Telephone Free Landslide Victory

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Telephone Free Landslide Victory
Studio album by Camper Van Beethoven
Released 1985
Recorded January–February 1985; Sámurai Sound, Davis, California
Genre Alternative rock, jangle pop
Length 39:37
Label I.R.S.
Camper Van Beethoven chronology
Telephone Free Landslide Victory
(1985)
II & III
(1986)

Telephone Free Landslide Victory is a 1985 album by musical group Camper Van Beethoven, released on Independent Projects. It featured the band's best known song, "Take the Skinheads Bowling". The album has sold well over 60,000 copies.[1]

About[edit]

The band's lineup at the time of recording was David Lowery (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jonathan Segel (violin, keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), Chris Molla (guitar, backing vocals), Victor Krummenacher (bass, backing vocals), and Anthony Guess (drums). The album is the only Camper Van Beethoven record not to feature guitarist Greg Lisher. Lisher is actually listed in the album credits as a band member, but he did not join the band until after the album was recorded.

Musically, the album is a combination of songs and instrumentals. The former are simple garage tunes, with a folk-punk sound and absurdist lyrics, often simultaneously mocking and affectionately celebrating aspects of 1980s underground counterculture, with references to punks, skinheads, surfers, skaters and hippies. These songs are comparable to other humorous 1980s underground bands like The Violent Femmes, The Dead Milkmen and The Young Fresh Fellows. The instrumentals, however, are completely different: they combine ethnic melodies (often Eastern Europe, Mexican or spaghetti Western) played on Segel's violin and Molla's guitar, with ska beats supplied by Guess, Lowery and Krummenacher. The alternation between the instrumentals and songs creates an almost split personality that is one of the most unusual aspects of the record. Later versions of the band would integrate the ethnic influences with the actual songs, but here they are quite separate. The one thing that the two song-types have in common is that they are both quite droll, leading to the band being inaccurately typecast as a novelty group.

Despite the considerable musical growth that the band would show in its later work, Telephone Free Landslide Victory has remained one of its most enduring albums. The reunited Camper Van Beethoven frequently features several of the album's songs in their set lists to this day, including "Take the Skinheads Bowling", the countrified Black Flag cover "Wasted", the hardcore send-up "Club Med Sucks", "The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon", "Ambiguity Song", and several of the instrumentals.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau (A-)[4]

Track listing[edit]

Original 1985 version[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Border Ska" - 2:50
  2. "The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon" - 3:14
  3. "Wasted" - 1:59 (Greg Ginn, Keith Morris)
  4. "Yanqui Go Home" - 2:41
  5. "Oh No!" - 1:54
  6. "9 of Disks" - 2:36
  7. "Payed Vacation: Greece" - 1:52
  8. "Where The Hell is Bill?" - 2:06

Side two[edit]

  1. "Vladivostock" - 2:22
  2. "Skinhead Stomp" - 1:48
  3. "Tina" - 1:37
  4. "Take The Skinheads Bowling" - 2:32
  5. "Mao Reminisces About His Days in Southern China" - 1:59
  6. "I Don't See You" - 2:23
  7. "Balalaika Gap" - 2:13
  8. "Opi Rides Again - Club Med Sucks" - 3:55
  9. "Ambiguity Song" - 2:29

2004 CD reissue[edit]

  1. "The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon" - 3:14
  2. "Border Ska" - 2:56
  3. "Wasted" - 1:55
  4. "Yanqui Go Home" - 2:41
  5. "Oh No!" - 1:54
  6. "9 of Disks" - 2:36
  7. "Payed Vacation: Greece" - 1:52
  8. "Where The Hell is Bill?" - 2:05
  9. "Wasting All Your Time" - 2:59
  10. "Epigram #5" - 0:09
  11. "At Kuda" - 2:14
  12. "Epigram #2" - 0:21
  13. "Cowboys From Hollywood (Original Version)" - 1:41
  14. "Colonel Enrique Adolfo Bermudez" - 2:09
  15. "Vladivostock" - 2:22
  16. "Skinhead Stomp" - 1:47
  17. "Tina" - 1:37
  18. "Take The Skinheads Bowling" - 2:32
  19. "Mao Reminisces About His Days in Southern China" - 1:59
  20. "I Don't See You" - 2:23
  21. "Balalaika Gap" - 2:13
  22. "Opi Rides Again" - 0:50
  23. "Club Med Sucks" - 3:05
  24. "Ambiguity Song" - 2:30
  25. "Heart (Remix)" - 3:07 (Hidden Track)
  • Track 9 is a previously unreleased studio outtake.
  • Tracks 10-14 originally released on the Take the Skinheads Bowling EP.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
UK Indie Chart[5] 30

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Count On More Surprises From Camper Van Beethoven". Chicago Tribune. 1989-11-10. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. Telephone Free Landslide Victory at AllMusic. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan (November 2004). "Camper Van Beethoven". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. pp. 132–133. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Camper Van Beethoven". Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Retrieved September 5, 2014.