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Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck
Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Wire
Title: Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mute U.S.
Original Release Date: 1/1/1988
Re-Release Date: 4/4/2000
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, New Wave & Post-Punk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724596911129, 018777257749, 018777331418, 018777331449, 0724357819152, 5016025610549, 724357819152

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CD Reviews

Money spine paper lung
W. K. Miller | NC, USA | 08/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A Bell is a Cup is clearly Wire's most accessible album. Chock full of pop ditties with danceable rhythms and shimmering guitars, it roughly fit the late eighties landscape of pop music in the UK. There are no assaultative guitars, no punk-propelled drums on ABIAC. The songs are pop sugar, but not so simple. The lyrics are often bizarre and obtuse (of course!), and even the themes are hard to discern. Just as angular, weird, and incomprehensible as their first 4 full-length albums, ABIAC is a smoother listen, and very enjoyable at the same time.A few of these tracks you may have heard on other Wire albums. A warning-- "The Finest Drops" herein is outshone many times over by the version on the IBTABA album a few years later. "Come Back in Two Halves" is one of the quartet's finest few minutes, and the magnificent single "Kidney Bingoes" is perhaps their best known song, and one of their best. The bonus tracks, such as the live version of "Drill" (the best, in my opinion) and the remarkable "Pieta" are not jetsam from wasted studio time, but marvelous tracks that help balance out the work as a whole.With only a few disappointing tracks, such as "The Finest Drops" and "The Queen of Ur" (you might need amphetamines to stay awake during this one, folks), A Bell is a Cup (ABIAC) is one of Wire's finest albums, and worth more than a few listens.Also, fans of Wire-- if you haven't seen a CD called WHORE, which is a 21-song tribute to Wire, you really should. It's worth it... Wire songs interpreted by various rock and pop bands in many styles. Only one of the songs from ABIAC is on WHORE, but for fans of both Wire's early period in the late 1970s and their smoother pop period in the 1980s, WHORE is a good bet to please.ken32"
Lock Up Your Hats
Nicholas S. Blakey | Jamaica Plain, MA USA | 08/21/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A BELL IS A CUP... was Wire's second album in its much misunderstood "second phase", a period which proved, like all of Wire's history, unpredictable and eventually rewarding to those willing to take the time to invest in listening without predjudice, which in all fairness proved excruciatingly hard for those raised on PINK FLAG and CHAIRS MISSING. A BELL IS A CUP... is essentially an update of some of the waters charted on 1979's 154 (and to some extent Colin Newman's solo albums), but whereas 154 presented anger, frustration, and confusion amid warmth and lushness, A BELL IS A CUP... preserves the lushness without much of the warmth. And trading in the anger of their younger years, Wire took to exploring oblique political commentary and careful observation of the world around them instead. A BELL IS A CUP... contains some of the finest songs of the second phase: the absolute pop of "Kidney Bingos" and "Silk Skinned Paws", both of which contain biting political statements underneath the melody, and "The Queen of Ur And The King Of Um", "Boiling Boy", "The Finest Drops", and "It's A Boy", the last three of which were improved upon in their re-made versions contained on 1989's IBTABA. Much of the problem with this record is not in the songs themselves or the performances, but rather in the over-produced nature of the album as well as some now very dated synthesizer work and electronics which tend to get in the way of what it seems the band were trying to achieve (in which they were successful on SNAKEDRILL, IBTABA, THE FIRST LETTER, and WIRVIEN). So whereas many felt IBTABA somewhat redundant when it appeared a year after A BELL IS A CUP..., in retrospect the re-worked versions make more sense now. In one further note, the band further stripped down "Silk Skin Paws" and "Boiling Boy" on their recent tour, presenting them in guitar/bass/drums format with NO electronics whatsoever and displaying the very best, if not widely available, versions yet. Included as bonus tracks are an alternate version of "The Queen of Ur...", the B-side "Pieta", and two cool live tracks: a neat "Over Theirs" and a ferocious "Drill", which is worth the price of the CD alone."
Deceptive light-pop
Mike | North Bergen, NJ | 04/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"At first notice, Bell Is A Cup is quickly Wire's most light, pop-oriented record. Many would agree that this is the case when talking about such songs like "Kidney Bingos" and "Queen Of Ur...". Most of the songs here are extremely catchy and don't seem to have the nihilistic or melodramatic vibe that their other alubms have. Yet, their lyrics are still pretty schizophrenic "Money spines, paper lung" "Lies fly in-formation".

Funny how the music in Bell is so catchy and even your basic pop addict could get hooked to this cd. Yet the lyrics will change all that, most likely throwing them off just as quick. Despite that notion, Bell still remains Wire's most easy-listening record to date.