Thursday, December 07, 2023

Violent Femmes: Violent Femmes 1983 (20th Anniversary 2 CD Deluxe Edition)


This week Violent Femmes celebrate the 40th anniversary of their groundbreaking self titled album. This post is the 20th anniversary [Deluxe Edition] of the album.

Violent Femmes were founded in 1980 by bassist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Ritchie and drummer

Victor De Lorenzo. The name is a contradiction in terms, “Violent” being self-explanatory and “Femmes” being Milwaukee slang for wimp. The rhythm section added high school singer/songwriter Gordon Gano in 1981. Gano and Ritchie had previously performed together at Gano’s National Honor Society induction ceremony, where they caused a near riot. Gano was expelled from the Society and suspended from high school for this outrage.

One of the only stable aspects of the band is their aversion to rehearsal. Due to this they would take the music to the streets in an attempt to hone it and earn some spare change. It was on one of these

occasions that they were spotted by the Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde and the gang were so amused by the Violent Femmes antics that they invited the band to open the show for them. The hometown Milwaukee audience received the Femmes with unanimous booing. However by the end of the set the Femmes had converted approximately 50% of the audience to their cause. Many years later Brian Ritchie encountered Hynde when the Femmes and Pretenders shared the bill at a radio concert. She said, “Oh, you’re still around.”

The Femmes borrowed $10,000 from Victor De Lorenzo’s dad to record their legendary first album in 1982. Slash Records in Los Angeles was the only label to offer them a deal with the amazing advance

of $0. The band accepted the deal and started on the predictable round of world tours, recording, more world tours, nervous breakdowns, band members quitting, solo albums, regrouping, more touring, divorces, more crackups, dropped from record deals, new deals, more touring, record company going bankrupt, lawsuits, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. Fast forward to the present. Many things have changed. One thing that hasn’t is the sound of the band. Their loose, improvisational, acoustic sound is timeless.

Violent Femmes [20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] Review by Fred Thomas


One of the most distinctive records from the first days of alternative rock and an enduring cult classic, Violent Femmes brought the tense, jittery, hyperactive feel of new wave to a then unlikely context: raw, amateurish acoustic instrumentation. The music also owes something to both the urgency and

straightforwardness of punk, but with minimalistic drums, Brian Ritchie's busy acoustic bass riffing and simplistic, to-the-point songwriting, the Femmes forged a sound all their own. Still, one of the main reasons Violent Femmes became the musical embodiment of young adult angst is lead singer and songwriter Gordon Gano. Naïve and childish one minute, bitterly frustrated and rebellious the next, Gano's vocals perfectly captured the contradictions of adolescence and the torment of making the transition to adulthood.

Clever lyrical flourishes didn't hurt either; while "Blister in the Sun" has deservedly become a standard, "Kiss Off"'s chant-along "count-up" section, "Add It Up"'s escalating "Why can't I get just one..."

couplets, and "Gimme the Car"'s profanity-obscuring guitar bends ensured that Gano's intensely vulnerable confessions of despair and maladjustment came off as catchy and humorous as well. The songwriting throughout is no-frills but effective, with straight pop structures like "Please Do Not Go" remaining uncluttered enough for every minute detail to be immediately apparent, and fragile closer "Good Feeling" tender and spacious in the same way the best Velvet Underground ballads were.

Arriving right when punk rock was mutating into hardcore, Violent Femmes offered a contrarian counterpoint to the overt aggression of the band's more distorted peers. These incomplex songs played

on unamplified wooden instruments carried as much bile as the most ear-shattering punk band, and conveyed it all in a toxic mutter that was all the more intense for its relative quiet. The album helped create what became the template for college rock and subsequent movements in alternative music, and the Violent Femmes would refine and revise the formula that arrived here in its perfect, acerbic form for decades to come.

This expanded deluxe 20th anniversary edition includes remastered versions of the original

album, along with early demos for tunes that both made it and were left off of the album, as well as live recordings from early concerts the band performed in 1981 and 1983

Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
Label: Rhino Records – R2 78242
Format: 2 x CD, Album, Club Edition, Reissue, Remastered
Country: US
Released: 1983   
Genre: Rock, Non-Music
Style: Alternative Rock, Interview, Punk



01. Blister In The Sun    2:24
02. Kiss Off    2:56
03. Please Do Not Go    4:15
04. Add It Up    4:43
05. Confessions    5:32
06. Prove My Love    2:38
07. Promise    2:49
08. To The Kill    3:59
09. Gone Daddy Gone    3:06
10. Good Feeling    3:56

DEMOS & MORE       

11. Girl Trouble    3:06
12. Breakin' Up      5:17
13. Waiting For The Bus      2:07
14. Blister In The Sun      2:35
15. Kiss Off    2:48
16. Please Do Not Go    4:17
17. Add It Up    4:34
18. Confessions     5:20
19. Prove My Love    2:49
20. Ugly (UK Single)    2:22
21. Gimme The Car (UK Single)    5:06

MP3 @ 320 Size: 180 MB
Flac  Size: 468 MB



01. Special    4:26
02. Country Death Song    5:24
03. To The Kill    4:19
04. Never Tell    7:16
05. Break Song    0:40
06. Her Television    2:28
07. How Do You Say Goodbye    2:43
08. Theme And Variations    0:53
09. Prove My Love    3:19
10. Gone Daddy Gone    3:31
11. Promise    3:08
12. In Style    3:42
13. Add It Up    6:14
14. Michael Feldman Interview    4:08
15. Kiss Off    3:30

MP3 @ 320 Size: 132 MB
Flac  Size: 349 MB


Bass, Bass [Acoustic], Xylophone, Flute, Backing Vocals – Brian Ritchie
Drums, Backing Vocals – Victor De Lorenzo
Guitar, Violin, Vocals – Gordon Gano



20th anniversary reissue double CD.
CD2:Tracks 1 to 4: Recorded live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 12th September 1981
CD2:Tracks 2 to 8: Recorded live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 8th December 1981
CD2:Tracks 9 to 13: Recorded live in New York, 26th January 1983
CD2:Tracks 14 & 15: Recorded live for WHA Radio, Madison, Wisconsin, 6th February 1982



I need someone, a person to talk to
Someone who'd care to love
Could it be you?
Could it be you?

Situation gets rough, and I start to panic
It's not enough, it's just a habit, and
Kid, you're sick
Well, darling, this is it

You can all just kiss off into the air
Behind my back, I can see them stare
They'll hurt me bad, but I won't mind
They'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah)
Yeah, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah)
They do it all the time (do it all the time)
They do it all the time (do it all the time)
They do it all the time, do it all the time

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record
Oh, yeah, well, don't get so distressed
Did I happen to mention that I'm impressed?

I take one, one, one 'cause you left me
And two, two, two for my family
And three, three, three for my heartache
And four, four, four for my headaches
And five, five, five for my lonely
And six, six, six for my sorrow
And seven, seven for no tomorrow
And eight, eight, I forget was eight was for
But nine, nine, nine for the lost gods
Ten, ten, ten, ten for everything, everything, everything, everything

You can all just kiss off into the air
Behind my back, I can see them stare
They'll hurt me bad, but I won't mind
They'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah)
Yeah, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah)
Yeah, they do it all the time (do it all the time)
Do it all the time (do it all the time)

Do it all the time, time, time, time, time, time, time (do it all the time)
T-t-t-t-t-t-time, time, time, time, time (do it all the time)
Do it all the time



People worry
What are they worryin' about today?
People worry
What are they worryin' about today?
Seems like there's a good reason
To worry, worry, worry

Seems like there's a damn good reason
To worry, worry, worry

I'd sit around, I'd listen to your story
If I wasn't in such a
Hurry, hurry, hurry

And I'm so lonely
I don't think I can take it anymore
And I'm so lonely
I just don't know what to do

And I'm so lonely
Feel like I'm gonna crawl away and die
I'm so lonely
Feel like I'm gonna
Hack it apart


I'm so lonely
Feel like I'm gonna crawl away and die
I'm so lonely
Feel like I'm gonna
Hack it apart

I'm gonna hack, hack, hack, hack it apart
I'm gonna hack, hack, hack, hack it apart
I'm gonna hack, hack, hack, hack it apart
I'm gonna hack, hack, hack, hack it

Seems like there's a good reason to be
Lonely, lonely, lonely
I gotta get something or somebody
Someone to make me feel less, less, less
Lonely, lonely, lonely

I know I could do it
I know I could do it
If, if, if I just wasn't so
Lonely, lonely, lonely


  1. I only have the lp edition. There are also 8 cds from the band, which she played a lot in the 80s. Haven't heard it for a long time. A band with intelligent lyrics.

    1. I saw them live, two times in Italy and one time in Greece.

    2. Not bad. I missed it.
      I'm currently busy with DVDs. Every day i watch 2 films. This cloudy weather is particularly suitable for this.
      I have ordered over 100 dvds in the last 2 weeks. Cheap and wonderful films.
      Films that i haven't seen in decades or discovered through my research. The book 1001 films that you should see before your life is over ( in German), suitable for this.

  2. For someone who is interested in it. There is a rare interview about the two bands ANONYMOUS & J. RIDER on the blog It's a Psychedelic Baby Magazine. 2 FANTASTIC bands that i both LOVE VERY MUCH !!!

  3. The 2 bands would look good on your blog if you have them. Not because of me, i have them.

    1. Sorry I didn't reply your comment yesterday because I was very busy. I have the album Inside the shadow. Have passed many years from the last time that I listened these bands.

    2. No problem. But maybe listen to ANNONYMOUS again. Fantastic.

  4. Happy Holidays Kostas and Josef...looks like it starts early for me on my last day of work today with this post!! Thank You Kindly Towards a Happy New Year 2024!!!