No New York

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No New York
No new york.jpg
Compilation album by
various artists
StudioBig Apple Studio, New York City, United States
GenreNo wave, avant-garde
ProducerBrian Eno

No New York is a No Wave compilation album released in 1978 by record label Antilles under the curation of producer Brian Eno. Although it only contained songs by four different artists, some consider it to be a definitive single album documenting New York City's late-1970s no wave movement.

Background and production[edit]

Early in 1978, New York's Artists Space hosted a five night underground no wave music festival, organized by artists Michael Zwack and Robert Longo, that featured ten local bands; including Rhys Chatham's The Gynecologists, Communists, Glenn Branca's Theoretical Girls, Terminal, Rhys Chatham's Tone Death and Daily Life.[1] The final two days of the show featured DNA and the Contortions on Friday, followed by Mars and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks on Saturday.[1] English musician and producer Brian Eno, who had originally come to New York to produce the second Talking Heads album More Songs About Buildings and Food, was in the audience.[1] Impressed by what he saw and heard, and advised by Diego Cortez to do so, Eno was convinced that this movement should be documented and proposed the idea of a compilation album with himself as a producer.[2]

When Eno recorded No New York, some of the sessions were done without much of the stylized production he was known for on other artists' albums.[2] James Chance stated that the Contortions tracks were "done totally live in the studio, no separation between the instruments, no overdubs, just like a document."[2] In 1979 Eno stated in his now famous lecture, "The Studio as Compositional Tool", that, "On 'Helen Thormdale' [sic] from the No New York album, I put an echo on the guitar part's click, and used that to trigger the compression on the whole track, so it sounds like helicopter blades."[3]


No New York was released in 1978 by Antilles Records.[4] The original pressing of the LP contained a lyric sheet that was intentionally printed on the inside of the record sleeve, which forced the owner to have to tear apart the sleeve to read the lyrics.[5][6] The album was first reissued on CD by Island Records in Japan. It was reissued in 2005 by Lilith Records on vinyl and digipak form on CD.[7][8]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB+[9]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[11]

Critic Richard C. Walls, writing for Creem, described No New York as the most "ferociously avant-garde and aggressively ugly music since Albert Ayler puked all over my brain back in – what? – 64" and stated "If you're intrepid enough to want to hear this stuff (a friend, 3/4 into the first side, complained that the music was painful – she wasn't referring to any abstract reaction, she was grimacing), be advised that Antilles is a division of Island Records, which ain't exactly Transamerica Corp. You'll probably have to make a little effort to procure it, because there's no way it's going to come to you."[5]

Retrospective reviews of the album have been positive. Todd Kristel of the online music database AllMusic stated that "this seminal album remains the definitive document of New York's no wave movement", but also echoed Walls's statement from 1978, saying, "Some listeners may be fascinated by the music on No New York while others may find it unbearable".[4]

In December 2007, Blender placed the album at number 65 on their list of "The 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever".[12]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
1."Dish It Out"James ChanceContortions3:17
2."Flip Your Face"ChanceContortions3:13
4."I Can't Stand Myself"James Brown; arranged by ContortionsContortions4:52
5."Burning Rubber"Lydia LunchTeenage Jesus and the Jerks1:45
6."The Closet"LunchTeenage Jesus and the Jerks3:53
7."Red Alert"LunchTeenage Jesus and the Jerks0:34
8."I Woke Up Dreaming"LunchTeenage Jesus and the Jerks3:10
Side B
9."Helen Fordsdale"Nancy Arlen, China Burg, Mark Cunningham, Sumner CraneMars2:30
10."Hairwaves"Arlen, Burg, Cunningham, CraneMars3:43
11."Tunnel"Arlen, Burg, Cunningham, CraneMars2:41
12."Puerto Rican Ghost"Arlen, Burg, Cunningham, CraneMars1:08
13."Egomaniac's Kiss"Robin Crutchfield, Arto LindsayD.N.A.2:11
14."Lionel"Crutchfield, LindsayD.N.A.2:07
15."Not Moving"Crutchfield, LindsayD.N.A.2:40
16."Size"Crutchfield, LindsayD.N.A.2:13


Teenage Jesus and the Jerks
  • Sumner Crane – guitar, vocals
  • China Burg – guitar, vocals
  • Mark Cunningham – bass, vocals
  • Nancy Arlen – drums
Additional personnel
  • Brian Enoproducer, cover design, cover photo
  • Kurt Munkasci – engineer
  • Vishek Woszcyk – engineer
  • Roddy Hui – assistant engineer
  • Steven Keister – cover design

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 1978 Antilles Records LP AN-7067
2005 Lilith Records Digipak CD LR102


  1. ^ a b c Reynolds 2006, p. 146.
  2. ^ a b c Reynolds 2006, p. 147.
  3. ^ Eno, Brian (July 1983). "Pro Session: The Studio as Compositional Tool". DownBeat. Vol. 50, no. 7. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Kristel, Todd. "No New York – Various Artists". AllMusic. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Walls, Richard C. (April 1979). "No New York – Various Artists". Creem. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Stosuy, Brandon (November 15, 2005). "Various Artists: No New York". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  7. ^ "Catalogue / In-house labels / Lilith LP / V/A: No New York". Lilith Records. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  8. ^ "Catalogue / In-house labels / Lilith CD / V/A: No New York". Lilith Records. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  9. ^ Christgau 1981.
  10. ^ "Various Artists: No New York". Q. No. 382. March 2018. p. 117.
  11. ^ Anderson 1995, p. 272.
  12. ^ Dolan, Jon; Eells, Josh; Hermes, Will; Weiner, Jonah; Wolk, Douglas (December 2007). "The 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever — #70 to #61". Blender. No. 65. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2008.

Works cited

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]