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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Negativland - THE LETTER "U" AND THE NUMERAL "2"


Once upon a time, there existed a courageous sample-based Experimental/"Sound Collage" group called Negativland. They were signed to Greg Ginn's SST Records (Black Flag, Descendents). While their catalog is fairly lengthy, their most memorable [notorious] release may very well be 1991's "U-2 EP."
CD/LP copies of said release are very rare as it was pulled shortly after its initial release. It featured 2 tongue-in-cheek versions of U2's 1987 hit, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The term "cover" is used lightly here... As it featured kazoos, large uncleared sampled chunks of the original, and clips of an off-color curse-filled DJ Casey Kasem rant. Understandably, Kasem, U2, and their label Island Records weren't very happy it was even released. Island was prepping to release Achtung Baby and were weary that the single's cover might confuse eager U2 fans.


Due in part to this incognito Negativland/Edge phone interview for Mondo 2,000, the tracks were eventually re-released with the band's blessing on the 2001 "Seelard Records Bootleg," These Guys Are from England and Who Gives a Shit - The title itself, a homage to a[n incorrect] section of Kasem's rant. Negativland's journey would later be chronicled in a CD/book set dubbed [Fair Use: The Story of] The Letter U and the Numeral 2.

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