These Guys Are from England and Who Gives a Shit (Seelard)

What started as a 1989 radio collage of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and obscenity-laced outtakes from Casey Kasem's "American Top 40" took on greater proportions with a 1991 commercial release known as U2. The cover art, featuring a prominent "U2" graphic at a time when the Irish band's new LP was due in stores, prompted a lawsuit from Island Records, and drew additional fire from both Casey Kasem and Negativland's own label, SST. The resulting conflagration quickly became Negativland's raison d'?tre, providing grist for the subsequent CD/book The Letter U and the Numeral 2, and its expanded reissue Fair Use.

Over the last decade, the original pair of tracks, yanked from distribution shortly after their release, have been available only through the collector's market and underground trading. This maybe-it's-a-bootleg, maybe-it's-not release augments the original studio work with four live versions, including two 1993 post-lawsuit editions taped at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall. Four additional tracks from the band's post-apocalypse "Music for Lawyers Tour" examine the original controversy with a blenderization of the original participants. The disc wraps with a bleeped-for-radio-play edit of the original, unairably profane "Special Edit Radio Mix." Available in surprisingly wide distribution, collectors who missed out on the original are advised to grab a copy while it's still flying under the radar.


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