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Wild Gift

4.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This raw rocker from '81-X's last independent release-is nothing short of a classic. LA's rockabilly-fueled punk heroes do their instant classics White Girl and We're Desperate plus The Once Over Twice; Adult Books , and more including bonus demos and alternate versions!

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Though a small handful of its 13 songs predate Los Angeles, X's second album represents a giant leap forward for the band. Wild Gift stands as one of the 1980s' most fully realized rock & roll LPs. John Doe and Exene Cervenka bring altogether more personal and biting lyrics to the mic, making for riveting, curiosity-promoting performances. ("If I wrote a song like 'White Girl,'" Doe tells critic Kristine McKenna in this remaster's liner notes, "there was an unspoken pact that this may happen, but I love you more.") From the metallic riff of "It's Who You Know" to the surf-wise lines of "In This House That I Call Home," guitarist Billy Zoom is given freer rein, while drummer D.J. Bonebrake fuses the Ramones and Beefheart to enduring effect on "We're Desperate" (improved from an early single version by a slight lyric change). And "Back 2 the Base" and "Year 1" stand out as two of the most complex statements about punk's icon-smashing impulses ever. The 45-rpm take of "We're Desperate" is included here, along with six other bonus tracks. Shut up and smoke. --Rickey Wright

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Once Over Twice
  2. We're Desperate
  3. Adult Books
  4. Universal Corner
  5. I'm Coming Over
  6. It's Who You Know
  7. In This House That I Call Home
  8. Some Other Time
  9. White Girl
  10. Beyond And Back
  11. Back 2 The Base
  12. When Our Love Passed Out On The Couch
  13. Year 1
  14. Beyond And Back (Live)
  15. Blue Spark (Demo)
  16. We're Desperate (Single Version)
  17. Back 2 The Base (Live)
  18. Heater (Rehearsal)
  19. White Girl (Single Mix)
  20. The Once Over Twice (Unissued Single Mix)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1981
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino / Slash
  • ASIN: B00005NTQ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,359 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Although otherwise sophisticated and astoundingly knowledgeable on matters of music, most people I know in this corner of Europe have never even heard of X, to say nothing of being familiar with any of their albums or songs (many were also surprised by the fact that ex-Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek acted as producer for a punk band). So I was only too happy to shell out the shipping costs to order this CD (all my cassettes long since lost or permanently `borrowed') to enlighten friends, acquaintances and other music lovers. "Wild Gift" is probably the most standard X album, and the bonus tracks on this edition are a really good supplement to the original tracks. Although not as hardcore as other U.S. punk legends like the Ramones or Dead Kennedys, X's early works from the late `70s and early `80s still sound fresh and relevant.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite X album. Every song is perfect, or very near close to being perfect! Great lyrics, great music! This has many of the best songs X ever wrote, including "The Once Over Twice", "White Girl", "In This House That I Call Home", ect. I notice some of the x-tra songs have already been included on the X anthology. X were the best American punk band, ever. A punk band that managed to pull off being romantic and poetic. But never cheesy.
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Format: Audio CD
X is one of the great underappreciated bands of all time. Seeing as this is their best album, means that Wild Gift is one of the most underappreciated albums of all time. I discovered X in 1985, 4 years after this album came out. In the past 16 years this album has comforted me through break ups, unrequited love, hardtimes, and hangovers. Exene's film noir gone bad persona, John Doe's everyman charisma, and Billy Zoom just being one of the coolest dudes alive gave X the best front line in the business. Every track is excellent, but pay extra attention to "In This House That I Call Home," "Were Desperate," "White Girl," "When our Love Passed out on the Couch," and "Year 1." The remastered tracks are excellent, they are heads above the "Los Angeles/Wild Gift" CD that Slash put out years ago. A rock legend like Ray Manzerek believed in X years ago, any lover of rock music/poetry/American lives would be wise to do the same.
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Format: Audio CD
If the chaotic howl of LOS ANGELES was up your alley then you're sure to get some more kicks from WILD GIFT. Again, the legendary L.A. punks plod along like wild stallions with their patented formula of dissonant harmony, hit and run rockabilly guitar-slinging, and a rockbed of unbridled rhythm. The approach remains much the same with the exception of a few new tricks such as the cha-cha-ish "Adult Books," which remains an X classic. Other standouts include the riotous "We're Desperate," the sexy chug of "Universal Corner," and the lightning strike that is "Beyond and Back." This re-packaged edition comes complete with some incendiary live performances and some exciting, though decidedly rough, demo takes. A notable bonus is the album booklet with an insightful essay, track analysis, and nifty photos. While WILD GIFT does not have quite the impact of the seminal LOS ANGELES, it still delivers a ferocious punch and proves to be equally unbridled and nearly as essential.
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Format: Audio CD
Another ace 2001 reissue from long-lost El Lay lovers John Doe and Exene Cervenka, who catalog the travails of sex and dying in high society with wit, wisdom and a tragic desperation that mixes up the Doors, rockabilly riffs and locomotive-breath rhythmic propulsion to make their music eminently go bang, as well as squish, groan and scream. When it comes to raunchy romantic relationships, "The Once Over Twice," "White Girl," "Adult Books" and "When Our Love Passed Out On The Couch" are as seminal as they (er) come.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
From Billy Zoom's rockabilly licks to the dual harmonies of Exene Cervenka and John Doe to the SOLID drumming from DJ this Ray Manzerek produced classic is a must listen for anyone who likes the music out of the early L.A. punk scene. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the biggest impressions I got from this album on first hearing is that it's much sadder than their debut. One quick comparison of the dangerhouse/rough mix of Adult Books on LA and the album release on Wild Gift will bear this out. However, John Doe's bouncy bass lines (In This House That I Call Home) nicely balance out some of the more down songs. and Exene and John's harmonies are too die for. is there any band better than X at mixing rockabilly, punk and country? I don't think so.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased "Live in Los Angeles", "Wild Gift", "Under the Big Black Sun" and "Los Angeles"; This review covers all 4. I first heard X on the airwaves WAAAYYYY back. Unfortunately, I didnt have the $$ to purchase the LPs/hit the Whisky to go check'em out. So now that I do have a few spare shekels, I decided to pick up these reissues, and I havent stopped listening to them for a couple weeks now on my road trips and they are STILL fun! As in other Amazon reviews, there is no question of all 4 as musicians/artists. John and Exene's vocals do make the sound unique - ya either love it or ya hate it! I love it!
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