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  • Beyond and Back: The X Anthology
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Beyond and Back: The X Anthology


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Audio CD, October 28, 1997
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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: #160,251 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

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.

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Also, a post-Billy-Zoom version of X just doesn't do it for me.
PenaltyShot
To this day any X record takes me back to those days of the very early 80s of the LA music scene.
Mark Holm
There is only one CD you need to purchase if you want to hear X and this is the CD.
Rockstrongo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wilson Ng on 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 By PenaltyShot on October 27, 2001
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 1998
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 1998
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark Holm on 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 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris bct on December 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
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. I got the 2xCD best of release and it's got too much of the later, weaker material for my tastes. This came out some years before that and mines the unreleased stash that most bands appear to create over a period of years and a number of albums. This reminds me of the unofficial TOM WAITS Tales From the Underground series of 5 cds, lovingly put together by some fan. A wealth of unreleased items as well as tracks from other people's records. SUPERCHUNK did two similar releases culling together b-sides, live tracks and songs that appeared on compilations and not elsewhere. A real service to the fan. This accomplishes the same thing. The X fan should definitely have this. The casual fan should probably just get any of the first 4 albums, particularly with extra tracks because they exist. Heck, you really couldn't go wrong getting this as an overview of the band's best material, assuming you have a little tolerance for the occasional song that is not 100% perfectly recorded. That only applies to about 5 songs on this set anyway.

This official release does a similar thing while concentrating on most of X's finest songs. If you have to have ultra high fidelity for every song, sure, then you'll be disappointed in a handful of some of the demo or live tracks. But, punk rock man. And those songs are far from unlistenable. I've always been a big fan of hearing alternate versions of great songs, whether it's live, demo, studio outtake or a good cover by another band (or like GANG OF FOUR just did and covered their own songs 25 years later). I'm not one to simply listen to the same songs, the same versions, over and over again.
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