After I moved back to NY in 1999 I was definitely not well off. Having recently abandoned a poorly-chosen career I was starting over at nearly age 30, and I was dirt-poor. When Boredoms put out anything new, I would buy the import as soon as it came out (usually $35 or so) because the U.S. version was always up to a year or more away. Some of their e.p.s didn’t come out in the states for more than a decade so I had no alternative, because even a few weeks delay was torture. What’s more is that the Japanese version often had better artwork and packaging. My unswerving love for this band will be discussed in a future column. Suffice to say that I have remained a rabid fan for almost 20 years now. Back to the point though. When “Vision Creation Newsun” first came out, it was only available as a deluxe box set from Japan.
I was so broke that $150 or so was an unthinkable sum but I took out a credit card that I shouldn’t have just to buy the thing. It is this sort of irrationality and slavish devotion that this band has caused in this fickle and cynical music consumer. As for the album itself, it was the culmination of what they had been building towards since their shake up of the mid-90s. And like all great albums, what you get out of it on listen one is a fraction of what comes on successive plays. If this had been my entire music budget for two years it would have been a better choice than all the other records I could have bought.
I chose the album not just because it would probably rate as my all-time favorite, but because it ticks off so many boxes of greatness. The record is challenging in that it has almost no lyrics save for the title being chanted in the first song and some other extraneous and unintelligible words sprinkled throughout. Similarly, you could listen to it as one single track, I actually have a version of it in iTunes ripped that way because it works so well. As such, it eschews a format of song followed by song for a long and flowing whole. On the flip side, this record is ridiculously accessible. I have a friend who used to work in a record store around the time this was released and, just like a scene out of “High Fidelity”, he would at least be asked about the record, if not sell a copy, every time he played it in-store.
Anyway, more gushing and specifics yet to come…