Negativland: Points – Music collage and Music scandal.

Here is some background detail on this very interesting band, taken from the wiki on them:

Negativland is an experimental music and sound collage band which originated in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1970s. They took their name from a Neu! song, while their record label is named after another Neu! song. The current core of the band consists of Mark HoslerRichard LyonsDon JoyceDavid Wills, and Peter Conheim.

Negativland has released a number of albums ranging from pure sound collage to more musical expositions. These have mostly been released on their own label, Seeland Records. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, they produced several recordings for SST Records, most notably Escape from NoiseHelter Stupid, and U2. Negativland became involved in a lawsuit withU2’s record label, Island Records, which brought them widespread publicity and notoriety.

Negativland started in Concord, California, in 1979 around the core founding members of Lyons and Hosler (who were in high school at the time), and released an eponymous debut in 1980.

A number of releases followed in the early 1980s, but it wasn’t until after the release of their breakthrough sample and cut-up sonic barrage Escape from Noise in 1987 that Negativland gained wider attention. Vinyl copies of the album came with “CAR BOMB” bumper stickers, in reference to the album’s song “Car Bomb”.

Following the somewhat unexpected success of this album, Negativland faced the prospect of going on a money-losing tour. To prevent this, they created a press release which said Negativland were prevented from touring by “Federal Authority Dick Jordan” due to claims that Negativland’s song “Christianity Is Stupid” had inspired David Brom to kill his family. The press release went on to denounce the purported connection between Negativland and the murders. While Brom had in fact argued with his father about music shortly before Brom killed his family, no one had ever claimed that Brom was spurred to murder by Negativland’s music. The claim that Brom’s crimes were inspired by Negativland was disseminated and discussed in the mass media, seemingly with little to no fact-checking.  Soon the world was informed of the “Killer Song” that caused a kid to murder his parents with an ax.

The scandal became the foundation for Negativland’s next release, Helter Stupid, which featured a cover photo of TV news anchorman Dave McElhatton intoning the Brom murder story, with the news station’s caption “Killer Song” above his head, and a photo of the ax murderer.

On Points LP:Negativland’s second album — and final one before Joyce became a full-time member — found the band’s ambitions and compositional range increasing in due measure, if still not quite up to where A Big 10-8 Place and after would lead them. That such a young band would be not merely content but inspired to try to twist as many recording conventions as possible to suit their own purposes — especially years before home computers and software made such manipulation incredibly easy — deserves credit alone.  The heavy Krautrock inspirations are in firm grip here, even though much of the albums music includes parts of songs ‘lifted’ from main stream music, including nursery rhymes. they use a lot of random vocals all the while pushing the barriers of what a ‘song’ might actually be, a track, and even the definitions of music itself.
Mutant Sounds had this to say:
The themes of a fractured, not entirely whole suburbia again hold sway — “A Nice Place to Live” and its juxtaposition of boosterish news reports and dark synth is a fine example — and are further captured in part due to some inspired guest appearances. Wills’ mother and aunt duet on accordion and singing for “Harry to the Ferry” — though most of the song is in fact a rather insanely chopped up recording of the process of taping said piece — while Hosler’s own mother turns up with “kitchen noises” on the piano/synth improv “Clutch Cargo ’81.” A couple of the group’s most straightforward compositions take a bow on Points, like the home organ bop of “The Answer Is…” (featuring a stuttering Ronald Reagan snippet, first of many politicized digs at the ’80s state of mind). The credit list for the album alone is worthy of interest, with the three main members listed as playing, among other things, oven grill, puppies, parakeets, and a banana chair. Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
Despite the albums complexity, and the fact that (I read) they produced many different album covers for this LP which makes every copy of it exceedingly rare, It’s a marvellous song series to add to your collection. I only have it on MP3, so I didn’t have to worry about which album cover I got. For me its all about the tunes anyway.
At least in this case, it has to be.
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