Wire is a band that I feel I need to get to know better. Back when I was just getting serious about my music, my father brought home an orphaned cassette that he found at work, (the post office) and it was Wire's 1987 album The Ideal Copy. (Incidentally, REM covered "Strange" from Wire's first album Pink Flag on their 1987 album Document). I remember liking Wire, but in those days I was too lazy and cheap to get backlogs of bands I liked (I had a lot of friends dubbing cassette tapes for me). I'm not sure whatever happened to the album, but I recently decided to get Pink Flag partly because of Simon Reynold's canonization of the album in his book Rip It Up And Start Over Again about the post punk movement. However, I have to say that I immediately liked and felt connected to Pink Flag when I heard it. To me, it screamed late 70s punk despite the eclectic array of songs. Wilson Neate's book for Continuum Pink Flag is a great resource. it was painstakingly researchedd with interviews with band members and devotees that later became musicians-people like Graham Coxson formerly of Blur, Henry Rollins, Steve Albini, and Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices (in fact his devotion to the band has made me decide to read the 33 1/3 book on their album Bee Thousand next due to Wire's influence). Neate profiles each member and gives context and background to the forming of the band and discusses how the band formed and made music prior to making their first album then gave a detailed account of the recording session followed by commentary on the 21 songs (only 35 minutes) individually. Reading Neale's book inspired me to listen to the album in order (Something I rarely do in this shuffle-iPod-era) and it really had an effect on me and made me realize the genius of the opening track "Reuters"(which almost feels like a Joy Division song to me) and hear the importance of the starting and stopping of the songs. The tracks that stood out immediately were "Ex Lion Tamer" (with it's great guitar riff and song-response dynamic) and "Three Girl Rumba" with it's infectious funky bass line. "Strange" was also standout (even though REM's version sounds nothing like it) along with A Feeling Called Love" and "Mannequin." It made sense that their big punk "hit" was "1 2 X U." This book is just another example of the high quality of writing going on in the series. I have to say that this album has become one of my favorite of all time in a very short time. How could I have over-looked it for so long?