When Wire disentangled themselves from the Harvest label back in 1979, plans to re-sign elsewhere foundered, and the band splintered as individuals pursued solo interests and more experimental musical tangents. They had, however, written and performed new Wire material, some of which they’d performed at London’s Notre Dame Hall in 1979, as captured on their 1981 posthumous live compilation Document And Eyewitness.
Having reformed a couple of times in the decades since, Wire have revisited that material written between 1979-80 and recorded fresh versions for Change Becomes Us. Consequently, fans can now play spot-the-difference between the likes of Ally In Exile (as it appeared on Document And Eyewitness) and its new incarnation as Doubles And Troubles; it’s gone from a growling guitar monster into a polished gem that would fit seamlessly on 154. In fact, the likes of Time Lock Fog, Magic Bullet, Love Bends and Keep Exhaling could have all jostled for position on that, their third LP, as Change Becomes Us sounds almost like a lost fourth Harvest release. & Much Besides, meanwhile, recalls Chairs Missing, opening like an extended version of that album’s Heartbeat, with a few minutes of angular drift before Colin Newman’s vocals appear.