top of page
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Tragic Figures expanded re-issue - Red Vinyl 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.”

This edition was pressed on red vinyl and is packaged in a beautifully-designed (by Bruce Licher) gatefold jacket printed by offset lithography on brown chipboard, with a folding insert featuring liner notes by Richie Unterberger.

SAVAGE REPUBLIC Tragic Figures expanded re-issue - Red Vinyl Edition LP

    bottom of page