(On The Dawn’s and Eraserheads’ Respective Debut Records)
Two of the Philippine bands that I consider the most monumental, influential, and essential are The Dawn and Eraserheads. We were lucky to have been able to purchase copies of the reissued respective first albums of these two bands that were released last year.
In the mid-’80s, during the peak of what is known now as New Wave music, The Dawn was among the few local bands that made Philippine music relevant alongside the surge of British, American, Canadian, and Australian New Wave groups that dominated the scene. The Dawn’s “Enveloped Ideas,” was enough at the time to make every Filipino Rock music lover feel proud and empowered. To this day, The Dawn’s 1987-released debut record, which I had in cassette tape back in the day, remains a must-have. It was not even released in CD format. That’s why when PolyEast Records reissued it on vinyl last year, fans certainly celebrated.
Many keen-eared observers noticed that the sound of quality of the reissue paled in comparison with that of the original. Fair enough. However, for music collectors like me who had long lost our original copies of it or who never had the chance to own one before, the reissue becomes as valuable. We can only thank the record company for making The Dawn’s legendary record available again, albeit only in limited numbers.
Hands down, Eraserheads was one of the very important bands to ever grace the Philippine music scene in the 1990s. When Alternative Rock music set the international scene on fire in the said decade, many of the Philippines’ very own bands stepped up and delivered their own original dishes to the plate. Eraserheads led the pack, releasing its debut album–Ultraelectromagneticpop! (“Ligáya,” “Tindáhan ni Áling Néna,” “Tóyang,” “Malíng Akála,” “Páre Ko”)–in 1993. I bought a cassette tape of it but, unfortunately, I long lost it.
That’s the reason I was among the first in line when Offshore Records reissued a vinyl edition of the said album.
Lots of comparisons have been made concerning the sound of the originals as opposed the reissues; to me though, it doesn’t really matter. The reissues simply filled the void–thanks for that! If only the originals are still readily available to buy, then why not? But for music fans who have either long lost their originals or didn’t have copies to begin with, any reissue becomes as important and something to celebrate for.