The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Our Beloved Revolutionary Band Returns: Omnivore Expands Two By Camper Van Beethoven

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Camper - Our BelovedAmong the leading lights of what would eventually become known as “alternative rock,” few groups made as great a mark as Camper Van Beethoven.  The California band, which had its beginnings in 1983 and coalesced in 1985, incorporated elements of rock, punk, folk, ska and world music into its own style of “surrealist absurdist folk.”  Three indie albums arrived before Camper signed with Virgin Records for its major-label debut, 1988’s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart.  On February 4, Omnivore Recordings will revisit that alt-rock landmark as well as its follow-up, 1989’s Key Lime Pie, in deluxe expanded editions available on CD and produced in cooperation with the band members.  The same date, the original LPs will also be reissued on 180-gram vinyl in lavish Omnivore fashion.

Dennis Herring, who would go on to produce albums by Elvis Costello, Ben Folds and Counting Crows, helmed Camper’s two Virgin albums.  Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart assuaged the usual fears that a brave and adventurous indie band had “sold out” in signing to a mainstream label; as Omnivore’s press release puts it, “As it turned out, the first three tracks on Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart were a pop song, an instrumental and an adaptation of a dirge about death. Heck, the release even had a love song for Patty Hearst. No, Camper Van Beethoven hadn’t sold out. They just had better distribution now!”  Though Sweetheart was an accessible record which earned the band an even greater fan base, it didn’t whitewash the band’s more outré sensibilities or simplify the wide-ranging, varied instrumentation.  The album’s line-up included David Lowery on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Jonathan Segel on violin, mandolin, keyboards, guitar and backing vocals, Victor Krummenacher on bass and backing vocals, Greg Lisher on lead guitar, and Chris Pedersen on drums. (Sweetheart was the first Camper Van Beethoven album not to feature founding guitarist/drummer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Molla.)  Omnivore’s CD reissue adds a whopping 10 bonus tracks to the album’s original 14 songs, including live tracks, non-LP songs and the edit of “Eye of Fatima Pts. 1 & 2.”

Camper returned in 1989 with Key Lime Pie, its final album before (temporarily) breaking up in 1990.  The band’s line-up was somewhat altered here, with the departure of Jonathan Segel before the album’s recording commenced.  Hence, the album was crafted by Lowery, Krummenacher, Lisher and Pedersen, with the violin parts played by Don Lax and Morgan Fichter.  Somewhat darker and more Americana-oriented than its predecessor, Key Lime Pie featured a noteworthy cover of Status Quo’s psychedelic “Pictures of Matchstick Men”  and a track about another notorious American figure, “Jack Ruby.”  Nine bonus tracks add up to the tastiest Key Lime Pie yet, including live tracks, rare edits and demos.

After the jump: more on both albums, including full track listings and pre-order links!

Camper - Key Lime PieIn addition to the expanded CDs, both albums will return from Omnivore on 180-gram vinyl.  In the case of Key Lime Pie, the nearly hour-long album will be released on two vinyl LPs for improved sound, with a bonus track (“Closing Theme, a.k.a. Guitar Hero”) on the fourth side and playable at 45 RPM.  Though Camper Van Beethoven broke up following the two Virgin LPs, the reunited band continues to record and perform today.  The band’s most recent studio effort, La Costa Perdida, arrived in early 2013, with Lowery, Segel, Krummenacher and Lisher in the core group.  Chris Pedersen contributed drums on a couple of tracks.

Fans will be doubtless be happy campers when Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie, remastered and with new liner notes and photos, hit stores from Omnivore Recordings on February 4!  You can pre-order both titles at the links below!

Camper Van Beethoven, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (Virgin CD 90918-4, 1998 – reissued Omnivore Recordings, 2014)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Link TBD

LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Link TBD (Includes Tracks 1-14 only)

  1. Eye Of Fatima (Pt. 1)
  2. Eye Of Fatima (Pt. 2)
  3. O Death
  4. She Divines Water
  5. Devil Song
  6. One Of These Days
  7. Turquoise Jewelry
  8. Waka
  9. Change Your Mind
  10. My Path Belated
  11. Never Go Back
  12. The Fool
  13. Tania
  14. Life Is Grand
  15. Love Is a Weed
  16. Harmony In My Head
  17. Wade In the Water
  18. Eye Of Fatima Pts. 1 & 2 (Edit)
  19. The Day That Lassie Went To The Moon (Live)
  20. One Of These Days (Live)
  21. Smash It Up (Live)
  22. Seven Languages (Live)
  23. Kodachrome (Live)
  24. Hanging Around (Live)
  25. Pope Festival

Camper Van Beethoven, Key Lime Pie (Virgin CD 91289-1, 1989 – reissued Omnivore Recordings, 2014)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Link TBD

2-LP Set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Link TBD (Includes Tracks 1-15 only)

  1. Opening Theme
  2. Jack Ruby
  3. Sweethearts
  4. When I Win The Lottery
  5. (I Was Born In A) Laundromat
  6. Borderline
  7. The Light From A Cake
  8. June
  9. All Her Favorite Fruit
  10. Interlude
  11. Flowers
  12. The Humid Press Of Days
  13. Pictures Of Matchstick Men
  14. Come On Darkness
  15. Closing Theme (a.k.a. Guitar Hero)
  16. (I Was Born In A) Laundromat (Edit)
  17. Country 2 (Demo)
  18. Good Guys & Bad Guys (Live)
  19. Wasted (Live)
  20. Take The Skinheads Bowling (Live)
  21. Before I Met You (Live)
  22. L’aguardiente (Soho Natural Session)
  23. (I Don’t Want To Go To The) Lincoln Shrine (Soho Natural Session)

Written by Joe Marchese

December 5, 2013 at 10:59

One Response

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  1. Saw this article, squealed, pre-ordered. Thank you for making my morning great!
    CVB Forever!

    Seth Hollander

    December 5, 2013 at 15:10


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