|photo by Robert Toren|
On the 30th anniversary of Real Nighttime, the second full-length album by Game Theory, Omnivore Recordings will release an expanded reissue on March 17.
If Game Theory had broken up after their Blaze of Glory debut and the two subsequent EPs, Pointed Accounts of People You Know and Distortion, the group would rightfully be remembered alongside a slew of good second division indie-rock/ guitar pop bands of the mid-’80s that recorded for the likes of Restless, Homestead and other indie labels of that era.
If they’d somehow fast-forwarded directly to releasing the sprawling, experimental Lolita Nation double album, that might have pigeonholed the band with the legions of acts whose obscure collectible psychedelic records change hands for insane prices on eBay.
Instead what happened was this: The band connected with Mitch Easter, the producer of the moment and the man who established R.E.M. sonically as the #1 indie-guitar-pop band. Mitch’s own Let’s Active ensemble was no slouch in that department either. It also didn’t hurt that Game Theory had now connected with a real label with solid national distribution: Enigma Records.
The resulting album was 1985’s Real Nighttime, which put the band right were it belonged, alongside R.E.M., the Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, and the Three O’Clock as one of the premier American indie bands crisscrossing the country in a rental van, carrying gear in and out of small clubs by night and serenading college radio stations by day.
Real Nighttime has been described as not only perhaps the most fully realized album of Game Theory’s career — every song is a gem. (And they were among the first to commit a Big Star song to wax — before the Bangles and countless others.) The LP is also considered one of the highlights of Mitch Easter’s production career, which he explains in detail on a new exclusive interview (conducted by reissue co-producer Pat Thomas) contained in the liner notes.
Furthermore there’s a bucketful of solid, previously unheard bonus tracks and an essay by Forced Exposure magazine’s Byron Coley, another stalwart of the ’80s indie era to put it all into perspective (and who was turned on to the band by the Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn when the latter worked at the Rhino Records store in Los Angeles).
“I believe Real Nighttime is a pinnacle of Scott’s early days,” Coley writes. “For all its surface flash, it’s an album that rewards deep listening. Let’s hope it makes the rounds again for a while so youngsters can unravel its beautiful mysteries.”
The album will be released across all formats; CD, LP and digital, with first pressing of the LP being made available on limited edition red vinyl. The initial 300 orders for the LP placed at www.omnivorerecordings.com will also come with a 1983 never-issued flexi of Dead Center first-come, first-served.
1. Here Comes Everybody
3. Waltz the Halls Always
4. I Mean It This Time
5. Friend Of The Family
6. If And When It Falls Apart
7. Curse Of The Frontier Land
8. Rayon Drive
9. She’ll Be A Verb
10. Real Nighttime
11. You Can’t Have Me
12. I Turned Her Away
13. Girl W/ A Guitar
14. Any Other Hand
16. Baker Street (Live)
17. The Red Baron (Live)
18. If And When It Falls Apart (Live)
19. Beach State Rocking (Live)
20. She’ll Be A Verb (Live)
21. Curse Of The Frontier Land (Live)
22. Metal And Glass Exact (Live)
23. Girl W/ A Guitar (Complete) (Live)
24. I Turned Her Away (Live)
25. Lily Of The Valley