Yet another reissue of Wire's early albums presents a chance to reappraise the band's vaunted reputation -- were they punk-inspired innovators or canny and cynical manipulators of their audience's pretensions?
I never know which version I'm going to be
I seem to have so many choices open to me
-- Wire "40 Versions"
I'm fed-up with living in a world
Where some toffee-nosed git from some health-food restaurant
With their TimeOut and their apple juice
Tells me that what we're doing is art
Because A-R-T equals M-O-N-E-Y
Equals corruption. Corruption. Corruption.
-- Alternative TV "Another Coke"
The latest reissue of Wire's first three albums, this time on the band's own Pinkflag label, coincides with the release of a limited edition boxed set Wire Deluxe 1977-1979, which is available only on the web. Both releases invite us all, once more, to celebrate that band's existence and herald its enormous influence and importance. We're gathered here today, however, not to praise Wire but to bury them. Kind of. Thirty years is long enough.