838 237-1 Cloudland
Produced by Paul Hamann, Stephen Hague, Dave Meegan, Daniel Miller, Rico Conning
Released on May 1989
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
838 237-1 cover
[high resolution photo]

T he first Pere Ubu album I owned and nearly the last. It had a handful of good songs: “The Waltz,” “Why Go It Alone?,” “Love Love Love.” But it mostly sounded like Mumbling Heads. Then I tuned into the early stuff, understood theirs was a calculated strangeness which carried no debt, slapped on the headphones and woke up in the clouds. (Thus the 3-4 star split.) I’ve read that this is their most commercial album, but such an animal is a myth, like Pauly Shore’s funniest film. Cloudland is conventional on the surface (“Breath”), in spots (“Race the Sun”), when Stephen Hague mishandles the production. His four tracks clump the peres together; Paul Hamann sorts them better. The first Hamann track to roll around, “Cry,” sets an edgier tone for the album, and by the time “Why Go It Alone?” arrives we’re home again. Pere Ubu works best when everything’s not quite right, when chaos has the advantage over order. Hague seems to want to tidy up the loose ends, when it’s the unraveling that makes them interesting. Although it wasn’t (to my knowledge) issued as a single, “Waiting for Mary” did produce a video that (apparently) appeared on MTV (I didn’t see it. It also “charted” as a modern rock track, which the numberer in me always chafes at. We know the artistic failings of the sales-based chart system, and creating an “alternative” chart system is just confusing. One chart, one world, I say.) I don’t see Cloudland as essential Ubu, mainly because their essence was agitation, and little remained to be stirred up in 1989. But the notion that Ubu still stalks the jungle (in Cloudland or any other climate) is just the sort of bugbear we need to keep us from growing complacent.

838 237-1 back cover 838 237-1 lyric sleeve
838 237-1 back cover 838 237-1 lyric sleeve


  1. BREATH    3:58
  2. RACE THE SUN    3:25
  3. CRY    2:33
  4. WHY GO IT ALONE?    2:49
  5. WAITING FOR MARY    3:29
  6. ICE CREAM TRUCK    2:48
  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE    (David Thomas/Scott Krauss/Peter Laughner/Tom Herman/Dave Taylor/Tim Wright, arr. by Tony Maimone/Chris Cutler/Jim Jones/Allen Ravenstine/David Thomas/Scott Krauss)    3:26
  9. LOST NATION ROAD    2:16
  10. NEVADA!    3:20
  11. FLAT    2:23
  12. THE WALTZ    3:30
  13. PUSHIN'    2:27
  14. MONDAY NIGHT    2:15

    All songs written by David Thomas/Allen Ravenstine/Chris Cutler/Tony Maimone/Jim Jones/Scott Kruass unless noted


JIM JONES -- guitar, vocals
TONY MAIMONE -- bass, vocals
ALLEN RAVENSTINE -- eml synthesizers, vocals
DAVID THOMAS -- vocals
Stephen Hague -- some keyboards
Dave Meegan -- engineer, mixing
Paul Hamann -- engineer
Daniel Miller -- mixing
Rico Conning -- mixing
Dave Bates -- executive producer
John Thompson -- design, photos
Pointblanc -- artwork

Kathy Ward -- photos
return to PERE UBU discography

US/UK May 1989 Fontana LP/CS 838 237-1/4 lyric sleeve


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