Classic Albums: The Shape Of Things by Pere Ubu

Well, this album was was recorded exactly 41 years old ago today and it just blows my mind every single bloody time I put it on. The recording date is on the cover so you don’t have to go looking in the credits notes. It’s a live album too which does make it only the second live album to show up it my little CA list after Nirvana. Now the one of reasons why I love this album is when these guys were playing and recording the album in Cleveland, U.S.A. in Fremantle Western Australia I was born on the very same day. So it’s a wicked live album for my birthday every year, I’ve got into the habit of playing it every year for my birthday each year at least once or more. So now if you’re reading this today on Friday the seventh of April 2017, please press play and join me in listening to it today.

It’s off course The Modern Dance album that’s on any other music album lists like this which I do love that album too. Actually when I got to see Pere Ubu in the early 2010’s it was the anniversary of that debut album that week so they decided to play the whole of Modern Dance album for beginning to the end, which was so great. That was at the ATP I’ll Be Your Mirror curated The Drones in 2013, the story goes Pere Ubu had a lot of travelling Visa problems and was only to play this one show and only arrived the day before and after the gig was played had to get back on the airplane and fly back to American straight away, they were not even in Australia for 24 hours and if anybody reading this knows from the east coast of American to Australia is like an over 24 hours on a plane one way, the show was so fuckin’ great despite that too.

Early band photo of Pere Ubu, why don’t bands have pics like this anymore?

The album The Shape Of Things was released in the year 2000 sometime, so not in the 70’s as it was recorded. What I love about it, another reason is that to me it real does show what a live show is more about than any other live album really. I mean it was recorded by a member of the crowd on cassette so it’s unlike any live album to start with. Now I know the sound isn’t great at times, sometime it’s totally fucked up but I love it because live gigs are like that. People, the crowd waiting for the band are talking shit and you hear that too. Now this live album was recorded before any of the now well known studio albums were done, David Thomas the singer is talking about the then new 7″ single coming out in a couple of weeks. Really it shows just a small local band in Cleveland starting out but developing into the legends we know and love today.

They play a few covers in the set list too. Pushin Too Hard written Sly Saxon or better known as the leader of The Seeds and I Wanna Be Your Dog written by Alexander, Pop, Asheton, Asheton or better known as The Stooges. Heroin written by Lou Reed for the first Velvet Underground album, David intro the song as “this song not about what the title is about” and band just turn into an epic outro jam last song of the night. The rest of band on the album is Peter Laughner on guitar, vocals, bass, Tom Herman on guitar, bass, Tim Wright on bass, guitar, Dave Taylor on EML synthesizer, Ace Tone organ and Scott Krauss on drums.

So who else love Pere Ubu? Have you heard this live album or what? Please leave a comment if you’ve like too?

The Shape Of Things tracklisting and times:

1. Heart Of Darkness – 7:48
2. Cloud 149 – 3:20
3. Gone Gone Gone – 5:38
4. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo – 8:59
5.  Life Stinks – 2:30
6.  Final Solution – 6:41
7.  Pushin Too Hard – 5:52
8. The Way She Looks – 5:15
9. Doris Day Sings Sentimental Journey – 5:16
10. Can’t Believe It – 2:39
11. I Wanna Be Your Dog – 4:51
12. Heroin / Outro – 8:56


All my Classic Albums posts are in that link or they’re all linked below too!

So the idea here is simply for me to write a post about each of my fave albums that I consider total stone cold classics!

Please do leave a reply below and tell me what you think about this album and/or artist or whatever you’d like to say about it?



  1. Never had the cassette release, but know several of the songs from this performance, and others like it, from the lp, “390∘ of Simulated Stereo”. Love playing it, probably every 6 weeks or so, from start to finish. Probably still have the ULU audience tape, buried in storage, with a few hundred other soundboard tapes and live shows from the 70s and 80s 😉 Nice post! Keep it up, and take good care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday for a couple of weeks ago, mate.

    I’ve never heard this album but I see it’s on Spotify so will give it a listen. The whole recording sounds really interesting. My favourite of theirs is Dub Housing, but I need to hear more.

    I saw Pere Ubu doing Modern Dance at ATP Festival as well, but had no idea about the difficulties they had getting into the country, so thanks for sharing. That was an amazing day and for me it was the better of the two. Although I enjoyed seeing the bands on the first day, it was too hot and stuffy in that sports centre in Altona to really enjoy it. Pere Ubu did an amazing job and I’m so glad I got to see them. A once in a lifetime opportunity I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yeah that was amazing weekend of music! I was writing about it for a post I haven’t yet posted but it was just getting sooooooo long. Yeah, yeah have a listen to this live album, it’s a bit mad but I think you’ll like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay. A birthday record can’t beaten down. I don’t like the shape of things because of the sound. But I know, what it means, when you discover – that was my birthday!

    I think a little like you do with another one:
    The best album of my birth-year is: “I ride this train” by Johnny Cash. The first concept album, I think. Not the Beatles invented that Idea with Sgt.Pepper!
    As a child I played every day with Indian- and Cowboy-Figures, I saw many Western-Movies, I get such a romantic Wild West feeling for years, and I saw the struggle in the prarie always from the red side; I wanted hardly to became a Dakota-Chef, when I was ten. So my Blog gets the name of my first hero: Toka-ihto. From the novel and the movie “the sons of the great bear”.

    When I was listening for “I ride this train” I was surprised about the hommage to the redskins of the wild west by Johnny Cash in the Intro-Monologue. A white American has done it in 1960! Wow! I thought only easteuropians think this way, while the west stands on the other side!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 That’s very interesting man, you should write a full blog post all about or have already? I know that Cash album but haven’t listen to him lately so is that album going to be on maybe part three of your albums/English posts? My old man loved showing me a few good old westerns when i was a kid but off course i don’t know that one!
      Cheers again!


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