The Modern Dance

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The Modern Dance
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1978
RecordedOctober 1976; January 1977; November 1977
StudioCleveland Recording and Suma Studios, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • Pere Ubu
  • Ken Hamann
Pere Ubu chronology
The Modern Dance
Dub Housing
Singles from The Modern Dance
  1. "Street Waves"
    Released: October 12, 1976[1]
  2. "The Modern Dance"
    Released: August 25, 1977[2]

The Modern Dance is the debut 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.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA−[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[5]
The Independent[6]
Record Mirror[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[10]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[11]

The Modern Dance has been critically acclaimed. Reviewing for The Village Voice in 1978, 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."[13] In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), he reaffirmed that "the highs are worth it, and the failed stuff ain't bad" in his revised review.[4] Ken Tucker, writing in Rolling Stone, called it vivid and exhilarating, even if "harsh and willfully ugly".[14]

NME named The Modern Dance the 11th best album of 1978.[15] Fact placed the record at number 31 on its list of the 100 best albums of the 1970s.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Pere Ubu (David Thomas, Tom Herman, Allen Ravenstine, Tony Maimone and Scott Krauss), except where noted.

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
6."Life Stinks"Peter Laughner1:52
7."Real World" 3:59
8."Over My Head" 3:48
9."Sentimental Journey" 6:05
10."Humor Me" 2:44


Pere Ubu

  • David Thomas – vocals, musette, percussion, production
  • Tom Herman – guitar, backing vocals, production
  • Allen RavenstineEML 101 and 200 analog synthesizers, saxophone, tapes, production
  • Tony Maimone – bass, piano, backing vocals, production
  • Scott Krauss – drums, production
  • Tim Wright – bass guitar on "The Modern Dance" and "Sentimental Journey", production


  • 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. ^ Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970–1982. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 41. ISBN 0879308486.
  2. ^ Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970–1982. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 84. ISBN 0879308486.
  3. ^ Dougan, John. "The Modern Dance – Pere Ubu". AllMusic. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved November 20, 2007.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Pere Ubu". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  6. ^ Gill, Andy (July 28, 2006). "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". The Independent.
  7. ^ Perry, Andrew (October 2006). "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". Mojo. No. 155.
  8. ^ "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". Q. p. 123. [I]f you're curious about the original post-punks, The Modern Dance remains absolutely essential.
  9. ^ Westwood, Chris (April 1, 1978). "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". Record Mirror. p. 13.
  10. ^ Coleman, Mark; Matos, Michaelangelo (2004). "Pere Ubu". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 626–27. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  11. ^ Weisbard, Eric (1995). "Pere Ubu". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 291–93. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  12. ^ Stubbs, David (August 2006). "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance". Uncut. No. 111.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 27, 1978). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Tucker, Ken (June 1, 1978). "Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance / The Suicide Commandos: Make a Record". Rolling Stone. No. 266. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  15. ^ "1978 Best Albums And Tracks Of The Year". NME. October 10, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Kelly, Chris; Lea, Tom; Muggs, Joe; Morpurgo, Joseph; Beatnick, Mr.; Ravens, Chal; Twells, John (July 14, 2014). "The 100 best albums of the 1970s". Fact. Retrieved February 28, 2018.

External links[edit]