Even before their first LP came out, there was a buzz in the papers about Pavement. The Wedding Present covered 'Box Elder' for a b-side, I remember an early article in the Melody Maker and another one in Alternative Press.
I specifically remember the review of the debut album in Ablaze, where the reviewer said that they had been listening to the tape for so long, and that having the lyrics in the LP changed the way they were hearing it a little. Now, the band and Matador have released that tape version to mark 30 years since the original release, and they've made it as close as they possibly can to the version that the band was shopping around labels at the time.
It's called 'Courting Shutdown Offers' and its packaged to look as close to a TDK D60 as its possible for a tape to look, with a replica of the handwritten labels and tracklisting, just like the tapes we used to make ourselves back in the day.
The music is great of course. Sure, the track order has changed a little, some of the tracks have alternate names, and a couple of tracks that got dropped for S&E are still present (neither of them will be a surprise to fans)
But it's not really about that - it's another time capsule. I remember listening to this LP 30 years ago, the raw quality of the sound deafening my ears, and realising that I had a new favourite band. The years since have been kinder to this LP, but if I could dig out one of my old Walkmans, I reckon this might be the first tape that I'd play. It's a great release, and credit to Matador and the band for the job they've done here.