Pylon Get Career-Spanning Box Set With Previously Unreleased Material
Pylon were a key fixture in the flourishing Athens, Georgia punk and new wave scene of the early ’80s, contemporaries of R.E.M. and the B-52’s whose influence on underground rock runs deep. Today New West Records has announced a box set chronicling the band’s legendary career.
Out in November, Pylon Box comprises 47 tracks, 18 of them previously unreleased. It includes remastered versions of both Pylon studio albums, 1980’s Gyrate and 1983’s Chomp — coming to vinyl for the first time in 35 years and now streaming in full at Bandcamp — as well as their newly unearthed first recording, a 13-track session called Razz Tape that predates their 1979 debut single. That record, “Cool” b/w “Dub,” is also in there, as is another collection called Extra featuring one recording made before frontwoman Vanessa Briscoe Hay joined the band.
In addition to all the music, Pylon Box comes with a 200-page hardbound book featuring testimonials from members of R.E.M., the B-52’s, Gang Of Four, Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, Mission Of Burma, Dream Syndicate, Deerhunter, and Interpol plus Steve Albini, Calvin Johnson, and Chomp producer Chris Stamey among others. Stereogum contributor Stephen Deusner wrote a lengthy essay for the project, incorporating interviews with surviving Pylon members, Fred Schneider of the B-52’s, Danny Beard of DB Records, and more. The book is full color, with lots of images from the Special Collections Library at the University of Georgia and at the Georgia Museum of Art, UGA.
In conjunction with the box set, Jittery Joe’s Coffee Roasting Company is releasing a new coffee called Pylon Buzz Blend this fall, and an exhibit called Pylon Collection will open Sept. 18 at the University of Georgia’s Hargrett Library. Along with today’s announcement, two of the unreleased tracks are available for listening: a Razz Tape ripper called “The Human Body” and a live recording of “3×3″ from the Extra disc. Hear both below, where you can also watch a trailer for the box set.
Pylon Box is out 11/6 on New West. Pre-order it here.