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Classic Album Reviews | X | More Fun in the New World / Ain’t Love Grand / See How We Are Reissues

The L.A. rockers close the file with expanded reissues of their last three original LPs.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


In 2001, the archivists at Rhino reissued the first three albums from angular, artful L.A. punk poets X. And it was everything a fan could want. This second trio of re-releases — their last three studio efforts for Elektra in the mid’80s — documents the latter, less satisfying portion of their initial career. In fact, the album titles themselves neatly encapsulate the subtext of the music while providing an overview of their career trajectory.

More Fun in the New World from 1983 marks their brief breakthrough to mainstream acceptance thanks to singles like True Love and Breathless; 1985’s sarcastic Ain’t Love Grand chronicles the implosion of co-lead vocalists John Doe and Exene Cervenka’s marriage on cuts like Burning House of Love and My Soul Cries Your Name; and 1987’s See How We Are (recorded without original guitarist Billy Zoom) finds the band grudgingly facing up to the truth that things just weren’t working out anymore. But even though these discs may not capture X’s finest moments, the reissues come with some worthwhile extras: Demos of standout cuts like Devil Doll, singles like Wild Thing and — perhaps best of all — covers of The ReplacementsI Will Dare and Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. With these reissues, the X files are pretty much closed.