top of page
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Tragic Figures expanded re-issue - Deluxe Edition LP
On the 40th Anniversary of the original release of one of L.A.’s most unique bands of the early 80’s, Independent Project Records has collaborated with Real Gone Music to re-issue an expanded version of Savage Republic’s Tragic Figures LP, complete with an entire second album of mostly previously unreleased recordings. These bonus tracks were recorded in the concrete parking garages at UCLA in 1981, from where the band emerged in the fertile, arty post-punk scene of Southern California during which they performed their unique audio rituals at various underground clubs such as the Brave Dog, Al’s Bar and the Anticlub. Tragic Figures brings to mind aspects of PiL, Can, Faust, Flipper, Einstürzende Neubauten, Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca, but really sounds like no one else before or since.
As Real Gone’s Gordon Anderson writes: 
“Welcome to the world’s first (and only) post-punk-industrial-trance- psychedelic-surf album! The fact that it took us so many adjectives to describe Tragic Figures lets you know just how unique of an album it is. Sure, there are echoes of other artists, like krautrock legends Can and Faust, post-punkers Public Image Limited (Savage Republic opened for PiL on their 1982 West Coast dates), avant-garde guitar players like Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, scrap metal industrialists Einstürzende Neubauten, and Bay Area sludgecore nihilists Flipper—but really, this unlikely product of (mostly) UCLA undergrads sounds like no other record before or since.


And only adding to Tragic Figures’ mystique are its graphics, which displayed band co-founder Bruce Licher’s trademark letterpress printing and featured a UPI photo of rebels being executed in Kurdistan, the ghostly images sharing space with a red lettering that gave the album’s title in script that roughly translated “tragic figures” into Arabic (which, in turn, had the unexpected effect of drawing more Iranian and Middle Eastern people to their shows)! Tragic Figures wasn’t just a bold musical statement; it was an objet d’art in its own right.


For its 40th anniversary edition, we at Real Gone Music worked with Bruce Licher to preserve and expand on the magical, talismanic quality of the initial release. The original album has been remastered from the original tapes by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision, while both the CD and LP editions boast an extra disc of largely unreleased rehearsal recordings taped in the bowels of UCLA parking garages, where the band used to practice to take advantage of the extended reverb afforded by all the concrete surfaces (imagine being an unwitting undergrad happening upon this unearthly din coming out of nowhere)!


Richie Unterberger’s liner notes feature interviews with band members Licher, Philip Drucker, and Jeff Long, and the CD and LP come with the original cover graphics expanded into a six-panel digipak and a gatefold jacket pressed in heavyweight “chipboard” paper stock, respectively. Finally, the LP pressing is in red vinyl limited to 2000 copies. Clear your calendar and set aside a couple of hours to listen to Tragic won’t end up where you started.”
For this Deluxe Edition, IPR and Real Gone have produced a very limited numbered edition of 300 copies on natural clear vinyl, literally wrapped in Bruce Licher’s die cut hand-letterpress printed packaging, printed using the original photo-engraved printing plates and linoleum blocks used on the original edition 40 years ago. This stunning package features a letterpress-printed inner wraparound sleeve inside the outer die cut letterpress printed jacket, and also includes an additional 2-sided insert only available in this deluxe edition featuring several previously unseen photos of Savage Republic in action at Al’s Bar in mid-1982 captured by esteemed punk photographer Edward Colver. In addition to these photos, this special insert features commentary and memories of a wide range of musician and industry fans of the band and album, including contributions from Mike Watt, Grant-Lee Phillips, Michael Stipe, Kendra Smith, Joe Carducci, Jeffrey Clark, Fredrik Nilsen, Nels Cline, Adam Davis, Stuart Swezey, Daniel Voznick, Biba Kopf, Gordon Anderson, Robin Rimbaud, Pat Thomas, Juan Gomez, and Marnie Weber. This Limited, Deluxe Edition is only being sold via mail-order from IPR and Real Gone Music, and is not available in stores. Don’t wait to grab a copy of this historic release and immerse yourself in Savage Republic’s unique and visceral world view.


LP One Side One
1. When All Else Fails…
2. Attempted Coup: Madagascar
3. The Ivory Coast
4. Next to Nothing
5. Exodus

LP One Side Two
1. Machinery
2. Zulu Zulu
3. Real Men
4. Flesh That Walks
5. Kill the Fascists!
6. Procession

LP Two Side One
1. Attempted Coup: Madagascar
2. When All Else Fails
3. Kill the Fascists!
4. Real Men
5. The Vampire Bites
6. Next to Nothing Weirdness
7. Thee Three Preserves

LP Two Side Two
1. Sliding into Arabia
2. As It Was Written
3. Procession (Into the Light)
4. Exodus

SAVAGE REPUBLIC Tragic Figures expanded re-issue - Deluxe Edition LP