The Modern Dance (album) by Pere Ubu
In total, there are 19 music albums by Pere Ubu which appear in the greatest album charts and The Modern Dance is ranked as the best.
There are 11 comments for this album from BestEverAlbums.com members and The Modern Dance has an average rating of 80 out of 100 (from 124 votes). Please log in or register to leave a comment or assign a rating.
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|PERE UBU - THE MODERN DANCE  - NEW CD
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|Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance. i978 Avant Post-Punk Classicon Mercury. EX+
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|PERE UBU CD Platinum Disc- THE MODERN DANCE
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The Modern Dance track list
|1.||Non-Alignment Pact||83/100 (14 votes)|
|2.||The Modern Dance||82/100 (12 votes)|
|3.||Laughing||81/100 (12 votes)|
|4.||Street Waves||82/100 (12 votes)|
|5.||Chinese Radiation||82/100 (12 votes)|
|6.||Life Stinks||82/100 (12 votes)|
|7.||Real World||80/100 (11 votes)|
|8.||Over My Head||82/100 (12 votes)|
|9.||Sentimental Journey||82/100 (12 votes)|
|10.||Humor Me||82/100 (12 votes)|
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The Modern Dance rankings
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The Modern Dance comments
Comments for the album The Modern Dance by Pere Ubu:
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Strange album, I very much enjoyed Humor Me, Chinese Radiation, and Over My Head. I'll have to revisit this later to get a better idea.
My friend said that this is like a collection of the most annyoing sounds he know - the high pitched distortion on Non-Alignment Pact, the applause section in Chinese Radiation, the shouting and saxophone playing in Life Stinks, the entire Sentimental Journey and just generally David Thomas' vocals
Pere Ubu take the spirit of old-style garage-rock and distort it in a rhythmically groteque way. These 'Beefheart-ian' influences, are though, merely an alibi for frontman David Thomas's nuerosis, surreal lyrics and abstract humour which emphasise the dramatic force of his theatrical-style performance. The atmosphere of 'The Modern Dance' is one of spiritual decay of post-industrial society and the sense of alienation, anxiety and fatalism that stems from that. These feelings are expressed through primordial and grotesque musical textures that often take the form of psychedelic dissonance, electronic distortions, expressionism and Dadaist abstractions. This album is arguably the most original and innovative of the new wave and sounds about a decade ahead of its time. This is probably the first post-punk album. In many ways, like the art of Beefheart and Red Crayola, this album represents a musical vocabulary that has still yet to be fully realized or understood by mainstream critics. This is why you are unlikely to find it on many 'best of' lists. I like the fact that Pere Ubu, as with Faust who artistically they have much in common with, tend to shun the commercial circuit.
This is just perfect. This is what cities were like in the eighties.
You want to have some fun? A day in the park or a night out after dark? On the rides of life and cut the cake with the knife? Well when it's over you are going to remember it because... well it was fun. You might forget it though but that is not important. You had fun and remembered it. Looking at this album and listening to it, I see a bunch of people who had fun. From the... rather odd cover to the pile on shrieking of 'Life Stinks' it is... oh... Life Stinks!? Sounds bad doesn't? But a lot of this albums "fun" comes from it's scathing attacks and vague observations. It's a like a cartoon in a sense. A cartoon album. 'Non- Alignment Pact' has the band jumping around to great bass guitars and other instruments which won't do as they are told. Others contain the energy of The Sex Pistols and The Clash backed up by David Byrne's goofier cousin. How else can this be described than fun when we have 'Chinese Radiation'? Although... such titles do give one the impression that if they were to look into the lyrics they would find much darker topics. And there is strong dark vein running right through the spine of this work. Discordant laughing on 'The Modern Dance', screeching beeps and that strange taste 'Sentimental Journey' leaves in your mouth. This isn't like the other albums. You got a soldier doing ballet and figure skating to urban decay on the front for one. Take two listens. Tell me what you think in the morning. Have fun. I'm done.
I was so disappointed when I first popped it in, but now it's a favorite. Really grows on you. I wouldn't go as far as calling it a "masterpiece", though.
After hearing 'non-alignment pact' on a rough trade compilation a while back, I was expecting more of the same in-bred punk rock. Instead, it's a semi-pretentious freeform punk-jazz opus that makes me feel like I've just watched a particularly weird David Lynch film. I'm sure it will sound even better once I get to know it a bit more
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The guiding theme of Modern Dance (1978) is that of alienation and anxiety within industrial society. Pere Ubu take the fear of the modern world and transplant it into a different scenario, in which death is not physical but spiritual, not due to bombardment but to economic and social mechanisms.
Their sound starts out from the spirit of old-style garage-rock, but the sound is distorted in a rhythmically groteque way. Thomas is more of an 'actor' than a musician for whom surreal lyrics and student humour attenuate the dramatic force of the performance. Within the sound there is also a feeling of resigned fatalism, collective madness and rational fear - the same kind of emotions that seized the young of the post-war era, when the atomic threat held everybody in suspense.
However, the fear now is justifiably more real because capitalism is increasingly reaping its own kind of holocaust - from the dramatic negative effects of climate change, to the grotesque levels of global socio-economic insecurity and inequality.
The message conveyed in the album appears to be the following: As long as such problems are one's that human beings are individually deemed to be pathologically pre-disposed to (as opposed to one's that are rooted in the economic and social system), the human race are inevitably doomed to destruction.
In other words, 'Modern Dance' invokes the necessity of the human race to grapple with the problems it faces in an objective way, if it is to avoid becoming the complicit author of its own holocaust.
The album is composed of free-form phases (woodwinds, cacophony of the keyboards, rattling guitars, psychotic thrills) alternating with sudden powerful rhythmic flarings and veritable flashes of hallucinatory violence in the calm of the urban neurosis, in which Thomas gives vent to his raging vehemence. The singing of Thomas is schizophrenic in the 'Beefheart-esque' tradition as is the overall innovative sound. The rhythm section grinds out a paradoxical rhythm, a rough and elemental danceability, to the twisted accompaniment of a primitive, strange and hypnotic guitar sounds.
Electronics and effects are used in a way that has influenced a successive generation of musicians. The earthy and disarticulated way they have been used acts as an ironic counterpoint to the maniacal anxiety of the band.
Thus unbalanced, the music is ambitious enough to function as the soundtrack of industrial landscapes and, by extrapolation, as that of the holocaust.
Pere Ubu's aesthetics is one of auto-destruction and of the absurd and grotesque - themes which can be referenced to Jarry. Within 'The Modern Dance' is a prophetic apocalyptic vision of catastrophe and despair, of lonelinless and isolation, of madness and violence. Above all, the album is a 37 minute pagan representation of the world's impending end.
A masterpiece of organized sound.
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