poison to the mind


the incompleat… #4

Melbourne's This Is Serious Mum took a highly cavalier attitude to their 1995 box set Complete Recordings 86-94. For one thing, the earliest recording on it was from 1981, and for another they left off about a third of the Hot Dogma album simply on the grounds that it isn't very good (the vinyl edition had also been truncated on release in 1990, but with different tracks omitted). Not much of a surprise, since TISM's entire existence has been played as an extended cock-snooking at the music industry.

For the collector nerd, though, their attitude can sometimes prove frustrating: a 2002 singles compilation, Best Off, used the original 7" version of debut "Defecate On My Face" (a martial love-ballad from a bunker-bound Adolf to Eva Braun, released in a 12" sleeve with all sides glued shut), but replaced some songs with versions from a 1996 live album, and skipped all other opportunities for actual single versions.

Such as this 7" issue of "Saturday Night Palsy", from the Great Truckin' Songs Of The Renaissance LP. One disc of the record was proper songs recorded in a studio; the other was interview snippets, demos, live readings of poems and the occasional actual song for light relief, and bore the legend THIS RECORD IS NOT AS GOOD AS THE OTHER ONE around the label. Similarly, the single was subtitled This version is better than the one on the album - though not good enough to ever warrant re-release, apparently. It probably is a whole new recording (anyone want to side-by-side and check?), but the most significant difference is that the opening couplet was changed from "Well I don't want to live and I don't want to die/I want to shoot heroin through the eye" to the slightly more radio-friendly "...want to stick a red-hot poker through the eye."

TISM - Saturday Night Palsy (7" version)

It's a bit of a fucking mystery actually. Shock don't seem to be carrying the Complete Recordings since TISM bailed for FMR. FMR don't seem to be carrying the Best Off, or indeed anything, since their acquisition and reissue of the back catalogue was a flop. You can at least get their latest, The White Albun from Madman Video, who released it as a package with a retrospective DVD and another DVD of a fake benefit concert (Save Our TISM). Come to think, this version of Palsy is probably in the video clip on that.

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