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On Fire [Enhanced, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

Galaxie 500Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2009 $9.49  
Audio CD, Enhanced, Original recording reissued, 1997 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1990
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0000009QN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Blue Thunder
2. Tell Me
3. Snowstorm
4. Strange
5. When Will You Come Home
6. Decomposing Trees
7. Another Day
8. Leave The Planet
9. Plastic Bird
10. Isn't It A Pity
11. Victory Garden
12. Ceremony
13. Cold Night

Editorial Reviews

From the Label

Galaxie 500 began to play beyond the Boston limits and their stock rose, especially in the UK where Today wasreceived enthusiastically. In the summer of 1989, the band re-entered Kramer’s studio to record their second album,On Fire, and its companion EP, the UK-only release Blue Thunder, both for Rough Trade. The critical acclaim for these recordings was deafening. Sounds described the album as "utter magnificence," Melody Maker called it "astunning collection of daydream pop," even Rolling Stone gave it 3½ stars.The world was beating its head on Galaxie’s door; the On Fire/Blue Thunder pairing expanded effortlessly on theband’s exquisite base. The plaintive threads of the Galaxie 500 sound had been pulled tighter by the technicalproficiency that had enveloped these ex-amateurs, and unlike so many others, technique had sharpened their instinctsrather than masked them. Playing with flash is superfluous, when you have the moxie to cover Red Crayola’s "VictoryGarden" and Joy Division’s "Ceremony," making both of them over in your own image. With the release of On Fire/Blue Thunder, Galaxie 500 took their playing to a whole new level.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrist-slitting fun February 10, 2000
By Pedro
Format:Audio CD
You just got dumped by your girlfriend, your dog just died, your really late on your college papers, you never get enough sleep... oh hell, put in G500's "On Fire" and just start crying. Because you're sad? No, no. Just 'cause the songs are just too damn beutiful. I love music, I got hundreds of CDs, but very few touch me like this one. It doesn't matter if you're listening to it in the subway, on bed or on the top of the Empire State Building, it always makes you feel kinda funny, inadequate, really. The world becomes absurd, abstract, deadly at every little corner. "Blue Thunder" is one of the most warm and gutsy song I've ever heard. And "Strange", makes you feel like one. If you want to be a lonely argonaut travelling in a sea of faceless people, then buy this album, lock your door and hide all pointy objects.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I once got beat up to this C.D. September 27, 2002
Format:Audio CD
And while it was no fun having a skinny white guy's boot repeatedly assault my groin and lower abdomen, I couldn't help but notice the etheral guittar chords and well written lyrics playing in the background. Until then, I had only been beat up to rap music. They say music is the strongest source of nostalgia, and they are right. This C.D. takes me back to some good times.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Firing on All Cylinders February 27, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Just one year after a very good debut album ("Today"), Galaxie 500 hit the jackpot with "On Fire." This is one of those albums where a band miraculously gets everything right, with all the elements of their sound falling into place. The Galaxie 500 formula was basically pretty simple, and all three instrumentalists contributed about equally. Damon Krukowski's splashy drumming did as much to set the mood as did Naomi Yang's understated bass and Dean Wareham's blaring guitars.
The overall effect is sort of a musical glow, as suggested by the orange album cover, and there are enough earthly concerns in the lyrics to remind us which planet we inhabit after all. "On Fire" is pervaded by themes of escape, isolation, and longing. Though the music has a soothing effect, there is an angst here, a genuine attempt to connect. This is no mere exercise in style.
The Galaxie 500 sound was heavily influenced by the Velvet Underground, especially VU's droniest material, such as "Venus in Furs." Yet somehow, the Galaxie 500 drone does not borrow so obviously from Indian music. It sounds entirely American, with hints of jazz, blues, folk, and rock and roll. But only hints. Mostly, Galaxie 500 sounded nothing like any band that came before it--at least as far as I know. Their music was ahead of its time.
"Blue Thunder" may be the band's best song ever, with a crescendo leading to the chorus: "I'll drive so far away!" "Snowstorm" is a brilliant take on how we experience snowstorms nowadays, watching the TV and maybe hoping we can get out of work early; the music approaches quietly before rushing in and enveloping us.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my "desert island discs" October 15, 2003
By Chuck
Format:Audio CD
Back when music sucked in the late 80s, there were a few notable exceptions. It seems that every critic later realized that grunge would have been nothing were it not for prototypical bands like the Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, My Bloody Valentine, and... OK, the late 80s didn't totally suck, I guess. Galaxie 500 was a trio from Boston, with simple instrumentation (guitar/voice, bass/voice, drums) and likewise simple tunes. They were extremely adept at utilizing their untested and somewhat limited talents, and ended up with something that was much more than the sum of its parts. True, the lyrics weren't particularly great, Dean Wareham (later the leader of Luna) usually sang an octave too high for my liking, and the bass player claimed she hardly knew how to play. But, as evidenced by the purposefully-sometimes-lagging drumming in "Strange", they knew exactly what they were doing and what they were capable of, and here they turned out a subtle masterpiece of consistently lulling, tuneful songs And they knew who and how to cover, too - Yoko Ono ("Decomposing Trees"), George Harrison ("Isn't It A Pity"), and even New Order's "Ceremony" as a bonus track, which is the standout.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lazy, hazy hungover mornings August 10, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Listening to G5's On Fire this morning is taking me back to a time 10 years ago, sophomore in college, visiting friends in their dive apartment, getting loaded every night for two months and in the mornings, gradually prying our eyes open, rolling off the couches, beds, tables, putting in On Fire and slowly letting the mood work its way through the haze of booze and herb and cigarettes while we clean up the house, restock our bodies with food, play a little lazy pinochle, and get ready to do it all again. The slickest of G5's albums, and definitely the most unified. Lacking the orgasmic highs of Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste from Today and the occasional cornball low-points of This Is Our Music (like "but you have another eyelid..."), this album is very steadily great. Nothing like it when you're in just the right mood.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Galaxie 500's finest moment September 1, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
A gem of swirling, haunting, melodic rock. The entire album ebbs and flows as a remarkable set of memorable tracks touches the listener with passion and sincerity. No particular song overpowers the rest (except perhaps George Harrison's "Isn't it a Pity"), enhancing the album's cohesion and consistency. The contrast between Dean's off-key vocals and Naomi's floating, etheral voice add depth and balance. The arrangements are almost jazz-like in structure, making this album (and band) somewhat intellectual. I like to listen to "On Fire" when I am depressed because the album's somber mood intensifies to great effect.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Galaxie 500 - On Fire
Having only been around for about four years, Galaxie 500 were able to create three of the most glorious liquid neo-psychedelic albums of all time ... Read more
Published 21 months ago by R. Kesler
2.0 out of 5 stars Edith Baines Bunker
I have always found the MUSIC of Galaxie 500 to be enjoyable...I just could never get over lead vocals that sound like Edith Bunker from "All In The Family". I'm just saying...
Published on March 15, 2009 by J. Haas
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring distorted tenderness
Could be heard as pretty, but comes across as pretty dumbed-down instead. The playing, songwriting, singing, etc. Read more
Published on November 24, 2008 by IRate
3.0 out of 5 stars It bends rather than breaks
Whiny, annoying whus-pop for aging hipsters. But these eunuchs have a way with a melody so I dislike it far less than I thought I would. Flaccid, yet (somehow) fun. Read more
Published on September 28, 2004 by Chet Fakir
3.0 out of 5 stars Why so hyped?
If I could choose any Galaxie 500 album to buy, it'd be this one. Having said that, there are only 3 songs on here that I enjoy listening to, and two of them are covers... Read more
Published on August 23, 2004 by natalie larios
2.0 out of 5 stars Gimme a break...
There are exactly one and one-half excellent songs on here, and even when the music is finally on, the lyrics are so trite it nearly completely ruins the moment. Read more
Published on August 31, 2003 by Lloyd Christmas
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional, sad, poingant and embracing LP... let it burn
This LP brings back many memories. Without a doubt, it is the CLASSIC Galaxie 500 LP.. The best one.. they are in top form here. It is a classic. There's not one bad song. Read more
Published on July 1, 2003 by Todd E. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars blissed-out
I don't know how or why Galaxie 500 slipped under the radar. Perhaps their music is so soothing, so warm, so trancelike, that they can move unnoticed, except by those listening... Read more
Published on December 3, 2002 by Hallie Engel
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
This sat on my shelves for a little while until I gave it a whole hearted listen to...after that, I was blown away. Read more
Published on July 28, 2002 by Eric Navarro
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