Wire – Not About To Die review

The idea of the bootleg is one lost to the mid-late 20th century, so quickly for context it was the business of pressing up vinyl copies of an album to which you didn’t have the rights to and keeping all the proceeds. Think Pirate Bay, but without all the viruses.

Consisting mainly of demo versions which would subsequently end up on Wire‘s second and third albums Chairs Missing and 154 respectively, Not About To Die‘s bootleg debut caused understandable irritation amongst the quartet, not least of which because it was dubbed off low quality tapes circulated privately to employees of their then major label.

With the songs having been remastered from the original media it now finally becomes an official release, although it’s reasonable to assume any of Wire’s switched on fans will have picked up digital versions of them long ago anyway. In better quality this collection does capture the band’s visceral simplicity and thrust; nascent takes on what would become classic tunes like Used To, French Film (Blurred) and On Returning are interesting, as is the decade-ahead of it’s time mockney leer of Being Sucked In Again; a young Damon Albarn you assume has heard the latter once or twice.

You can read a full review here.