Getting Ready to Whig Out
It’s officially official — Unbreakable (A Retrospective), a CD overview of the career of one of Cincinnati’s greatest musical exports, The Afghan Whigs, will be on sale May 1. And there are some fresh publicity pics, taken by Sam Holden, to go with it. (Is it just me, or does drummer Michael Horrigan look like original Whigs drummer Steve Earle in these shots?) The set — which features two new songs, “I’m a Soldier” (the first single) and “Magazines” — is due from Rhino Records. I should have a copy in the next couple of days (full report to follow). Below is the press release from Rhino and a few more new photos. Anyone else psyched?
— Mike Breen
RHINO TRIES ON NEW WHIGS
The Afghan Whigs’ Unbreakable (A Retrospective) Features A Pair of New Songs Along With An Indispensable Collection Of The Group’s Classic Tracks
Available From Rhino Records May 1
LOS ANGELES – The Afghan Whigs stood apart from their contemporaries in the grunge-soaked ’90s by injecting an element of soulful R&B strut to the band’s hard-edged, post-punk aggression. More than 15 years after the acclaimed group’s debut, the music’s cocksure swagger, dynamic arrangements and polished lyricism still sound fresh. The band recently reconvened for the first time after splitting in 2001 to record a pair of new songs for The Afghan Whigs’ first-ever, career-spanning compilation. The album, UNBREAKABLE (A RETROSPECTIVE) will be available from Rhino Records May 1 at all retail and digital outlets and at http://www.rhino.com for a suggested retail price of $18.98.
UNBREAKABLE contains 18 tracks that span the band’s career and includes more than an hour of music drawn from one EP and five studio albums (two each with Sub Pop and Elektra and one with Columbia). The album also features the debut of two previously unreleased songs—the newly recorded “I’m A Soldier” and “Magazine,” a song written shortly before the band broke up, but left unfinished.
The collection opens with “Retarded” a song from the band’s Sub Pop debut Up In It (1990) featuring The Afghan Whigs’ original line up – singer and guitarist Greg Dulli, bassist John Curley, lead guitarist Rick McCollum and drummer Steve Earle. UNBREAKABLE spotlights several songs from the band’s two-year tenure at Sub Pop such as the funky wah-wah of “Turn On The Water” “Let Me Lie To You” and “I’m Her Slave” from Congregation (1991) as well as a cover of the Supremes’ “Come See About Me” from the EP Uptown Avondale (1992).
The band’s time with Elektra is represented by seven tracks including the rocking cuts “Debonair” (a Top 20 Modern Rock track), “Be Sweet” and the title track from 1993’s Gentlemen while the dark soul of 1996’s Black Love gets its due with “Going To Town,” “Crime Scene Part One” and “Faded.”
The band went out on a high with its 1998 swan song, 1965, which distilled the quartet’s charismatic swagger and torrid rock ’n’ soul hybrid into concise bursts of pure pleasure. UNBREAKABLE features four songs from that album including “Crazy,” “66,” “Uptown Again” and the frisky come on of “John The Baptist.”
UNBREAKABLE (A RETROSPECTIVE)
3. “Turn On The Water”
5. “I’m A Soldier”*
7. “Be Sweet”
8. “Come See About Me”
9. “Uptown Again”
10. “What Jail Is Like”
12. “I’m Her Slave”
13. “Going To Town”
15. “Let Me Lie To You”
16. “John The Baptist”
17. “Crime Scene Part One”
* new recordings