Mission Of Burma – Learn How: The Essential Mission of Burma – CD
Fire Records are bringing together some of Mission of Burmas best loved tracks in a two disc deluxe compilation Learn How: The Essential Mission of Burma, that will herald the labels reissue series of all of the bands output as well as serving as an introduction to the band for the uninitiated. Jumping out of the starting gate with their most explosive and beloved track ‘Academy Fight Song’ and moving chronologically through their back catalogue, the double disc package focuses on their early career on disc one and moves on to their triumphant comeback after a twenty-two year hiatus on disc two.
Mission of Burma formed in 1979 and disbanded in 1983, after establishing themselves as one of the most progressive, important, and loud bands in American rock. During this period they released just one full-length album Vs as well as several extremely influential singles and their debut EP Signals, Calls, and Marches. They reformed in 2002 to inspire one of the most successful comebacks in punk rock history, picking up precisely where they left off to produce four further astonishing records everything as good, if not better, than their earlier material with ONoffON (2004), The Obliterati (2006), The Sound and Speed of Light (2009) and Unsound (2012).
Hailing from Boston, Roger Miller, Clint Conley and Peter Prescott formed the core of the band, with Martin Swope brought in as audio engineer and to add tape loops (Bob Weston from Shellac took over this role after the band reformed).
The band signed to Boston’s Ace of Hearts Records in 1979, where legendary owner and producer Rick Harte honed their wild sound in to something more commercially viable. He recorded their first single “Academy Fight Song”/”Max Ernst”, which went on to be a roaring success. Much more than just the head of a label, Harte worked closely with Burma in those early days releasing the Signals, Calls and Marches EP, the Vs album and The Horrible Truth About Burma. From his loving care over the recording and packaging of the records to his enthusiastic championing of the band, Harte proved to be a pivotal and vital part of their development and history.
Mission of Burma’s live shows achieved legendary status as being some of the loudest, most intense and ear battering concerts on the circuit, although these were to prove their downfall as Miller developed severe tinnitus.
Although commercial success seemed to elude them, at the height of their early career Mission of Burma shared stages with the likes of Sonic Youth, Pere Ubu Gang Of Four, Black Flag and other icons of underground rocks golden era. However, the constant strain of tinnitus took its toll on Roger Miller who had to abandon performing causing the band to split in 1983, seemingly on the brink of critical and commercial acceptance. Following the break-up their musical influence took on mythic form with numerous bands citing Burma’s influence by covering them including REM, Moby, Blur’s Graham Coxon and Syd Straw, among others.
The members pursued other projects including Roger Millers with Birdsongs of The Mesozoic, The Binary System, Alloy Orchestra and No Man, Clint Conleys Consonant (as well as production duties on Yo La Tengo’s first album, Ride The Tiger), and Peter Prescott’s Volcano Suns, Kustomized and Peer Group. They reunited in January 2002 for a series of shows that gave way to more shows and eventually to 2004s ONoffON.
No one expected them to just keep putting out records following their reunion, let alone records that were every bit as essential and fresh as their seminal early recordings. Their first album Vs is down in the annals of time as being one of the most important post-punk records of all time. Their subsequent recordings have just been expanding on that and growing in scope, de