Reposted from my personal blog September 2010
Title: These Guys are From England and Who Gives a Shit?
Genre: sound collage, noise, experimental
A long, long time ago, there was a little dog, named Snuggles. He was mentioned in a letter sent to Casey Kasem from a man in Ohio, who was dealing with the death of the family dog. Casey evidently didn’t like the fact that he had to talk about it coming out of an uptempo record. And how big Casey ranted and raved while it was caught on tape.
Negativland created two tracks based on the tape, one titled U2, which then became the title of the 12″ single. When it was released, the cover featured a picture of a U2 bomber, and simply had the words “U2” and “Negativland” on it. People assumed it was a U2 single.
Including the lawyers.
A big lawsuit ensued, and Negativland was forced to recall the copies of the single and destroy them and halt pressings of new copies. Thus started the battle for the fair use of the letter U and the numeral 2.
The single is now rare and pricey and several bootlegs are floating around in various formats. Jon Nelson even played it on his sound collage show, Some Assembly Required.
Finally, in 2001, the single and other related recordings that pertain to the original two tracks were rereleased on CD. “These Guys are from England and Who Gives a Shit?” is a collection of live recordings mostly of the track in various forms from over the years. The original version does appear here, along with a special radio edit that at times, is just as hilarious as the original version itself.
This is a very redundant CD, but for those of you who were planning on buying it, you probably were expecting that. Despite the reoccurring samples of Kasem flipping out, this is a fairly enjoyable release. Especially since the band had to mask this release as a bootleg (notice the record label is spelled SEELARD) to get it out, avoiding copyright laws in the process.
4 out of 5.