Cutterpillow going 25; Circus redux/reordered


So the #ultrasecret sessions actually did happen. With each member of the band recording their tracks separately in their own studios. Maybe the “Ligaya” guitar track uploaded by Marcus Adoro on YouTube was really from these sessions, not from the rehearsals during the ‘reunion tour’ as I’ve previously mentioned. 

Come December it would be the 25th anniversary of the Eraserheads’ third and best selling record, Cutterpillow. It will be 25 years since the UP Sunken Garden sunk even further due to the huge crowd that gathered during the Cutterpillow album lunch. Honestly, I don’t know what’s in store for fans. Maybe there would another vinyl. I heard Circus is slated for 2021 release. Maybe a remastered version of Cutterpillow would be up on Spotify next month. And hopefully, with the correct song sequence.

Speaking of song sequence, you don’t have to be an eagle-eyed fan to notice that the track sequence of Eraserheads’ Circus (25th Anniversary Remastered) currently streaming on Spotify is not just ‘slightly different’ but indeed very different from the original album’s song sequence. Whereas the original opens with “Bato” and closes with “Sa Wakas” (not counting the fillers and bonus tracks, of course), this new version starts with “Wishing Wells” and ends with “Hey Jay.” So huge was the disparity that I wondered why no one cried foul.

Aside from one blog post which seems to be deleted already (Google can’t seem to locate it right now and I’m already ran out of syntax to type on the search bar), I didn’t run across anything that addressed this issue—if one can actually call this an issue—maybe most Spotify users listen to curated playlists or songs on shuffle and this track listing issue is really a non-issue. 

circus 25

At first, I thought it was one of those “liberties” artists usually take when re-releasing old materials. Like the liberties Ciudad took with Ciudad Forever, where they tinkered with and released ‘redux’ versions of old family favorites like “Monica” and “Dance Lessons.” Or like when Ely Buendia decided to not include “Walang Hiyang Pare Ko” in the remastered version of Ultraelectromagneticpop.

I thought, maybe, this was Ely Buendia’s original track sequence for Circus. Or maybe it is an alternate track sequence which Buendia reckoned was better than the original. Mind you, I’m not the biggest fan of “Bato” (an underwhelming cut) as an album opener but to start with an acoustic song isn’t in any way improving it. Opening track aside, the sequence of this “new” Act I (Side A) kind of makes sense: Sembreak, With A Smile, Alkohol, Minsan, Sa Wakas… Sa Wakas?

Yes, “Sa Wakas” is placed sixth in the album. Something’s not right. And all things go FUBAR the moment you realized that “Punk Zappa” is placed next to another Punk Zappa filler (No Royalty Album Filler No. 9). Somebody missed an assignment right there. That person had one job. And that is to submit the remastered songs to Ms. Spotify in their proper order. And bungled it. Big Time.

Speaking of taking liberties, I’ve been thinking of a ‘what if’ scenario. A ‘what if’ scenario where the Eraserheads released B-sides, where their albums were limited to contain 10 to 12 tracks each. What if the Eraserheads released B-sides? What if they didn’t put all the songs they recorded into each of their albums? I was thinking of this scenario where I would edit each of their album, change the track sequence and shorten them to just around twelve cuts. Where I get to play both god and Ely Buendia, where I decide which songs will make it to the album and which ones will be relegated as ‘B-sides.’

Starting with Circus, since Ultraelectromagneticpop has only nine songs in it (plus two fillers), I decided to cut what I thought were the weakest songs on the album: “Bato” and “Sa Wakas.” “Bato” has good riffs but the song, the lyrics and Marcus Adoro’s singing aren’t quite there yet. Ely Buendia proving the naysayers wrong isn’t cringe, but singing about it is cringe, specially when the song itself sounds like one those throwaways added just to balance the songs on both sides of the tape.

After removing the first and last song on the album, I would keep the Side A (Act I) as is. The track listing would be Sembreak, Alapaap, Hey Jay, Minsan, Punk Zappa, Insomya, With A Smile. I thought the original sequence which alternates two noisy numbers (Insomya, Alkohol) with two quiet ones (With Smile, Wishing Wells) was a bit on the nose. So, instead of opening Side B (Act II) with “Alkohol”, I’d start with “Kailan”, with its wild mix of doo-wop, grungy guitars and kundiman. Then, “Alkohol”, then I would place “Wishing Wells” as the last song, with filler “Prof. Banloi’s” as the final track, same as the original. “Wishing Wells” is a much better ending than “Sa Wakas.” 

Circus Redux 

Act I:

Hey Jay
Punk Zappa
With A Smile

Act II:

No Royalty Album Filler No. 9
Wishing Wells
Prof. Banlaoi’s Transcendental Medication After Every Six Months Or Punk Zappa Three

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