xcellent!! X Fans should be Xstatic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for fans of X! March 6, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a superb double CD collection tracing the music and history of X, arguably one of the most important bands of the late-70's to mid-80's LA punk scene. Collected here are many of the band's original songs, plus several unreleased tracks and some surprises. Highly recommended, along with The Unheard Music, a video devoted to X. (if you can find it!) END
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the X factor the world needs today... March 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Listening to the alternate mixes, demos & bootlegs collected on the 2 CD's of "Beyond & Back" leaves me with only one conclusion: if there was ever a better rock band than X, I never heard them. From the late 70's thru late 80's, & thru 3 different guitarists, X consistently kept their integrity, their social conscience & the awful beauty of the music intact.
Of course, anyone familiar with X would vote for Billy Zoom as being the quintessential guitar player for the band, & his awesome machine-gun rockabilly licks leave little room for argument on gems such as "Blue Spark", "Los Angeles" & "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline". But the wonderful country-tinged social protest songs that Tony Gilkyson played with them, represented here by "See How We Are", "4th of July" & others equally deserving of respect; it's also fascinating how close the early punk numbers really are to the later folk sounds X recorded.
Many of the best-known songs are here in alternate takes or live bootlegs. "Burning House of Love" is turned into an unplugged country number while "The Have-Nots" is an early live cassette recording. "Soul Kitchen" which I had always assumed the band covered in homage to their producer Ray Manzarek here predates his involvement with X in their first demo recording. Additionally, a wonderful "Riding With Mary" features Mr.Manzarek on some very punk keyboard riffs!
No matter how much the guitars or the wonderful primal drums of DJ Bonebreak are discussed, the essence of X is the truly unique beauty of John Doe & Exene Cervanka singing together. The dissonant harmonies they discovered will give you goosebumps & have you turning the volume to 11.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars No-brainers, hidden gems, and also-rans
This sprawling mess of a collection has some terrific live stuff and demos 78-82 when they were at their peak. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Couture
5.0 out of 5 stars "X" MARKS THE SPOT
X-BEYOND & BACK/THE X ANTHOLOGY: West coast alt rock pioneers X bordered on the fun side of the punk scene, right down to its band members' colorful names... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jukebox Dave
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Punk Band
There is only one CD you need to purchase if you want to hear X and this is the CD. This belongs in any punk collection or anyone who is interested in really good american music. Read more
Published on October 22, 2010 by Rockstrongo
3.0 out of 5 stars I love the songs, but.......
Man I wish there was a way to replace Exene's vocal tracks with someone who can sing....or just mix her WAY down low---she is just TERRIBLE!!!
Published on October 22, 2009 by Chris Foreman
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw Emotion is Good
The raw sound on this album is incredible. I will only listen to "The world's a mess; It's in my kiss" if it's from this album. Her voice is so chaotic (and his is so controlled). Read more
Published on February 18, 2007 by C. J. Nichols
4.0 out of 5 stars If only more bands would make one of these
This is one of my most listened to X albums. Each disc stands on its own. There's no way any fan could gather together so many rarities. Read more
Published on December 3, 2005 by Chris bct
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Band- Hideous Anthology
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE this band. But this collection is almost unlistenable. The tracks seem just thrown together in what's got to be the WORST possible order, and there's WAY... Read more
Published on November 24, 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars For rabid fans only
There seems to be two philosophies with box sets: Provide a thorough overview of the band's catalog to appeal to the casual fan, or throw in plenty of rarities to entice the fan... Read more
Published on August 15, 2003 by CincySteve
5.0 out of 5 stars This Set's a Mess, It's Not Just Hits
Still I love it! Would it have nice to have more of the original clean tracks (hits?!?) compiled in one place? Maybe. Read more
Published on January 17, 2003 by S. Finefrock
3.0 out of 5 stars For serious "X" fans only.
They chose the right title for this CD; it is indeed an "anthology": a selected group of recordings from this seminal band. Read more
Published on September 19, 2001 by "voiceofreason"
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