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Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful? Omnivore Serves “The Complete Waitresses”

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WaitressesAfter Omnivore’s exciting announcement of the Humble Pie Fillmore box set, the label now turns to one of the most underrated American New Wave groups of the ’80s: The Waitresses, whose complete Polydor output is coming from Omnivore in September.

Anchored by guitarist/producer Chris Butler and irascible lead vocalist Patty Donahue, the Akron-based Waitresses cut two albums and one EP for Polydor between 1982 and 1984. They enjoyed at least three notable songs in their short lifespan: “I Know What Boys Like,” a smirking dance-rock tune that peaked at No. 62 on the Billboard charts; the theme to the cult TV series Square Pegs (which featured a then-unknown Sarah Jessica Parker as a new high schooler attempting to fit in with the popular crowd); and the too-catchy-to-be-seasonal “Christmas Wrapping,” still a perennial favorite on radio around the end of the year. Though the band never had much commercial traction, their tightly-produced pop/rock offerings made them a cult name. (Butler continues to make music as a solo artist; Donahue died of cancer in 1996 after working in A&R for MCA.)

Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses contains all of the band’s works for Polydor: albums Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful? (1982) and Bruiseology (1984), the 1983 EP I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts, three single tracks (“Hangover 1/1/83,” the B-side to “Christmas Wrapping,” and two remixes of I Could Rule the World single “Bread and Butter”) and one unreleased track, an alternate version of Bruiseology‘s title track. This two-disc set, produced by Butler with longtime reissue producer Bill Levenson, marks the first time all of these albums have been released in full on CD in the United States.

This set is served on September 24; the full track list and Amazon link is after the jump!

Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses (Omnivore OVCD-73, 2013)

Disc 1: Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful?, I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts and bonus track

  1. No Guilt
  2. Wise Up
  3. Quit
  4. It’s My Car
  5. Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful?
  6. I Know What Boys Like
  7. Heat Night
  8. Redland
  9. Pussy Strut
  10. Go On
  11. Jimmy Tomorrow
  12. Christmas Wrapping
  13. Bread and Butter
  14. Square Pegs
  15. The Smartest Person I Know
  16. I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts
  17. Hangover 1/1/83

Disc 2: Bruiseology and bonus tracks

  1. A Girl’s Gotta Do
  2. Make the Weather
  3. Everything’s Wrong
  4. Luxury
  5. Open City
  6. Thinking About Sex Again
  7. Bruiseology
  8. Pleasure
  9. Spin
  10. They’re All Out of Liquor, Let’s Find Another Party
  11. Bruiseology (Alternate)
  12. Bread and Butter (Re-Mix)
  13. Bread and Butter (Dub Mix)

Disc 1, Tracks 1-11 released as Polydor LP PD-1-6346, 1982
Disc 1, Tracks 12-16 released as Polydor EP PX-1-507, 1983
Disc 1, Track 17 released on ZE Records 12″ 12WIP 6821 (U.K.), 1983
Disc 2, Tracks 1-10 released as Polydor LP 422 810 980-1 Y-1, 1983
Disc 2, Track 11 previously unreleased
Disc 2, Tracks 12-13 released as Polydor 12″ promo single PRO 196, 1983

Written by Mike Duquette

August 9, 2013 at 16:10

6 Responses

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  1. I’m definitely in for this one! I always found the Waitresses to be a real fun band that made me smile and dance, and in the end, isn’t that what most rock & roll should make you do? Patty was an awesome frontwoman who, I think, has never fully received the credit she’s due. Maybe this release will help a little in that regard.

    Bill Levenson’s involvement in the project just makes this all the sweeter. I know what THIS boy likes, and it’s the Waitresses! 🙂

    Chief Brody

    August 10, 2013 at 11:03

  2. Looks good, but you KNOW there’s got to be more odds and ends out there: studio and live. I’ve got the King Bisquit Flower Hour CD, which is a great live CD, and that only whets the appetite for more. Also, I hope the mastering is not flawed.


    August 10, 2013 at 21:53

  3. I’m sure there’s quite a bit more juicy stuff in the vaults, but unfortunately if a record company doesn’t feel there’s enough demand (whether that assessment is realistic or not), then that material is likely not gonna see the light of day in any authorized form (and that doesn’t even consider whether or not the artist actually WANTS it released in the first place). I’m quite surprised that Omnivore is even releasing this package, as much as I like the Waitresses. If it’s financially successful, maybe that’ll inspire more releases from the vaults.

    I was listening to the KBFH live release a few days ago. That’s a truly great show. My cousin, who was a roadie and popular DJ in NYC in the ’70s and early ’80s, was at the gig and really wanted me to tag along with him. I was only 15 at the time, and even though he could’ve likely gotten me in with his connections, my folks put the kibosh on it. Alas . . . 🙂

    Regarding the mastering, if Bill Levenson is involved in the project, odds are it’ll sound swell.

    Chief Brody

    August 11, 2013 at 11:37

  4. This couldn’t come at a better time.On a whim, I recently picked up the King Biscuit Flower Hour CD from a dollar bin and it is a great performance. It made me want to replace my old vinyl collection with CDs, but I discovered they have only had a couple of hits comps available until now. One-stop shopping for a band’s discography is an increasing pleasure these days.
    I recall reading back in 2004 that Bill Levenson was working on this package and it was even scheduled to be released in February 2005, but then the record company (I believe it was Universal) cancelled it just before street date. I don’t imagine that will happen this time. If it had been released then, I probably would’ve passed, but the concert really renewed my interest.

    Jason Michael

    August 11, 2013 at 15:02

  5. This song originally appeared on the 1980 album “Bowling Balls from Hell” where it was titled “Wait Here I’ll Be Right Back… (Son of Comb)”. The sax player on that version was Ralph Carney, uncle of Patrick Carney of the Black Keys.


    August 21, 2013 at 15:25

  6. This is long overdue and very exciting. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy.

    I bought the MP3 version of the debut via Amazon a few years ago. It’s nice to have, but sourced from vinyl, pops and all. So finally getting BOTH albums on CD will be a real treat.

    Let’s hope the rarities collection is next!

    Phil O.

    August 23, 2013 at 08:46

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