Posts Tagged ‘Girlfriend’

This is the vinyl release of Matthew Sweet’s 1991 classic has always deserved and the best edition of “Girlfriend” you’ll ever have … Matthew Sweet’s essential 1991 power-pop tour-de-force gets its analog due on Intervention’s Expanded Edition 180-Gram Double-LP release!

Girlfriend’s original 1991 LP release was a single LP that simply excised the last three songs that were included on the original 15-track CD release. Those three tracks were a tremendous loss as the song’s final, elegiac track “Nothing Lasts” was considered as the title track.

Intervention’s amazing Double LP Expanded Edition restores the original 15-song repertoire to three vinyl sides for maximum bass and dynamics. Side D includes three demo tracks- “Good Friend,” “Superdeformed” and “Teenage Female.” Girlfriend’s album art was lovingly restored by Intervention’s Art Director Tom Vadakan, and printed as a gorgeous “Old Style” gatefold

Hello Sweet fans and audiophiles!, Matthew Sweet here to tell you a little bit about a very special reissue series I’ve been working on together with Intervention Records.

This year we’ll be releasing fully-remastered, deluxe 180-gram vinyl as well as SACD editions of Girlfriend, Altered Beast, and 100% Fun—plus, for the very first time on vinyl, Son of Altered Beast.

Label head Shane Buettner and the rest of the Intervention Records team have done a beautiful job with these albums. Each record was fully remastered from the original analog master tapes by Ryan K. Smith in the fully analog lab at Sterling Sound in New York City. They are rich, detailed, and LOUD!

I’m particularly excited about the extra tracks; this is the first vinyl edition of Girlfriend to ever include the three-song coda (“Does She Talk?” “Holy War,” and “Nothing Lasts”). On Altered Beast and 100% Fun you’ll find B-sides and rarities like “Superdeformed” and “Ultrasuede” plus a few you may never have heard before.

Our friends at Pledge Music are helping us bring these records from the mastering lab straight to your turntable along with a ton of very cool pre-order package options. In addition to premium vinyl or SACD, we’ve gone back in the archives to reproduce original tour merch from each album cycle, plus some newly designed items based on the classic artwork. Maybe you’d like a set of Test Pressings signed by me? A handwritten lyrics sheet to “I’ve Been Waiting” or “Ugly Truth”? These, and many more options are available for you to choose from on my Pledgemusic page.

I’ll be posting updates as the campaign unfolds so be sure to purchase an Access Pass so you can stay in the loop from the moment you make a Pledge until your purchase arrives in the mail.

Your enthusiasm and ongoing support of my music all these years means so much. I can’t wait for you to hear these remasters.

Matthew Sweets Essential 90s Albums Artist-Approved Expanded Edition 180-Gram Vinyl Double LPs!

You definately need these Artist-Approved 180-gram vinyl double LP reissues*. Loaded with extra tracks 100% Analog Re-mastered from THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound. Packaged in “Old-Style” tip-on deluxe gatefold jackets printed by Stoughton featuring faithfully restored original album art!

“Altered Beast” is available in late August. “Girlfriend” and “Son of Altered Beast” are shipping in late autumn 2018. 100% Fun available now! ,*Son of Altered Beast is a single not double LP. All fully artist-Approved Expanded Editions. Intervention Records and Matthew Sweet are proud to introduce an amazing NEW Artist-Approved reissue series, Matthew Sweet 1991-1995!

In 2018 Intervention is releasing 2-LP Expanded Editions of Sweet’s 90’s power-pop classic Trilogy, Girlfriend, Altered Beast and 100% Fun, plus the Son of Altered Beast 7-song EP, which appears on vinyl for the very first time!

Each Expanded Edition double-LP set of the three classic studio albums is loaded with extra tracks. So many of these songs are either appearing on vinyl for the very first time or seeing official release for the very first time. And for Sweet completists, these LPs are the most extensive collection of extra tracks compiled and packaged with the studio albums the songs were recorded for!

The original 15-song repertoires for Girlfriend and Altered Beast are for the first time spread across three LPs sides for maximum sound quality and the ability to PLAY LOUD!

The jacket art for Matthew Sweet 1991-1995 has been faithfully restored by IR’s art director Tom Vadakan. The three Expanded Editions feature beautiful “Old Style” gatefolds printed onto heavy blanks and film laminated by the wizards at Stoughton Printing. Son of Altered Beast features a single-pocket “Old Style” GATEFOLD jacket by Stoughton as well.

With the wind in his sails stirred up by the success of his previous album Girlfriend, Matthew Sweet did what any young musician in his position would have with the follow up: he went for broke. He wrote more daring arrangements that brought in a country element to his power pop attack, dove deeper lyrically and, most importantly, roped in a bunch of his musical idols to join in the fun. The liner notes for Altered Beast read like a who’s who of the pop and post-punk universe with regular collaborators Ivan Julian and Richard Lloyd joined by Big Star’s Jody Stephens, Mick Fleetwood, pianist Nicky Hopkins and Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas.

Their collective work has never sounded better than it does on this remastered vinyl pressing from the ever-reliable Intervention Records. The album is wisely stretched out to a double LP, with the fourth side taken up by a batch of studio outtakes, some previously unavailable here in the States. They flesh out the story nicely, with even more of Sweet’s ‘70s rock acumen and ‘80s punk playfulness coming to the fore. It all sounds more remarkable than ever thanks to the work of mastering engineer Ryan K. Smith. Every song sounds like it is bursting out of its seams and ready to flatten a major metropolis.

Miss World is the project of London based artist Natalie Chahal (also half of fellow PNKSLM signees Shit Girlfriend alongside Laura-Mary Carter). After self-releasing the debut single “Buy Me Dinner” earlier this year, Punk Slime Recordings are proud to announce that Miss World has officially joined the PNKSLM family and that her debut EP Waist Management is set to arrive on October 13th. Four tracks of extremely catchy garage pop that will instantly make you fall in love, combining lo-fi charms with Natalie’s ear for a melody it’s an introduction that will leave you wanting more. Stay tuned for more music from Miss World coming soon…

Miss World is set to make its live debut at PNKSLM’s annual Slime Ball weekender at The Old Blue Last in London on September 29th, playing alongside label mates HOLY, Holiday Ghosts, Beachtape and Lucern Raze.

http://

From Miss World’s debut EP Waist Management, out October 13th via PNKSLM Recordings.

 

Matthew Sweet had been kicking around for almost a decade before he finally got his break with 1991’s album “Girlfriend”. From the start, he was attracted to the poppy side of college rock. It just took him a few albums to refine the perfect sound before he laid down on his breakthrough record.

Before Girlfriend or, more specifically, its title track made Sweet a modern-rock radio regular, he was part of the exploding Athens scene of the early ’80s as a member of Oh-OK, which included Micheal Stipe‘s sister Lynda. By the end of the decade he was a solo artist with two albums to his name. But it’s Girlfriend — which came out on October. 22nd, 1991 that finally clicked with music fans.

By ’90s industry standards, Matthew Sweet’s “Girlfriend” performed well. It peaked at number one on the Heatseekers chart in 1992, The title track made it to number four of the Modern Rock chart, while the album’s sublime lead track, “Divine Intervention,” was a number 23 Modern Rock hit—and, quite frankly, deserved better.

We’re talking about a quirky classic monumental power-pop record that almost didn’t find its way to listeners. Prior to Girlfriend, Sweet was less than an unknown commodity, he was a liability, with a pair of glossy, nondescript late-’80s albums that tanked commercially and critically. The vibe surrounding Sweet was so toxic that Zoo Entertainment, the now-defunct BMG affiliate that finally took a chance on Girlfriend, pretty much spun the thing as Sweet’s debut. His band made up of Lou Reed’s sidemen Richard Quine and Fred Maher, along with a couple of New York City punk vets, Television’s Richard Lloyd and Richard Hell and the Voidoid’s Ivan Julian provide the backbone of the record.
And for good reason: It sounds like nothing that came before—from Sweet or anyone else. Its edgy, honest beauty set the tone for a string of great albums, including Girlfriend’s underrated 1993 follow-up, Altered Beast, 1995’s 100% Fun and 1999’s Phil Spector-inspired masterpiece, In Reverse.

In the months prior to Girlfriend’s October 1991 release, a devoted cadre of industry people embraced the album—dubiously titled Nothing Lasts at the time making it their personal mission to ensure its survival. One of those fans was veteran music scribe Bud Scoppa, who was working A&R for Zoo when a cassette arrived in the mail from his New York counterpart, Scott Byron. Scoppa’s stellar liner notes for the 2006 Girlfriend Legacy reissue are required reading for any Sweet fan. They’re so good, in fact, that we found no point in reinventing the wheel here.

Legacy Recordings just released a vinyl edition of Goodfriend (Another Take On “Girlfriend”), featuring home demos, session outtakes and live performances. Think of it as an unruly companion piece to the original, which was reissued on 180-gram vinyl at its intended 12-song length in 2014.

Describing Girlfriend as one of the best power-pop LPs ever may be accurate, but it’s also selling the album short. After all, what purist in the form would allow the late Robert Quine to run roughshod over his pristine melodies and multipart harmonies—and, in the process, deliver some of the Richard Hell And The Voidoids guitarist’s most wrenchingly inspired work?

Matthew Sweet: I got married when I was really young—19—and we were married for six years. By 1989, we’d moved out to Princeton, N.J., from New York City, so we could rent a whole house. It was awesome for me because I could do music without bothering anyone. The house was built in 1780, right on the edge of the Princeton Battlefield. I’d ride my bike in the backwoods all through there. But my wife at the time was restless. She felt like there was something she wanted to do. So she got some money from her dad and moved back to New York—got an apartment there. We hadn’t really broken up, exactly, although we weren’t getting along. It wasn’t, like, a positive thing.

Ric Menck (drums): Matthew and I toured to promote his previous album, Earth—just the two of us in his Honda, opening for ’Til Tuesday. We listened every day to my cassette of Full Moon Fever, and we loved how unadorned by technology it sounded.

Sweet: I set up drums in the main living room, and I started playing them on my demos. I sent those to (manager) Russell Carter, and he said, “It reminds me of Crazy Horse and Neil Young.” And I said, “I know, my voice is really high and weird.” And he’s like, “No, the vibe of it.” He sent me a bunch of Crazy Horse stuff, and I was like, “Fuck, now I understand what he’s saying.”

Menck: Matthew was recording demos at his house, and I visited him at several points during that time. He was really getting into Neil Young, and he had an abiding love for the Beatles especially Abbey Road. As we drove around Princeton in his little Honda station wagon, he told me he wanted to make an album that sounded really organic.

Lloyd Cole (guitar): Matthew would write very quickly—sometimes two or three songs a day, where I would take a week. He’s never been the most disciplined guy in that respect, and that’s kind of endearing.

Sweet: Having my marriage end was something I tried so hard not to do. We tried to make it work; we went into marriage counseling. But we were like kids. In the end, it was me who said I wanted to get divorced, even though she was the one who left. By that point, she was sort of desperate to stay together. All my life, I thought I was a good guy. But when you have to be the one who says it’s over, I had to accept that there was no way to be the good guy. It was a thing where I went, “Wow, I’m really tainted.” You know, original sin or something—like, “Now I get it: I’m good and bad, and there will be times in my life when the right thing to do isn’t being good.”

Cole: My main claim to fame is on the song “Girlfriend.” Matthew kept talking about “good friend.” He’d just been recently separated from his wife, and I don’t think he wanted to address the issue straight-on and say “girlfriend.” And I said, “For God’s sake, just call it ‘Girlfriend.’”

Sweet: At the time, I tried to explain that none of it was exactly autobiographical—that everything could be looked at in a couple different ways. “You Don’t Love Me” might be a song my wife was singing to me—you know what I mean? But I felt those feelings, and so I was working that out in a song. Whereas something like “I’ve Been Waiting” was really like a brand-new, untouched fantasy of how it could be great to fall in love or whatever.

Fred Maher (producer, drums, guitar): Matthew originally wanted to record at his house in Princeton, and we planned it out. But he got cold feet a few months before recording was to start; he was nervous about upsetting neighbors. I suggested Axis Studios in New York City, since it would be as cramped and difficult a place to make a rock record as his small house.

Sweet: Fred and I had met on my first record (Inside) and worked a lot together on the second one. We were already buddies for a long time, so it was kind of coming together. Even (Television guitarist) Richard (Lloyd) and Bob (Quine) played with me before Girlfriend. I met Richard during my time with the Golden Palominos, when he filled in for Jody Harris. There was no way to learn the whole set, and we had to do these rehearsals with him, and I just felt so bad because it was so impossible. But Richard was really nice to me and told me he liked my songs. So we started to become friendly.

Menck: Prior to making the album, Matthew, Richard and I went through a few of the songs at a rehearsal space near the studio. We warmed up by playing Television’s “See No Evil,” and Richard yelled at me when I acted too much like a geeky fan.

Cole: The rough demos were nowhere near as extreme as what’s on the album. Jim Rondinelli deserves a lot of credit for that. He and Matthew gelled really well.

Jim Rondinelli (engineer): The sound of Girlfriend really goes back to lengthy conversations I had with Matthew. We talked about it for months before we actually did anything. When I heard Earth, I loved the songs, but there was a dissonance between the slickness and the precision of the production and Matthew’s voice.

Maher: Matthew didn’t want to use any of the technology available at the time. So we decided we’d make the entire record on 24-track tape. Parts were mercilessly bounced together, with no way back.

Rondinelli: I worked with Fred and Matthew to establish an entirely different framework for his voice, and that meant not drowning him in reverb or studio processing, not burying his voice but making it loud and clear in the front of the track, framing his voice with his primary weapon for attack, the electric guitars, and making sure those guitars were raw power and unadorned. I mean, good God, we had Richard Lloyd and Robert Quine, and Matthew’s rhythm-guitar playing is so incredibly concise.

Menck: My drum tracks were completed in one or two sessions. Matthew played rhythm guitar, and I played along. Very simple and straightforward, which was a change for Matthew, whose previous album was made with programmed drums. It took one or two takes to complete each track.

Rondinelli: We established rules at the start: It would be all live instruments; it would be all Höfner Beatle bass. The Höfner has this big, heavy bottom that stays nicely out of the way of the guitars, so we could really compartmentalize and separate the instruments. That left Matthew’s voice and the guitars front and center. By having the drums loud but dry, there’s always some ambience in the room where the music is being played. We didn’t want to soften the impact of Fred and Ric’s drumming by washing it in reverb. Really, we wanted to take everything that was done on the first record and do exactly the opposite.

Menck: Axis was in a high-rise building surrounded by other highrises. At one point, I looked out the window to see a very pretty woman undressing. She was the inspiration behind my playing on “Divine Intervention.” The drum track for that was definitely completed in one take.

Sweet: People see what they want in “Divine Intervention.” If they’re religious, they might think, “Awesome. That’s when God comes.” But I was saying that he’s not. I was coming out as an atheist, in a way. Christianity has great things about it. Jesus is totally cool, and I live by those morals. I don’t do anything that’s really un-Christian—and most atheists probably don’t. We put the whole album in [the precursor to] ProTools, which was so novel back then. The intro to “Divine Intervention” was something we turned backward—then you hear Richard playing a lick.

Rondinelli: We’d complete the basic rhythm tracks for the album, and Matthew would take a long weekend and go back to Princeton. He’d come back with these unbelievably layered and complex guitar and vocal arrangements. Then he’d sing additional vocals, and we’d add the guitar tracks. It was really a fun way to work.

Sweet: It’s a typical studio thing, but we made comps of our favorite guitar bits. So Richard and Bob didn’t have to do anything but play what they felt—and that’s why it worked so great.

Rondinelli: It’s funny. There’s only one spot on the album where two people are actually playing together in real time, and that’s Matthew and Lloyd on “Thought I Knew You.” Fred, wisely, wanted to pull the swing section out of the demo version of “Girlfriend,” which gave it a life on radio it probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Cole: Matthew was obsessed with Winona Ryder—especially in that Heathers film. I said to him, “You’re singing a song about Winona Ryder, and ‘Winona’ is a great title for a song—so just do it.”

Rondinelli: My favorite song to record was “Winona,” because there’s so much Greg Leisz and Quine on that song. Greg is something else. He does an incredible lap-steel part that’s an answer line to the vocals in “Girlfriend.”

Sweet: I went to see Jules Shear play. We were outside the venue afterward, and he introduced me to Greg. They were in a group together called the Funky Kings. I’m like, “Hey, so do you know the Sneaky Pete (Kleinow) kind of steel playing?” And he was like, “I love all that stuff.” So I asked him to play on the record. It was that simple.

Rondinelli: The first time Richard came in, his tracks were so exciting that I remember popping out of my chair when I heard them. With Quine, we’d have him play top to bottom on a song five times, and we’d go back afterward and compose a highlights track. I don’t think there’s one spot on the finished album where Bob played a continuous track. The most amazing thing is that Dennis Taylor, the guitarist who plays with Matthew now, learned all this stuff that no human being had ever played before.

Menck: An abiding memory of the sessions was hanging out with Bob Quine in the lounge. He was a passionate music fan who loved to talk about songs and records. Bob could be a little cantankerous, but when he started talking about music, he really softened up. I’ll forever treasure our discussion about the Velvet Underground. He loved them so much.

Rondinelli: Bob would get something going in the first couple of takes, and then he’d get really down on himself and go through this incredible self-loathing. On the fourth or fifth take, all this additional fire and anger would come out, and he’d take it out on his instrument. Then he’d be emotionally and physically exhausted.

Sweet: The album was originally called Nothing Lasts, and we had to go through hoops to get Tuesday Weld to let us use her photo on the cover. Then somebody from the legal department called her and asked, “Is it OK that it’s called Nothing Lasts?” Well, it wasn’t.

Cole: A terrible name for an album. So he changed it to Girlfriend.

Rondinelli: The sound of the needle at the end of the record—that groove in the middle—was done by Alan Friedman, a programmer who was a fixture at Axis Studios.

Sweet: I just kept adding extra songs, because I was having so much fun in the studio, and it was just such a joy to hear what we made it sound like by adding everybody’s thing. I kept cramming them in, and I was so enamored by what we were doing that I wished I could put it all in there. I’m pretty sure it was me who came up with the idea of putting the three extra tracks all the way out. Then, if you accidentally left your CD player on and you were playing it really loud, they’d come on and be really loud. It makes me laugh now because that supposes a lot of things. But I figured if that happens a few times, it’s awesome. So we put in this long gap after the first 12 songs. I probably wanted to put three minutes, but I was talked down to something more like 40 seconds.

Rondinelli: We made Girlfriend for A&M, and they dropped it. God knows, every label in New York heard that album. We were all working that album, and Karen Glauber at HITS magazine was a huge supporter.

Karen Glauber (president of HITS magazine): I met Matthew when he was in the Athens, Ga., band Buzz Of Delight and worked closely with him as the director of new music marketing at A&M, which was the label for his second solo album, Earth. I left A&M in 1990, and I was absolutely insistent that (Zoo founder) Lou Maglia sign him, the label that employed many of my friends—and fellow avid Matthew fans.

Scott Byron (former East Coast A&R director for Zoo Entertainment): Zoo was a new company at the time and didn’t have a set process for getting things signed. The first thing I had to do was convince the head of A&R that it was a worthwhile project. Then I had to convince Lou. We had a verbal agreement, and Lou just sort of pulled the plug one day. I had to call Matthew and say, “It looks like it’s not going to happen.” Then, Bud Scoppa was cranking the album in his office one day, and Lou walked in and said, “What’s that you’re listening to?” And Bud said, “Matthew Sweet. You nixed it a few weeks ago.” Then Lou went back to his office and changed his mind.

Sweet: At the time, “Girlfriend” wasn’t an important song to me. It was just kind of a ditty. But if you were an artist at that time trying to sign to a label, they always used the track that’s nothing like you as the single. It was actually my manager, Russell, who became obsessed that it could be on rock radio. And he really trumpeted that all through the thing.

Rondinelli: I don’t want to downplay the record, because it’s really a testament to Matthew’s genius. But there was a bit of lucky timing to it, as well. Every radio station that programmed Nevermind had to very quickly find songs with loud guitars that they could play in its wake.

Maher: Girlfriend has aged well because we didn’t allow ourselves to use any modern recording techniques. We stuck to our guns. Ultimately—and possibly most importantly—it was made at a time when the record company let us do our thing. Matthew had a vision, and I defended it—brutally at times.

Glauber: Girlfriend is a perfect album. The songwriting and musicianship is unparalleled—most notably “Girlfriend,” “I’ve Been Waiting” and, my absolute favorite, “You Don’t Love Me.” The contrast of Matthew’s voice and the frenetic, angular playing of the guitarists elevated the songs to another dimension. Fred and Matthew’s production combines the energy of the late-’70s CBGB scene with the gorgeous harmonies of the Beach Boys and the Byrds.

Sweet: When I’m doing music, it’s kind of like throwing pottery on the wheel and just losing my mind. This thing comes from somewhere else. It’s almost like it’s not from me, but I know what to do once it starts coming. But what’s cool is that somehow I had an instinct on how to put those songs together, where it seemed to have worked so well.

People will ask me if I’m sick of playing the Girlfriend stuff, and I’ll be like, “No, I’m just happy someone likes something I did.” It’s a gift to me that it means so much to people—that it wears so well for them.

Rondinelli: It’s one of the greatest divorce records ever made.

MatthewSweet