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Add It Up (1981–1993) (Vinyl)

PLU: 888072227422
Format - 2LP
Genre - Alternative
Release Date - 28/05/21
5.0 (1)

The textbook American cult band of the ‘80s, Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision; raw and jittery, the trio’s music found little commercial success but nonetheless emerged as the soundtrack for the lives of troubled adolescents the world over.

Their self-titled 1983 debut was a blueprint for legions of sardonic alternative rockers that would follow, and they continued their blend of searing, darkly humorous lyrics and sharp-edged folk-rock on other standout albums like 1991’s Why Do Birds Sing.

Violent Femmes formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the early ‘80s, made up on singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo. After being discovered by the Pretenders’ James Honeyman-Scott while they were busking on the street, the band signed to Slash and issued their self-titled debut, a melodic folk-punk collection which struck an obvious chord with young listeners who felt a strong connection to bitter, frustrated songs like “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off” and “Add It Up.” Though never a chart hit, the album remained a rite of passage for succeeding generations of teen outsiders, and after close to a decade after release, it finally achieved platinum status

40 years on, Violent Femmes’ legacy remains strong, while their influence can be heard across multiple genres—from the anti-folk movement of the early 2000s to the chart-topping hits of Barenaked Ladies, and the indie-pop of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. In 2014, Popmatters declared that the folk-punk pioneers “may have very quietly been one of the most important rock bands of the 1980s, if not the past quarter-century…[They] celebrated the simplicity of pop music from the fringes, attacking convention with a mix of humor and violence.” Pitchfork argued that “The Femmes don’t signify an era so much as a time of life,” adding that “for young people growing up in the internet age” their music “is part of a shared language.”

First released in 1993, this 23-track compilation features Violent Femmes biggest hits, including “Blister in the Sun,” “American Music,” and “Gone Daddy Gone,” plus live recordings of favorites like “Add It Up,” and “Kiss Off,” alongside a trove of demos, B-sides, interstitial voice recordings, and rarities.

Add It Up (1981-1993) draws from the band’s first five albums—documenting the trailblazing trio’s stylistic development as they rose to become one of alt-rock’s most commercially-successful acts. Offering fans more than just a compilation of hits, Add It Up also spotlights Violent Femmes’ energetic live performances—captured at the height of their career. Additionally, nearly half of the collection is devoted to rarities, including demos, B-sides, and imports that were previously unavailable in the US, at the time of Add It Up’s release. These include “I Hate the TV,” “Gimme The Car,” and “Dance, M.F., Dance!”

“With Gordon Gano's never-aging teen whine and a crack rhythm section, the Femmes have had brief moments as America's best rock & roll band. This collection captures some of them.” - Steve Knopper

Primary Format - MusicVinyl
LabelCraft Recordings / Concord
Music Genre PrimaryAlternative


  • 1. Intro
  • 2. Waiting for the Bus
  • 3. Blister in the Sun
  • 4. Gone Daddy Gone
  • 5. Gordons Message
  • 6. Gimme the Car
  • 7. Country Death Song
  • 8. Black Girls
  • 9. Jesus Walking on Water
  • 10. 36-24-36
  • 11. I Held Her in My Arms


  • 1. I Hate the TV
  • 2. America Is
  • 3. Old Mother Reagan
  • 4. Degradation
  • 5. Dance, M.F., Dance!
  • 6. Lies (Live)
  • 7. American Music
  • 8. Out the Window
  • 9. Kiss Off (Live)
  • 10. Add It Up (Live)
  • 11. Vancouver (Live)
  • 12. Johnny (Live)
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