We Know Nonsense . 49 Americans, The
2013. cd . dl . lp
Long-awaited reissue of the second full-length album from 1982 by late 70s/early 80s UK DIY super group The 49 Americans. The main instigator behind The 49 Americans was Andrew "Giblet" Brenner who assembled a loose, disparate group of musical/non-musical practitioners as an experiment in equality and democracy. This democracy included David Toop, Steve Beresford, Max Eastley, Lol Coxhill and Peter Cusack (coming out of the anything goes improv scene), Nag and Bendle of The Door And The Window, Viv Albertine of the Slits, Vivien Goldman (her Adrian Sherwoood/John Lydon produced Dirty Washing 12" on 99 Records is a classic), Giblet's mum and many more. "Think of The 49 Americans as a band, in the conventional sense, and you're lost." (David Toop)
The CD version comes as a lovingly assembled career-spanning compilation. It features the complete original "We Know Nonsense" album as well as 23 (!) bonus tracks taken from The 49 Americans' first album "E Pluribus Unum" (1980) and their 7" "The 14-Track Single (1979)". A 12-pages booklet contains "The Incompleteable Story of The 49 Americans".
The Wire magazine listed "We Know Nonsense" in their legendary list of "100 records that set the world on fire (while no one was listening) + extra 30 records": "Not many of those visiting the London Musicians' Collective venue in Camden Town during the late 1970s, and hearing the free improvisors active therein, would have conceived the idea of recording an album of happy-go-lucky pop songs with them. But that's exactly what American expat Giblet (alias Andrew Brenner) set out to do, and so here are 17 doo-wop, disco and samba ditties produced and co-written by David Toop and Steve Beresford. Musicians include Lol Coxhill, Peter Cusack, Max Eastley, Viv Albertine (of The Slits), and Etta and Eddy Saunders. The sense of childlike fun is palpable as the album waves a flag for unpretentious pop - as Giblet sings on 'It's Time': 'Happy music doesn't have to be dumb'." (Clive Bell)
On occasion of its 15th anniversary, the Staubgold label is proud to reissue the complete back catalogue of The 49 Americans. Further releases include a vinyl- and download-only reissue of their first album "E Pluribus Unum" (staubgold 124) and a download-only compilation of "The 14-Track Single" 7" and "Too Young To Be Ideal" 12" (staubgold 125). All downloads feature exclusive bonus tracks (live recordings and studio outtakes).
49 Americans, The
"The 49 Americans were an experiment in the pursuit of happiness. We were playing because we wanted to play, because we enjoyed being together and seeing what each other could do; musicians and non-musicians surprising each other. We did not take ourselves seriously, but we were serious about that. In the increasingly global market place, there is less and less room for individuals at the top. So we celebrated, not being at the top, but simply being together. Like the Statue of Liberty we held up a shining torch of self-entertainment! Saying: Have fun! Play! Participate! Everyone should be allowed to be an American. Like it says on the dollars: E pluribus unum!"
(Andrew Brenner aka Giblet)