RE/Search Publications

RE/Search Publications is an American magazine and book publisher, based in San Francisco, founded by its editor V. Vale in 1980. In a few references Andrea Juno was also credited as an editor. However it was the successor to Vale’s earlier punk rock fanzine Search & Destroy (1977–1979), which was started with $200 provided to Vale by Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. RE/Search itself began as a tabloid-sized magazine. The debut issue of Search & Destroy (1977), named after the Stooges song, focused on the emerging punk and new wave scene, with articles on Mabuhay Gardens, the hottest venue for punk in the city, and interviews with the local bands Crime, Vermilion, and the Nuns. The first issue of RE/Search (1980) had photographs by Ruby Ray and articles on Factrix, The Slits, conspiracies (written by Jay Kinney), Young Marble Giants, Boyd Rice‘s NON, Cabaret Voltaire, Sun Ra, flashcards, Japan, J. G. Ballard, Julio Cortázar, rhythm & noise, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, Throbbing Gristle, nuclear disaster, Situationism, Octavio Paz, and ‘punk prostitutes’. It was distributed by Rough Trade. Following the third issue, issues 4 and 5 were collected as a single volume, a ‘special book issue’. Subsequent issues all retained the book format. …”
RE/Search: List of publications


Cluster / Brian Eno – Cluster & Eno (1977)

“In Brian Eno‘s first collaboration with Cluster, the best of this album’s instrumental pieces are too emotionally rich to waste as mere background music, evoking feelings of hesitancy and regret that rescue the music from mere vapid prettiness. Three tracks in particular indicate things to come. ‘Wehrmut’ is an ethereal synth piece with the pace slowed to a tantalizing crawl. ‘Steinsame’ features a treated guitar playing a slow figure over a dark, almost funereal synth melody. ‘Schöne Hände’ uses watery synth effects to highlight a shivery rhythm pattern. Other pieces dispense with moody atmospherics altogether. Tracks like ‘Ho Renomo’ and ‘Selange’ consist mainly of pounding rhythm patterns lightly embellished by piano or synthesizer, and ‘Die Bunge’ sounds like an electronic goldfinch fluttering around a cartoon horse. While not the unqualified success of their 1978 collaboration After the Heat, Cluster & Eno remains an important album. Along with Eno‘s 1978 Music for Films, these works helped define the depth and promise of ambient music.”
allmusic (Audio)
W – Cluster & Eno
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Cluster & Eno (Full Album) 36:52

Los Angeles – X (1980)

Los Angeles is the debut studio album by American rock band X, released on April 26, 1980 by Slash Records. Produced by ex-Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek, it includes a cover of the 1967 Doors song ‘Soul Kitchen‘. It placed at No. 16 for the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll. In 2003, the album was ranked No. 286 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1988, Slash issued Los Angeles and Wild Gift jointly on a single CD. It was reissued by Rhino Records in 2001 with five bonus tracks. Los Angeles was reviewed very positively from its first release. Ken Tucker wrote in Rolling Stone that it ‘is a powerful, upsetting work that concludes with a confrontation of the band’s own rampaging bitterness and confusion.’ Robert Christgau wrote that their outlook and songs ‘make a smart argument for a desperately stupid scene.’ AllMusic‘s retrospective review concluded that the album ‘is considered by many to be one of punk’s all-time finest recordings, and with good reason.’ For the year of its release, it was placed at No. 16 on the Christgau organized Village Voice Pazz & Jop Critics Poll. …”
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Los Angeles (Live)
YouTube: X – Los Angeles (Full Album) 8 videos

Gang of Four – Damaged Goods / Love Like Anthrax / Armalite Rifle (EP 1978)

“‘Damaged Goods’ is the debut single by Gang of Four. It was released on 13 October 1978 through independent record label Fast Product. Produced by Fast Product owner Bob Last under the alias Fast Product, the single received critical acclaim, prompting the band to sign to EMI Records. The title track and ‘Love Like Anthrax’ were re-recorded for Gang of Four’s debut album Entertainment! in 1979 and the whole EP was included in the Fast Product compilation Mutant Pop in 1980. The title track starts with syncopated bass and drums, which are later accompanied with a guitar. The song also features vocals by Jon King, which take the role of ‘a lonesome, longing lament’ and a ‘nearly spoken-word‘ section sung by the band’s guitarist Andy Gill. … The single cover art attributes influences to Situationism and Deconstructionism. It features the bold black sans-serif title over a deep pink background, similar to the design of 1914’s short-lived Blast magazine. The self-referencing text, the sleeve for a Gang of Four recording of ‘Damaged Goods,’ ‘Love Like Anthrax’ and ‘Armalite Rifle’ is scrolled around the title. …”
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Damaged Goods (Live)
YouTube: Damaged Goods, Love Like Anthrax, Armalite Rifle

David Johansen – David Johansen (1978)

David Johansen‘s self-titled solo debut bears a closer resemblance to his work with the New York Dolls than any of his subsequent recordings, but the former Dolls singer cleverly crafted an album that played to his former band’s strengths while establishing an identity of his own and delivering a set of tight but powerful hard rock. Where the Dolls were frequently sloppy and poorly focused (if often gloriously so), David Johansen rocks with a cleaner but equally emphatic guitar attack (courtesy Johnny Rao and Thomas Trask), while Johansen‘s vocals are noticeably more powerful and sharper than his earlier music. Johansen‘s songs are more straightforward and less campy than his Dolls tunes; while ‘Funky But Chic’ would have done his old glam buddies proud (‘Mama says I look fruity, but in jeans I feel rotten’), the celebration of the fair sex in ‘Girls’ and ‘I’m a Lover’ cuts his former sexual ambiguity to the quick, and the tough rock & roll good times of ‘Cool Metro’ and the girl-trouble commiseration of ‘Pain In My Heart’ show Johansen could move into more conventional lyrical territory without losing his swagger or street smarts along the way. And while the Dolls didn’t leave Johansen much room for slow songs where he could wear his heart on his sleeve, ‘Donna’ and ‘Frenchette’ allow him to do just that, and remarkably well. David Johansen in some respects seems like a deliberate attempt to sidestep much of the baggage that weighed down the New York Dolls in their bid for rock stardom, but at the same time its celebration of women and good times isn’t simple or without its own appreciation of good danger, and it rocks out with a New York street vibe that has a life of its own; it’s still Johansen‘s best solo work to date.”
allmusic (Audio)
W – David Johansen
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: David Johansen (full album) 38:26

Onze danses pour combattre la migraine – Aksak Maboul (1977)

“In the spring of 1977, two young Belgian musicians who call themselves Aksak Maboul (aka Marc Hollander & Vincent Kenis) set out to record an album, ‘Onze danses pour combattre la migraine’, in which they playfully fused and deconstructed all kinds of genres to create their own musical world. Three years later, Hollander founded the Crammed label. Many ingredients came in and out of the Aksak blender : fake jazz, electronics, imaginary African & Balkan music, minimalism… there were even pre-techno aspects such in as Saure Gurke and its characteristic keyboard stab pattern which will mysteriously find its way into many classic Detroit techno tracks some ten years later. Onze Danses became a cult album, and seems retrospectively to have mapped out the way for the various directions which have been explored by Crammed during the next two decades.”
bandcamp (Audio)
W – Onze danses pour combattre la migraine
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Onze danses pour combattre la migraine (Full Album) 50:26

Forces Of Victory – Linton Kwesi Johnson (1978)

“Having exploded onto the UK scene in 1978 with the dark, angry masterpiece, Dread Beat & Blood, Brixton Dub Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson returned the following year with second album, Forces Of Victory. Calling, again, on the talents of the Dennis Bovell Band, this was a calmer, more measured work, packed with both wry observation and political conviction. Johnson’s poetry, with its emphasis on rhythm, was ideally suited to the sparse, jazz-tinged backings of UK dub. Opener ‘Want Fi Go Rave’ is as cool and confident as anything by Gregory Isaacs or Prince Buster, while ‘It Noh Funny’, a homage to the realities of youth, gives Bovell plenty of room for the interaction of drum and delay. Sonny’s Lettah – a deeply affecting tale of injustice – is a favourite among veteran activists, but ‘Independent Intavenshan”s bouncing bassline and scornful lyrics (bemoaning the abundance of right-minded organisations attempting to speak for the black community) make the more resonant statement. ‘Fight Dem Back’ rallies against the racists behind a mocking sing-song refrain, while ‘Reality Poem’, with its haunting chorus-drenched guitar motif, advocates sober atheism at a time when such viewpoints were far from welcome. Some have criticised Johnson for making Caribbean culture palatable to a predominantly white left-wing audience, but such criticism is to be expected by any artist who transcends their genre. And while the clean understated Bovell production is more suitable for the coffee bar than the sound system, it marks one of many high points in a distinguished career. A homegrown reggae classic.”
W – Forces of Victory
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Fight them back (Live), Sonny´s Lettah (Live)
YouTube: Forces of victory (full album) 33:54

D.A.F. – Die Kleinen und die Bösen (1980)

“After the near-apocalyptic shrieks of Ein Produkt, DAF toned down just a touch, but only just, for Kleinen und die Bösen. Coming out on Mute as the album did, it helped not merely in establishing the group’s cachet, but the label’s and, in turn, the whole genre of experimental electronic music in the ’80s and beyond. The cover art alone, with the group’s name boldly printed white-on-black in all capitals, next to part of a Soviet propaganda poster, practically invented a rapidly overused industrial music design cliché. At the time, though, the group was ironically the most rock they would ever get, with bassist Chrislo Haas and guitarist W. Spelmans joining Robert Görl and Gabi Delgado (aka Gabi Delgado-Lopez). The first half of Kleinen was a studio recording with Krautrock-producing legend Conrad Plank, who did his usual fantastic job throughout. The beats are sometimes hollow and always ominous, treated with studio touches to make them even more so, while the squalling, clipped guitar sounds often make nails-on-chalkboards sound sweet in comparison. Delgado‘s husky vocals and Görl‘s spare-but-every-hit-counts drumming on ‘Osten Währt Am Längsten’ are particularly strong, while the electronic rhythms of ‘Co Co Pino’ (Delgado‘s vocal trills are a scream) and all-out slam of ‘Nacht Arbeit’ can’t be resisted. The live side, recorded at London’s Electric Ballroom, is even more all-out most of the time, starting with the complete noise fest ‘Gewalt,’ and then shifting into a series of short, brusque tracks. Delgado pulls off some blood-curdling screams (and Görl some fairly nutty harmonies as well — check the opening to ‘Das Ist Liebe’) over the din. The musicians themselves sound like they decided to borrow Wire‘s sense of quick songs while cranking the amps to ten; the resultant combination of feedback crunch and electronic brutality is, at times, awesome to behold.”
allmusic (Audio)
W – Die Kleinen und die Bösen
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: “Die Kleinen Und Die Bössen” 38:37

The Truth About De-Evolution – Devo (1976)

The Truth About De-Evolution (full title: In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution) was the first music video for the band Devo, directed by Chuck Statler. Filmed in May 1976, it contains two separate songs: ‘Secret Agent Man‘ and ‘Jocko Homo‘. It won First Prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1977, and was routinely screened before Devo live concerts. It is included as an extra on the Criterion release of Island of Lost Souls (1932). The film begins with an extreme close-up of a television, switching between channels while odd gibberish noises play in the background. The film title is superimposed over the television screen. The scene fades to a shot of a factory (filmed at the Goodyear World of Rubber in Akron, Ohio). Members of Devo in its quartet stage are seen in blue workmen’s suits, operating machinery, until one notices it is time to go. All the band members wear clear face masks, except for Mark Mothersbaugh, who appears in his Booji Boy mask. The members leave work and get into a car. They pull up in front of the burned out Kent bar The Water Street Saloon which was two buildings down from JB’s in Kent, Ohio. The next clip shows them entering the front door of JB’s, carrying instruments. A sign on the door reads ‘Tonight: 15-60-75’, a reference to The Numbers Band, which Gerald Casale played bass for at one point. The “Secret Agent Man” performance begins, featuring Bob Mothersbaugh on guitar, Gerald Casale on bass, Jim Mothersbaugh on electric bongos, and Mark Mothersbaugh/Booji Boy on synthesizers. The performance routinely cuts away to bizarre visuals, such as two men in monkey masks spanking a woman with ping-pong paddles, or a punk playing a double-neck guitar plugged into a space heater. The segment ends with a fadeout of Mark Mothersbaugh in a John F. Kennedy mask. The ‘Jocko Homo’ segment begins with Booji Boy running through a parking lot off of Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls. …”
W – The Truth About De-Evolution
Devo’s “In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution” (Video)
YouTube: In The Beginning Was The End | THE TRUTH ABOUT DE EVOLUTION

Blondie – Rip Her to Shreds / In the Flesh / X Offender (1977)

‘Rip Her to Shreds’ is a song by American new wave band Blondie, which features on the band’s self-titled debut album. ‘Rip Her To Shreds’ was Blondie’s first UK single, released on Chrysalis Records in the UK in late 1977, though it did not chart. The single peaked at #81 in Australia in March 1978. The B-sides to this single were ‘In the Flesh‘ and ‘X Offender‘, both previously issued as A-side singles by Private Stock Records, and both moderately successful in certain territories. As a promotional gimmick the song was also released as a 12″ single (at that time a relative rarity), selling for 99p. In a BBC Radio documentary about Blondie, singer Debbie Harry said ‘Rip Her to Shreds’ is about what gossip columns do to people’s lives. …”
W – Rip Her to Shreds
W – In the Flesh
W – X Offender
Genius (Audio)
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Rip Her to Shreds, X Offender, In the Flesh