Feb 242009

Ever come in through the out door of a favorite artist’s career?

I am sure we have all had this experience. You discover an artist whose music you come to treasure. You plunder their back catalogue for all the gems and eagerly await all the great albums to come. Only they don’t come.

I would love to say I followed XTC from Drums and Wires, but the truth is the first time I listened to a full XTC album was Nonesuch. I later went on to discover all the excellent stuff they had done, but, sadly, I had checked In Through the Out Door of XTC’s career.

Have you had a similar experience?


  20 Responses to “In Through the Out Door”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    Great thought, here, Northvancoveman. Let me think about this – and as I do with all XTC-tied threads, I caution us to avoid doing nothing more with this great concept than to list our 25 Top 5 XTC albums!

  2. I was tempted to do this with Warren Zevon, I discovered him with “Sentimental Hygiene”, but I actually think “Life’ll Kill Ya” is a really good record and it came out 13 years later.

  3. dbuskirk

    I lived in the same city as Royal Trux (San Fran) for years but didn’t get into them until I moved to Philly in 2000. They’d pretty much broken up since then and although I’d had high hopes for Neil Haggerty’s solo career but it hasn’t pained out for me.

    Oh, to think about the Royal Trux gigs I missed! I should have attended more Melvins shows too…

  4. hrrundivbakshi

    I sold kites with Jennifer Herrema back in the mid-80s. At the time she had dreadlocks (of the unwashed Dead-head variety; matted, unhealthy looking) and reeked of bongwater, or something like it, most of the time. She was nice, complained a lot about being bugged to do modelling. I could see why: despite the grooming issues, she really was a pretty girl. I met Neil once or twice, but didn’t care enough about Pussy Galore (the band I think he was in at the time) to really think twice about it.

    I am most definitely not a Trux fan — not my flavor at all. I always admired the band’s ability to get a shitload of money out of various labels for very little in return, though. I think they live in rural Virginia somewhere now.

  5. BigSteve

    I resisted getting into Leonard Cohen for years, partly because I knew I would probably be like him and he had a sizable, though not enormous, back catalogue. I’m not sure at what point I gave in (5 years ago?), but I did the music geek thing of starting with his first record and buying in sequence. In other words, I forced myself to go in through the in door rather than the out door.

    Speaking of Lenny, a non-music geek friend of mine saw the article on him in Sunday’s NYTimes and, never having heard him, tracked down a few tracks by him. Then he emails me and says “this is who you remind me of when you sing.” He meant it as a compliment, and I went ahead and took it as one, but damn, who wants to be told they sing like Leonard Cohen?

    I resisted Iggy too, but got into him with the Idiot/Lust for Life albums. I went backwards happily, but then went forward with diminishing returns.

  6. BigSteve

    Is “sold kites” a euphemism for something? I know I’m out of touch, but that’s a new one on me.

  7. sammymaudlin

    The Clash. The first Clash I heard was from Combat Rock because they played it on MTV. I liked it enough to see them live on that tour and was blown away to the point that I bought London Calling and The Clash on the way home from the show.

    When you come in thru the out door be sure to wipe your feet.

  8. Clash is the same for me, sammy. I was twelve when Combat Rock came out.

    For the record I would sell kites with Jennifer Herrema all day long…

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    I discovered the Jam just as their last EP (“Beat Surrender”) came out. Mind you, I didn’t discover them through *that* disc. As I’ve said many times, my road-to-Damascus moment with them was an “All Mod Cons” experience.

  10. My aversion to California punk kept me away from X until they were long past their prime, when See How We Are came out. I did happen to see the Billy Zoom version at Ripley’s on South Street because I was doing sound for the opening act but, although I liked them, I didn’t go out and buy any of their records at the time.

    I also came in the back door with the Velvets. I had read and heard about them before they broke up, but really only got to hear them when Al picked up the Live 69 album and said to check them out. That was probably around 1973. They were completely absent from the airwaves even in the 70/71 era when all hell broke lose for a moment.

  11. BigSteve

    It’s hard to believe now how much the VU vanished from overground rock history for a while. All through the early to mid 70s all you could find were those live albums and maybe some European comps, never the actual albums. At least I couldn’t.

    I usually believe people who say they were into the Velvets while they were still together about as much as I believe people who say they were at Woodstock.

  12. I got into Andrew Bird around the time of Armchair Apcrypha, which is pretty much around the time where his music started getting painfully boring and uninteresting.

  13. I guess you could say, judging by all the pre-1976 music I have piled up here, MOST of the artists I came to really love, I came at through the out door. I started buying records in 1976, when I was 13. Actually, the 1st two LPs I owned were given to me by my older brother (he didn’t collect or anything, he just happened to have these at college), & they were The Rolling Stones 2LP “Hot Rocks(Big Hits & Fazed Cookies)” & The Velvet Underground double “Live – 1969”. The first two 45s I owned were The Stones- “Honky Tonk Women” & Bachman Turner Overdrive-“Takin’ Care of Business”. So, as you can see, I came to these band’s best work (with the possible exception of BTO, to whom I’m not sure the term applies, though I still like some of their singles) well after it was in any way NEW.

    From there, I did the usual Beatles, Stones, WHO, Kinks, British Invasion-in-general, collecting, plus going back to the U.S. guys the Brit bands had said in interviews influenced them. Still working my way backwards.
    With the exception of Punk, which I was STILL a little behind on, but got up to speed with fairly quickly, & then remained so with “NEW” music, through the end of the ’70s, the ’80s, & a good portion of the ’90s, I was always collecting “OLD” stuff the whole time, anyway.

    The stuff I MOSTLY go after even now was recorded by or before the mid-point of the last century, & the exceptions are still usually from the other side of the same century. Sure, I still try to keep my ears open for new things, but given the proportions of what I find interesting (let alone purchase) in current vs previous, I’m still heading back in through the out door.

  14. BigSteve, I think the equivalent to your “I was into The Velvets/ I was at Woodstock” thing, in my generation would be the “I was the only punk rocker in my town” syndrome. I’ve run into that one w/hipsters of my generation, almost as much as hearing older guys make the claims you spoke of. Christ, I may have liked punk, & did thankfully get to see The Clash in ’79 & ’80, along w/a few other great “new” bands, but I didn’t cut my hair until I went to college in the early ’80s. Most likely, neither did most of those claiming to be the only punk rocker in their town. It wouldn’t have been worth it adopting ‘the look’, just to end up spending my high school years stuffed in a locker.

  15. saturnismine

    i got into barack obama for the the fact that you can’t say his name without saying the word “rock,”

    it was only later that i discovered his more critically acclaimed political career.

  16. Mr. Moderator

    I’ve been thinking about this, and trying to find a band that I actually got into through the back door – right at the moment when there’d be no more new stuff worth getting into – I honestly can say the first Zeppelin record I liked without reservation and bought was In Through the Out Door! I was in high school through the final years of their reign, but not until they showed up with decent haircuts, respectable clothes, and a collection of relatively concise songs did I ever go out and buy a record. From that point on – not that I would find this to be their greatest record ever! – I was willing to overlook their earlier excesses – obligatory blooz jam per album excluded. Unlike another kid at my high school, I wasn’t about to pay for a 2″ x 2″ tribute to Bonzo in our yearbook, but I was sorry to never have the opportunity to anticipate a new album.

  17. It was considered heresy among us first-wave Beatlemaniacs to listen to the Stones, so it wasn’t until It’s Only Rock and Roll that I ever owned a Stones album; even then it was only because the record company sent it to me to review for the school paper. It was like a revelation to me…and then Mick Taylor left, and although I hung on through Tattoo You (talk about desperation), that was really just because I was too embarrassed to admit I’d missed the boat.

  18. 2000 Man

    For me The Replacements immediately come to mind. I had Pleased to Meet Me long ago, but never played it. I think I bought it in a stack of like twelve cd’s and that one went by the wayside for years. Then a friend said how much he liked it and I saw it sitting there and loved it. Oh, well. I think I generally like their records more than the live stuff I’ve heard anyway.

  19. 2000 Man:

    There’s another one I forgot about! My high school buddy bought Pleased to Meet Me in High School. We loved that record, then went and bought Tim and, best of all, Let it Be…

  20. I can think of two:
    My first exposure to the dB’s was a cassette of “like this”, then I backtracked to the other albums.

    The other one… The Stranglers. I bought “Aural Sculpture” when I was in high school. I then went back to their earlier stuff, though now I’m not so huge on this band at all.

    Actually, a possible third: First Roxy Music album was “Avalon”.

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