The Modern Dance

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The Modern Dance
Studio album by Pere Ubu
Released January 1978
Recorded October 1976; January 1977; November 1977
Studio Cleveland Recording and Suma Studios, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Genre Art punk[1]
Length 36:20
Label Blank
  • Pere Ubu
  • Ken Hamann
Pere Ubu chronology
The Modern Dance
Dub Housing

The Modern Dance is the debut studio album by American rock band Pere Ubu. It was released in January 1978 by record label Blank.

A 5.1 surround sound version was released as the DVD-Audio side of a DualDisc in 2005.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Pere Ubu (David Thomas, Tom Herman, Allen Ravenstine, Tony Maimone and Scott Krauss), except as noted.

Side one
  1. "Non-Alignment Pact" – 3:18
  2. "The Modern Dance" – 3:28
  3. "Laughing" – 4:35
  4. "Street Waves" – 3:04
  5. "Chinese Radiation" – 3:27
Side two
  1. "Life Stinks" (Peter Laughner) – 1:52
  2. "Real World" – 3:59
  3. "Over My Head" – 3:48
  4. "Sentimental Journey" – 6:05
  5. "Humor Me" – 2:44

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record Guide A−[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[3]
The Great Rock Discography 9/10[4]
Q 4/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 10/10[7]

The Modern Dance has been critically acclaimed. In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau wrote that "even though there's too much Radio Ethiopia and not enough 'Redondo Beach,' he would be "listening through the failed stuff—the highs are worth it."[8] Christgau later raised his initial B+ rating a notch and re-affirmed that "the highs are worth it, and the failed stuff ain't bad" in his revised review.[2] At the same time, Ken Tucker, writing in Rolling Stone, called it vivid and exhilarating, even if "harsh and willfully ugly".[9]


Pere Ubu
  • S. W. Taylor – sleeve artwork
  • Ken Hamann – engineering, production
  • Mike Bishop – engineering assistance
  • Paul Hamann – engineering assistance
  • Mik Mellen – sleeve photography

Release history[edit]

Year of Release Place of Release Format Label
1978 United States Vinyl LP Blank
1981 United Kingdom Vinyl LP Rough Trade
1988 United Kingdom Vinyl LP Fontana
1988 Germany CD Fontana
1998 United Kingdom CD Cooking Vinyl
1998 United States CD DGC
1999 Italy Vinyl LP Get Back
2005 Europe DualDisc Silverline
2007 United States Vinyl LP Blank
2008 United Kingdom CD Cooking Vinyl
2015 United Kingdom & United States CD and Vinyl LP Fire Records (UK)


  1. ^ a b Dougan, John. "The Modern Dance – Pere Ubu". AllMusic. Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". Retrieved November 20, 2007. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-857-12595-8. 
  4. ^ "Acclaimed Music". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  5. ^ "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". Q: 123. [I]f you're curious about the original post-punks, THE MODERN DANCE remains absolutely essential.  Cited at "The Modern Dance CD". Retrieved October 16, 2006. 
  6. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly, eds. (1992). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. ISBN 0-679-73729-4. 
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 27, 1978). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ Tucker, Ken (June 1, 1978). "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance / The Suicide Commandos: Make a Record". Rolling Stone (266). Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved August 29, 2007. 

External links[edit]