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Permanent Record: The Very Best of the Violent Femmes

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Editors’ Notes

Beginning with the killer B-side “Gimme the Car” (later a bonus cut on the self-titled debut album) and working its way through the highlights on their ensuing albums, Permanent Record is a concise look at Wisconsin’s finest alternative rock band. “Blister In the Sun,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” Kiss Off” and “Add It Up” are the highlights from the debut. (It could be argued that the entire first album could be included here.) “Black Girls” includes avant-jazz legend John Zorn’s horn section. T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution” and “I Held Her In My Arms” show the band’s expanding pop appeal, which at first listen to singer Gordon Gano’s adenoidal vocals once seemed like an impossibility. The tracks from their latter-day albums, “Nightmares” from 3, “American Music” from Why Do Birds Sing?, “Color Me Once,” a rarity from the 1994 Machine EP, taken from the era of the New Times album, which featured the tortured “Breakin’ Up” and “I Danced,” and the title track from Freak Magnet, all prove the band still had its mojo, if in more limited doses.

Customer Reviews


Not really worth it. Buyng this album made me realise the Femmes have enjoyed a legend status in alternative rock for over 2 decades based on a catalogue of 3 or 4 great tracks. Sure, buy those memories, but don't waste your dosh on the rest of it.

Wide range on influences

I can only assume that the people who are likely to buy this album are either people who used to own some Femmes albums on an obsolete media like cassettes & are going digital now, or people who know some of their songs & want to add them to their collection. If your in the first group, then it's all good, I'm sure you know what to expect. Your not likely to find any of your favourites missing here, except maybe Out The Window, but you can always buy it off another album. If your in the second group however, then don't fall into the mistake of expecting Femmes music to fit into a catagory based off their most well known songs. The Violent Femmes experiment with their music far more than most bands do & their songs can range from heavy metal to country to pop with some bizare stops along the way. To give you an idea, their Bassist Brian Ritchie plays many different instraments (although only 1 or 2 in each song) ranging from the xylophone, to the didgeridoo, to the saxophone & more, but he mostly plays the Bass Guitar. Don't be to concerned though, being their greatest hits, the more eclectic songs are not here. * NME magazine in England said of Ritchie, "Technically the most advanced bassist of his generation, the pretentious conch blowing dork."


violet femmes r amazing at the big day out they were insane


Formed: 1982 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The textbook American cult band of the 1980s, the Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision; raw and jittery, the trio's music found little commercial success but nonetheless emerged as the soundtrack for the lives of troubled adolescents the world over. The group formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early '80s, and comprised singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo. Ritchie originated the band's oxymoronic name, adopting...
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