Red Red Meat, Bunny Gets Paid (Deluxe Reissue)

Red Red Meat, Bunny Gets Paid (Deluxe Reissue)

Bunny Gets Paid is Red Red Meat’s best album, and one of the best albums of the ’90s, period. Red Red Meat’s woozy grandeur came to fruition on Bunny Gets Paid, with its warped, thrilling arrangements, its skewed, slightly Beefheartian groove, and striking, beautiful, and epic melodies. RRM loved doing things that were completely counterintuitive and putting them together, and on BGP, it resulted in total brilliance. It’s a masterpiece, full of brilliant songs by everybody in the band, but particularly Tim Rutili’s stunning songs, with his strangely soulful voice the backbone of the album. So if you wanted to reissue a RRM album, the Bunny Gets Paid was the one to start with.

The bonus songs are fascinating. The 4-track demo of “Chain Chain Chain” shows that the band was more than just a sonic explosion — the version with Rutili’s guitar and vocals are just as compelling as the version on the album, with its wacky woodblock clattering, loopy guitars, and epic harmonies. The single version of “Idiot Son” is, perversely enough, longer than the album version, but it’s just as exciting, with its huge keyboard riffs, ragged harmonies, and dubby sonic skewing. The Cleversly version of “Carpet of Horses” is slightly faster and revved up much more, with big distorted electric guitars in place of the acoustics on the original, taking the song up to levels Neil Young would be proud of.

But the original is still just as amazing as it ever was. The original version of “Chain Chain” (for some reason the released version is called “Chain Chain,” while the demo was called “Chain Chain”) was one of those moments of perfection, with massive guitar chords, sneaky melodic guitar riff, and brilliant chorus and harmonies — just an unbelievably good song. That’s the song everybody will still be requesting when Rutili is 75.

“Rosewood, Wax, Voltz + Glitter” is an even bigger rock song, with an anthemic melody, a totally wacked-out guitar solo, and more brilliant riffage from Rutili. “Buttered” is a beautiful, stripped-down acoustic number by Rutili, with pretty violin parts, and restrained feedback; a highly unlikely combination, but it works perfectly. Just like everything on the album.

The time was ripe for this reissue. Tragically, Bunny Gets Paid hadn’t been available for a few years, and the idea of creating a deluxe edition was inspired. There are a couple of tracks on the bonus disk that would be for fans only, but all the other songs would be of interest even to casual fans. Plus, everybody will love hearing the “Chain Chain Chain” demo — that song is worth the bonus disk alone. The other songs are fascinating as well, and match well what appeared on the regular album. Way to go, Sub Pop! This reissue was a brilliant idea all the way around.

(Feature photo by Jim Newberry.)

(Sub Pop Records -- 2013 4th Ave. 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA. 98121; http://www.subpop.com/; Red Red Meat -- http://www.myspace.com/redredmeatmusic)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Sunday, February 20th, 2011. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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One Response to “Red Red Meat, Bunny Gets Paid (Deluxe Reissue)”

  1. Charlie Horshack on February 21st, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Oh man, I LOVE this album. One of my all-time favorites.

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