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You Think You Really Know Me

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Album Review

Gary Wilson's You Think You Really Know Me may be the weirdest album released in 1977; it's also one of the most influential. The impact of this quirky lo-fi record can never be truly measured. Not many people are aware of it; however, it inspired Beck's sonic collages and showed college radio stations that home tapings shouldn't be ignored. Wilson recorded You Think You Really Know Me in his parents' basement, and it certainly has an intimate feel. On "6.4 = Make Out," Wilson sounds like he's whispering in your ear. With a voice reminiscent of Lou Reed's, Wilson aches like a sexually frustrated Barry White. Porno-movie synthesizers create a sleazy atmosphere as Wilson reaches new heights of emotional intensity when he bellows, "She's real/She's so real," at the track's end. A person is left wondering if the girl actually exists or if he's just trying to convince himself that she does. Even more unsettling is "Loneliness," wherein Wilson confesses in a distorted, psychotic voice, "Sometimes I wish I were dead," followed by samples of running water and a telephone operator. But this isn't a gloomy LP. "You Keep on Looking" and "And Then I Kissed Your Lips" utilize chirpy new wave keyboards years before they became fashionable. Wilson is having fun on You Think You Really Know Me, and his enjoyment is infectious, especially when his lunatic personality hogs the spotlight.


Born: October, 1953 in Endicott, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '00s, '10s

The brain-damaged electro-funk of Gary Wilson was new wave when the label was still mainly used to categorize punk acts with a sweet tooth for pop. Completely ahead of his time, Wilson used chilly synthesizers and bizarre sound effects and samples to tell his odd tales of love and sex. In 1977, he recorded You Think You Really Know Me in the basement of his parents' house in Endicott, New York. Home tapings eventually started becoming prevalent by the '90s, but in the late '70s, Wilson was an indie...
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You Think You Really Know Me, Gary Wilson
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