The prized New Zealand duo of Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate – announce Unravelled: 1981–2002. The 4-LP or 2-CD set compiles 55 songs from Tall Dwarfs’ two decades of recordings, shining a loving light on the lo-fi pioneers. The LP edition is pressed on 180g vinyl housed in two gatefold jackets and includes a 20-page collector’s booklet of photos, comics, posters, and other ephemera, all packaged in a slipcase.
After a failed flirtation with success in their previous band Toy Love, Knox and Bathgate formed Tall Dwarfs in 1981, opting to record themselves on a 4-track reel-to-reel. New Zealand’s AudioCulture wrote of the duo’s project: “Early live performances were a ramshackle work in progress. Knox described them in an interview with American magazine Forced Exposure as ‘two minutes of song followed by five minutes of fucking around,’” and they dismayed many Toy Love fans – but the pair had no interest in a career spent in pubs cranking out 'Pull Down the Shades'.
The songs on Unravelled: 1981–2002 were curated by Bathgate, who also designed the box set packaging; Chris Knox suffered a debilitating stroke in 2009 just as they had started work on a new album. The collection captures the different sides of Tall Dwarfs in 55 songs. Though the band was an excuse for two good friends who lived in different cities to get together, drink beer, watch shitty old movies, and do some recording and drawing, Tall Dwarfs created music unlike anyone else. Capturing the initial excitement of creation and taking pride in what they did, Knox and Bathgate showed a whole generation of musicians what could be done at home on a 4-track and what magic could be made if you mixed pop melodies and hooks galore with homemade sounds.
1. Nothing's Going To Happen2. Luck Or Loveliness3. All My Hollowness To You4. Maybe5. Pictures On The Floor6. Clover7. Paul's Place8. The Brain That Wouldn't Die9. Walking Home10. Beauty11. Turning Brown And Torn In Two12. Crush13. Shade For Today14. Pretty Poison15. Carpetgrabber16. Sleet17. Burning Blue18. Woman (Live)19. Road And Hedgehog20. Attack Of The Munchies21. The Slide22. Waltz Of The Good Husband23. Cant24. Dog25. The Winner26. Bodies27. Sign The Dotted Line28. Rorschach29. Pirouette30. Wings31. Lowlands32. Oatmeal33. Think Small34. Life Is Strange35. We Bleed Love36. More 5437. Entropy38. Bee To Honey39. Self-Deluded Dreamboy (In A Mess)40. The Green, Green Grass Of Someone Else's Home41. The Severed Head Of Julio42. Two Minds43. Jesus The Beast44. Albumen45. Cruising With Cochran46. Fatty Fowl In Gravy Stew47. The Ugly Mire Of Deep Held Feelings48. Gluey, Gluey49. Round These Walls50. Room To Breathe51. Time To Wait52. Baby It's Over53. We Are the Chosen Few54. The Fatal Flaw Of The New55. Over The Hill