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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Suburbs Have Left the Bulding

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Album Review

An excellent although not perfect introduction to the art rock and dance-pop world of the Suburbs (more tracks from the group's early, noisy singles would be nice, although the first CD appearance of the amazing 1979 single "World War III" is a highlight), 1992's Ladies and Gentlemen, the Suburbs Have Left the Building makes a strong case for the Suburbs as not only one of Minneapolis' finest, but one of the best post-punk bands in the country during their 1978-1986 existence. A well-chosen selection of tracks from their Twin/Tone and Mercury releases (the group's self-titled A&M album is thankfully omitted), the 19-track compilation shows all sides of the group's multifaceted sound, from the brief, manic squall of "Tape Your Wife to the Ceiling" to the Roxy Music-like majesty of "The Best Is Over." All of the group's best songs, including the dancefloor hits "Waiting" and "Music for Boys" as well as the gimmicky but lovable "Rattle My Bones," are present and accounted for. It's not all the Suburbs one will ever need — at the very least, In Combo and Credit in Heaven are essential — but it's a fine entry into the group for newcomers.


Formed: 1977 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

While the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and Soul Asylum were the Minneapolis bands that took the city's underground rock to international attention, the Suburbs were the Twin Cities' biggest local act of the 1980s, packing the biggest clubs in town with a smart, challenging, and darkly witty combination of punk energy and snark, new wave polish, tough guitars, and hooky dance rhythms. The Suburbs were formed in 1977 by vocalist and keyboardist Chan Poling and vocalist and lead guitarist Blaine John ("Beej")...
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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Suburbs Have Left the Bulding, The Suburbs
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