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Pink Flag

October 27, 2009 | Format: MP3

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$11.49 to buy
Also available in CD Format
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: March 27, 2006
  • Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Label: Parlophone UK
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 35:27
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002RLBFQ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,162 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Burkhalter on September 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Its an indisputable fact that "Pink Flag" is a crucial piece of punk history, and even a crucial piece of the history of pop music in general. "Pink Flag" is an album almost any punk enthusiast should love, and one that even non-punks should be able to get into. The film-intellectuals-meet-minimal-composers-meet-Ramones-fans formula is unique (or was until half the bands in the world began showing the "Pink Flag" influence) and still thrilling. "Pink Flag" is without a doubt the spunkiest album of Wire's catalog, and an ideal starting place for recent Wire converts. I feel swell after swell of pop excitement at the openings of each of the album's better songs (which there are plenty of), and none of the tracks are anything close to dull. I imagine Wire take some criticism from the more staunchly political punk sects, because there is nothing *overtly* political here (which is not to say that "Pink Flag" is without socio-political critique), but that's never stopped me from loving this album, and I spend most of my time listening to The Ex. But enough about why "Pink Flag" is such a fantastic album. There are already enough highly intelligent discussions of Wire's virtues here, written by reviewers who know a good deal more about Wire than I do, and I will defer to them on those issues.
Mainly I want to explain why you should buy the EMI import version (available here on Amazon[.com], and not badly priced) of this flawless album instead of the Restless Retro version. First of all, the EMI import has one more bonus track than the Restless edition does, and its a really good song. But more importantly, the Restless edition plays at such a faint volume level that I found it tough to enjoy. The sound quality is fine, but its very, very, quiet.
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Format: Audio CD
Really, what more can I say about Wire's Pink Flag that hasn't already been said? The album is so good, so burned in the retina of my brain (even though I still cannot for the life of us unscramble Graham Lewis' lyrics), so nearly perfect that it's sort of hard to write about. In a perfect world, whatever nonsense I may have to say about the record would be moot, as you should already own this record (along with Chairs Missing and 154, Wire's second and third albums respectively). But for those of you who may be enraptured by the recent flurry of post-punk revivalists who continue to make quite a stir, let the reissue campaign of the first three records introduce you to the band that Interpol, Maximo Park, Franz Ferdinand, and Bloc Party only wish they could be.

Recorded in 1977, Pink Flag is an immaculately concise punk record, even as Wire recognized that punk was becoming a self-parody and willed themselves to develop through experimentation with structure, technology, and process. Pink Flag's 21 songs cover a mere 35 minutes, many of them clocking in around 90 seconds or "when they ran out of words" as bassist / vocalist Graham Lewis once quipped. Energetic and volatile, each of the songs on Pink Flag thrash through the repetoire of reductivist power-pop riffs as immediately catchy and aggressive as anything by the Damned, the Ramones, and the Sex Pistols. But even on their first album, Wire demonstrated an uncanny ability with chord changes and melodic shifts that by '70s standards were much artier than their punk bretheren. Of course, in the aftermath of math-rock's acrobatic twists and turns, Wire's Pink Flag hardly sounds unpredictable... but if it weren't for Wire would we really have Laddio Bollocko, for example? Probably not.
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Format: Audio CD
Like other punk bands Wire strived to re-focus rock from it's growing excesses, but they took that aesthetic a step further. Unlike other artists Wire's aim wasn't a return to rock's roots, but minimalism. Wire didn't approach music as a rock band, but as an art experiment. On Pink Flag, Wire eliminate every extraneous element resulting pure, angular music. While not musically accomplished (in fact, the band members admit they were barely competent technically), Pink Flag contains an astounding variety and depth of creative ideas.
While other punk bands (The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, etc.) acheived notoriety with genuine angst and shock, Wire distinguished themselves through unpredictabilty and vocalist Colin Newman's sly, oft acerbic wit (while oft incomprehensible, he's always compelling). In a sense it seems Wire's limited musicianship actually works to their advantage; since they have limited tools the band is forced to rely soley on ideas and chemistry. The 21 songs on Pink Flag rarely exceed three minutes (most are 1-2 min in duration) and rarely conform to any standard notions of song structure. With titles like "Field Day for the Sundays", "Three Girl Rhumba", "Ex Lion Tamer", and "Mannequin", many understandably view the songs as minimalist paintings tranformed into music. Arty as Wire can be at times, they're anything but pretentious. Pithy and snobbish as Wire might seem, Pink Flag is remarkably entertaining; it's intense, wryly witty, and at times undeniably funny. Wire's breadth of ideas is remarkable; they cover ground which includes proto-hardcore ("106 Beats That", "Different to Me"), tweaked power-pop ("Reuters", "Champs"), power-blues ("Lowdown"), and even spare texture experiments ("Strange"). "Mr. Suit" is the only marginal track...
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