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Permanent Record: The Very Best of the Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes

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iTunes 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.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Alternative

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

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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