Dream Syndicate’s ‘Medicine Show’ reissued after 20 years

By Pat Prince

The new re-issue of the Dream Syndicate’s 1983 second album “Medicine Show” sounds fantastic. Personally, I’ve been listening to this all weekend — released this month by Water Records — and don’t be surprised if this ends up as a Goldmine Pick in the near future. The live recorded show also sounds fantastic — with songs like “Armed With an Empty Gun” sounded better than the studio version.

Water Records claims that this will be the first time the record has been available in almost 20 years. It features a brand new master that bandleader/guitarist/vocalist Steve Wynn has called “The closest I’ve ever heard to the sound I was hearing from the speakers when we were making the record,” as well as the complete 1984 live EP “This Is Not The New Dream Syndicate Album…Live!” and liner notes by Wynn and Rolling Stone writer David Fricke. Wynn has often called “Medicine Show” his favorite of the band’s four studio albums.

Peter Buck, whose band REM took the Syndicate on tour in the US for two months following the record’s release, states on the album, “The sound of the Medicine Show is the sound of a band road tested and battle ready.” This is a true, because the band had spent 5 months in the studio with producer Sandy Pearlman (Blue Oyster Cult, The Clash) creating these numbers.

Peter Buck then goes on to say that “this is an Exile On Main Street for the ‘80s. Blood drips from every note.” A bit of an extreme statement by Buck. Nothing at all can be compared to “Exile …”, but “Medicine Show” is damn good.

“Medicine Show” was produced by Sandy Pearlman at the fabled Automat Studios in San Francisco in 1983 and originally
released in April 1984.

“Medicine Show” Tracklisting:
01-Still Holding On To You
02-Daddy’s Girl
03-Burn
04-Armed With An Empty Gun
05-Bullet With My Name On It
06-Medicine Show
07-John Coltrane Stereo Blues
08-Merrittville
09-Tell Me When It’s Over (Live)
10-Bullet With My Name On It (Live)
11-Armed With An Empty Gun (Live)
12-Medicine Show (Live)
13-John Coltrane Stereo Blues (Live)

“Medicine Show” is not swamped on eBay. There are always some to choose from, around the $20 range.
Check out some “Medicine Show” vinyl on eBay.

For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• Get a digital back issue of one of our Whitesnake cover stories(August 15, 2008). How ’80s is that!
• Or check out a fun book on pop music: “The Everything Pop Culture Crosswords Book, Test your knowledge of trivia and trends with 150 pop culture puzzles!”

• And be sure to check out our latest Goldmine Record Album Price Guide

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