The first three Wire albums have been reissued on Wire’s own Pink Flag label in really cool digipacks made to replicate the old vinyl artwork down to the T. In case you’ve never heard them, Pink Flag (1977), Chairs Missing (1978), and especially 154 (1979) are three of the best albums from the original punk/post-punk movement of ’76-’82 that spawned a shitstorm of influential rock ‘n’ roll groups. Wire were probably the most unique. They had the manic energy of The Sex Pistols, Clash, Ramones etc. but those groups sounded almost primitive next to Wire. Pink Flag has 21 tracks clocking in at around 35 minutes, some of them mere snippets of 40 seconds or so. None of this is thrashy though. It’s bare bones minimalist pop music that is catchy and timeless. Chairs Missing was sort of a transition album. Less ‘punk’ than Pink Flag, it found the group developing their melodic pop chops even more, especially on their breathtaking single “Outdoor Miner.” 154 is the toure de force. It’s dark and scary like the more experimental work by Bowie and Eno, but it’s far more realized. Along with Joy Division this is as intense as pop music gets; 154 feels like a creepy film soundtrrack with a punk rock edge.