Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth (Domino Records)


Although they were never commercially successful, you could argue that when Young Marble Giants released Colossal Youth in 1980, they came closer than anyone else to achieving post-punk’s goal of re-configuring music in a new way. The group, comprised of Alison Statton and brothers Stuart and Philip Moxham, were an anti-power trio, making quiet minimalist music using only the barest elements: primitive machine-generated rhythms, muted guitar and bass, flat vocals, and the occasional keyboard drone. Their songs never get louder, or quieter, or change tempo, and there are no choruses, or studio enhancements. Everything is one long flat-line of anti-anthem music. Although I wouldn’t listen to this three-disc package in one sitting, the band’s radical approach works really well and seems to have almost no antecedents. The idea of a three-disc reissue (the original album, a 26-song disc of singles/EP/compilation tracks/demos/out-takes, and a disc of five tracks from a 1980 Peel Session) with a 32-page booklet of liner-notes may not feel right for such minimal music, but for Young Marble Giants fans (a group that includes Peter Buck, Belle and Sebastian, Courtney Love, and the late Kurt Cobain, among others) it’s a great opportunity to get all of YMGs’ material in one place.

Tracklisting:

Disc 1

01. Searching For Mr Right

02. Include Me Out

03. The Taxi

04. Eating Noddemix

05. Constantly Changing

06. N.I.T.A.

07. Colossal Youth

08. Music For Evenings

09. The Man Amplifier

10. Choci Loni

11. Wurlitzer Jukebox

12. Salad Days

13. Credit In The Straight World

14. Brand – New – Life

15. Wind in the Rigging

Disc 2

01. This Way

02. Posed By Models

03. The Clock

04. Clicktalk

05. Zebra Trucks

06. Sporting Life

07. Final Day

08. Radio Silents

09. Cakewalking

10. Ode To Booker T

11. Have Your Toupee Ready

12. N.I.T.A.

13. Brand – New – Life

14. Zebra Trucks

15. Choci Loni

16. Wind in the Rigging

17. The Man Shares His Meal With His Beast

18. The Taxi

19. Constantly Changing

20. Music For Evenings

21. Credit in the Straight World

22. Eating Noddemix

23. Ode To Booker T

24. Radio Silents

25. Hayman

26. Loop The Loop

Disc 3

01. Searching For Mr Right (Peel Session)

02. Brand – New – Life (Peel Session)

03. Final Day (Peel Session)

04. N.I.T.A. (Peel Session)

05. Posed By Models (Peel Session)

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