Glenn Branca's 'Lesson No. 1' Gets Expanded Reissue via Superior Viaduct
Published Nov 15, 2013Reissue heads Superior Viaduct have scored a major coup for their first release of 2014, having announced that they're set to deliver a repress of no wave pioneer Glenn Branca's iconic Lesson No. 1.
The label confirms that it will be issuing the record as an expanded double-LP set on January 21, marking the first time the album has appeared on vinyl since its initial release on post-punk imprint 99 Records in 1980.
As Superior Viaduct explains, this is the first solo work from Branca, following stints with Theoretical Girls and the Static, and it shows the artist's "visionary guitar concepts with two monstrous, side-long compositions that would help forge NYC's downtown art-punk sound."
The A-side's "Lesson No.1 for Electric Guitar" is the gentler of the original release's two pieces, displaying influences like Neu! and Philip Glass via minimalist guitar work. The flipside's "Dissonance" has Branca and a band working through "block after block of industrial terror" via the use of guitar, keyboard, bass, drums and a sledgehammer.
A one-sided 12-inch included in the reissue also throws previously released track "Bad Smells" in the mix. The song had been on a split LP with John Giorno and was commissioned to accompany a dance piece for choreographer Twyla Tharp. Along with Branca, the piece includes guitar work from Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore.
Prior to Superior Viaduct's announcement, the last time Lesson No. 1 was made available was through a 2004 CD reissue on Acute, which also added Branca's "Bad Smells" and included a live video of "Symphony No. 5."
For now, listen to an excerpt of "Lesson No. 1 for Electric Guitar" below.