Repeater is the full-length debut studio album by the American post-hardcore band Fugazi. It was released on April 19, 1990, as Repeater on LP, and in May 1990 onCD bundled with the 3 Songs EP as Repeater + 3 Songs. It was recorded at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia, and produced and engineered by Don Zientaraand Ted Niceley.
Repeater is often regarded as a definitive album for the band and has been described as an "angrier American update of Gang of Four's Solid Gold", it has also been noted for its complex guitar and rhythm section interplays. It is included in the book 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die.
- 2 Release and reception
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Personnel
- 5 References
- 6 External links
By 1989 Fugazi had made the transition into jamming on and writing new material as a band as opposed to playing songs composed solely by singer/guitarist Ian MacKaye. After the completion of several lengthy U.S. and European tours in support of the group's previous EPs, they began to work on new material as well as refining songs that they had already been performing live, such as "Merchandise" and "Turnover" the latter of which was originally titled "NSA".
The band once again chose to work with both Don Zientara and Ted Niceley as they had previously, and entered Inner Ear Studios in July 1989 to begin the recording process. The group was only able to record with Nicely present between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. because Nicely was splitting his time between the studio andculinary school. Recording for the album was completed in September 1989.
The album's subject matter addresses a wide variety of themes such as greed, violence, sexuality, privacy, drug abuse and death. MacKaye told Guitar World that the album title "Is loaded on so many levels. It's actually about how things in life repeat over and over. But the title is also a rather obscure nod to The Beatles' Revolver. A record revolves and it also repeats. A revolver is also a gun, and so is a repeater. The title track is about kids repeatedly shooting each other. In Washington, D.C., in the Eighties, about 700 kids got killed during this crazy crack war."
Released on April 19, 1990, through Dischord Records, Repeater did not initially reach the Billboard 200 charts or become a commercial success. However, the band spent most of 1990 and 1991 touring heavily behind Repeater, performing a total of 250 concerts between March 1990 and June 1991, routinely selling out 1,000+ capacity venues all over the world. By summer 1991 the album had sold more than 300,000 copies, a large number for a label that relied on minimal promotion.
While major labels began to court Fugazi, the band decided that Dischord was distributing their records well enough and refused the offers. Repeater went on to sell over 1 million copies in the United States alone, and has sold more than 2 million worldwide. The album was also critically well received and featured an alternative rocksound that predated significant releases such as Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten, which would unexpectedly go on to break the genre into the mainstream.Pitchfork placed the title track at number 58 on its "Top 200 Tracks of the 90s" list.
(Lead vocals in parentheses)
- "Turnover" - 4:16 (Picciotto)
- "Repeater" - 3:01 (MacKaye)
- "Brendan #1" - 2:32
- "Merchandise" - 2:59 (MacKaye)
- "Blueprint" - 3:52 (Picciotto)
- "Sieve-Fisted Find" - 3:24 (Picciotto)
- "Greed" - 1:47 (MacKaye/Picciotto)
- "Two Beats Off" - 3:28 (Picciotto)
- "Styrofoam" - 2:34 (MacKaye)
- "Reprovisional" - 2:18 (Picciotto)
- "Shut the Door" - 4:49 (MacKaye)
- "Song #1" - 2:54 (MacKaye)
- "Joe #1" - 3:01
- "Break-In" - 1:33 (Picciotto)