Feast on This: Pylon Box Details Revealed

We’ve been aware for a while now that a Pylon vinyl box set was in the works. Well, now the full details on the four-album package have been revealed, and it looks amazing!

The core of Pylon Box – to be released Nov. 6 on New West Records – will be the band’s first two studio LPs, Gyrate (1980) and Chomp (1983), remastered from their original tapes and both on vinyl for the first time in over 30 years. These will be complemented by two additional full albums of non-LP singles, demos, alternate versions, live tracks and other rare recordings, 18 of which have never been officially released anywhere before.

Razz Tape is the band’s first ever recording, 13 early run-throughs of songs that would end up on their first single and album (“The Human Body,” “Cool,” “Dub,” “Danger,” etc.) and a few that wouldn’t (“Modern Day Fashion Woman,” “Efficiency,” “Information”). There’s also Extra, an 11-song compilation of that first “Cool”/“Dub” single, the “Crazy” single mix and “Danger” remix, a super-early untitled song recorded prior to vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay joining the boys, alternate recordings of Chomp tracks and a couple of live recordings including “3×3,” which the band never tracked in the studio.

The icing on the cake is a 200-page, hardbound, full-color book filled with never-before-seen photos and artifacts from the band members’ personal archives; an extensive essay incorporating new interviews with surviving members Hay, bassist Michael Lachowski and drummer Curtis Crowe (guitarist Randy Bewley died in 2009), as well as DB Recs’ Danny Beard (who originally released the albums and singles), The B-52s’ Fred Schneider and others; and testimonials from an array of Pylon fans great and small, ranging from members of R.E.M., Gang of Four, Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth and Sleater-Kinney to Steve Albini, Calvin Johnson, Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), Ronnie Barnett (The Muffs), Richard Barone (The Bongos), Chris Stamey, Linda Hopper (Magnapop), Vic Varney (Method Actors) and many more.

Each copy of the box will be autographed by Hay, Lachowski and Crowe. In addition to the standard black vinyl pressing, a limited-to-500 color vinyl edition is available for pre-order now directly through New West’s online store, and will be also sold through selected independent retailers beginning on release day. Furthermore, stand-alone colored vinyl and CD editions of Gyrate and Chomp (with no extra tracks) will be released Nov. 6. I suppose all of this means that the rarest official Pylon release is now 1990’s Chain album, which has never been reissued and nobody ever seems to mention anymore.

Meanwhile, to power you through all the hours of manic dancing that are gonna ensue in your pad once you get your paws on this sucker, the latest local music-themed special blend from Jittery Joe’s Coffee Roasting Company will be the Pylon Buzz Blend (named after a song from Chomp), a fusion of Guatemalan, Brazilian and Ethiopian coffees with new wave “notes of chocolate and fruit,” to be made available this November. Now rock and roll, NOW!