Violent Femmes Collection, ‘Add It Up (1981-1993),’ Available on Vinyl For The First Time Since Initial Limited Pressing

Violent Femmes Collection, ‘Add It Up (1981-1993),’ Available on Vinyl For The First Time Since Initial Limited Pressing

Craft Recordings

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

As Violent Femmes celebrate their 40th year together, Craft Recordings is pleased to honor the band’s enduring catalog of cult classics with the long out-of-print vinyl reissue of Add It Up (1981–1993). In stores May 21st and available for pre-order today, the popular 1993 collection will also make its return to digital and streaming platforms.

The 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. Housed in a gatefold jacket, the 2-LP set was pressed at Memphis Records Pressing, with lacquers cut by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. In addition to the standard black 2-LP, a special “Blister Red Marble” edition will be available exclusively via the Violent Femmes and Craft Recordings webstores (limited 500 worldwide). Meanwhile, Indie Retailers will offer an exclusive “Aqua” pressing, and Urban Outfitters will offer a “Violet” variant.    

 Formed in 1981 by Gordon Gano (vocals, guitar), Brian Ritchie (bass), and Victor DeLorenzo (percussion), Violent Femmes caught the ears of America’s underground with their special blend of teenage angst, jittery folk-rock, and punk sensibilities. The Milwaukee group had their first big break later that year while busking outside of the city’s Oriental Theatre, where new wave stars The Pretenders were set to play that evening. The latter band’s guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott, took a liking to the young group and invited them on stage. A year later, New York Times music critic Robert Palmer wrote a glowing review of the band’s live show, comparing Gano to Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and Jonathan Richman. Amid the growing buzz, Violent Femmes signed to legendary punk label Slash Records (home to The Germs, X, and The Blasters) and, in 1983, released their self-titled debut. 

Primarily written while Gano was still in high school, Violent Femmes would become the band’s most iconic album, with Gen X anthems like “Blister in the Sun,” “Please Do Not Go,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” and the urgent “Add It Up.” Although Violent Femmes failed to chart upon its release, it was a steady seller, eventually becoming the group’s most successful and critically lauded title. Nearly a decade later, it hit the Billboard 200 (landing at No.171 in 1991) and was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

The band followed with 1984’s Hallowed Ground. While most material on Hallowed Ground is contemporaneous with the first album songs—all recorded by the Milwaukee-based producer and composer Mark Van Hecke—the tone of these songs was vastly different from their pop-forward predecessors. Instead, Hallowed Ground took an experimental turn and found Gano particularly inspired by his Christian upbringing. The band also incorporated country and American roots influences into songs like “Jesus Walking on the Water” and the unnerving “Country Death Song,” and added unexpected instrumentation into such tracks as “Black Girls,” which featured the avant-garde saxophonist, John Zorn. 

1986’s The Blind Leading the Naked found the band taking yet another sharp turn—this time towards both mainstream pop and avant-garde. Produced by the Talking Heads’ Jerry Harrison, the album featured a variety of high-profile guests, including guitarist Leo Kottke, the Stooges’ Steve Mackay, and the acclaimed experimental artist, Fred Frith. Featuring the breakneck protest song “Old Mother Reagan” and the lively “I Held Her in My Arms,” The Blind Leading the Naked brought Violent Femmes wider commercial success—both at home (where it peaked at No.84 on the Billboard 200) and abroad (landing at No.81 in the UK and No.31 in Australia).

Following a brief hiatus, the trio reunited in 1989, returning to their stripped-down roots with the acoustic 3, which featured such jaunty tracks as “Lies” and “Nightmares.” Meanwhile, 1991’s Why Do Birds Sing?, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, marked the Femmes’ final album with DeLorenzo. Co-produced with Michael Beinhorn (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hole, Soundgarden), the LP included one of the group’s most commercially successful singles, “American Music,” which hit No.2 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart.

Add It Up (1981–1993) draws from these first five albums—documenting the trailblazing band’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!

For the remainder of the ’90s, Violent Femmes continued to record new material, while their earliest songs remained in the zeitgeist, thanks to popular shows and films like My So-Called Life, Reality Bites, and Grosse Pointe Blank. After taking an extended hiatus in the late aughts, the band’s original members briefly reunited for a handful of live appearances, including a highly anticipated set at the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. This led to extensive touring and one of the Femmes’ most productive recording eras, which yielded EP Happy New Year, full LP We Can Do Anything, and radical live double LP 2 Mics and the Truth (recorded at radio station sessions and in-store performances). Most recently, Gano, Ritchie, and newcomers John Sparrow and Blaise Garza released Violent Femmes’ tenth studio album, Hotel Last Resort, in 2019.

Add It Up (1981-1993) vinyl tracklist:

Side A:

  • Intro
  • Waiting for the Bus
  • Blister in the Sun
  • Gone Daddy Gone
  • Gordon’s Message
  • Gimme the Car
  •  Side B:

  • Country Death Song
  • Black Girls
  • Jesus Walking on Water
  • 36-24-36
  • I Held Her in My Arms
  •  

    Side C:

  • I Hate the TV
  • America Is
  • Old Mother Reagan
  • Degradation
  • Dance, M.F., Dance!
  • Lies (Live)
  • American Music
  • Out the Window
  •  

    Side D:

  • Kiss Off (Live)
  • Add It Up (Live)
  • Vancouver (Live)
  • Johnny (Live)
  •  

    Listen/order

     

    *Feature image credit: Francis Ford

     

     

     

    KRS-One – You Like Me Lyrics

    As long as I’m dancin
    Actin or rappin
    Walkin around like
    I don’t know what’s happenin
    You like me (x4)

    If I’m talkin bout drinkin
    And nothin bout thinkin
    As long as I’m high
    And I never ask why
    You like me (x4)

    But the second I start with the state of the economy
    Black leadership, Black gods and Black sovereignty
    That’s when you can’t seem to follow me, confusion
    You feel like you losin, I’m no longer amusin
    This song’s about choosin, choosin why you cruisin
    Either Black entertainment or the Black Revolution
    People love to see a young Black man rap
    Until he wakes up and realize he’s caught in the trap

    So as long as I’m dancin
    Actin or rappin
    Walkin around like
    I don’t know what’s happenin
    You like me (x4)

    If I’m talking bout drinkin
    And nothin bout thinkin
    As long as I’m high
    And I never ask why
    You like me (x4)

    But the minute I get in it bout the way these rappers spit it
    The minute I start spittin that truth here comes a critic
    I freestyle off the top like removin ya yankee fitted
    But they not really checkin for skills, they want the gimmick
    Many of the challenges we face, we could solve em
    But there’s no trust, no unity, and that’s the problem
    Black people fightin amongst themselves that’s the problem
    White people fightin amongst themselves that’s the problem
    US foreign policy is simply just bomb em
    Rebels against they own government, the US arms em
    Then when things get outta hand, yeah they try to calm em
    More money, more diplomacy, just charm em
    If that doesn’t work then they move to “Osama”
    Turn him into a terrorist, so they can disarm em
    Through the corporate media, we don’t stand a chance
    But too many people wanna us to just stand and dance

    So as long as I’m dancin
    Actin or rappin
    Walkin around like
    I don’t know what’s happenin
    You like me (x4)

    If I’m talking bout drinkin
    And nothin bout thinkin
    As long as I’m high
    And I never ask why
    You like me (x4)

    You like me, you like me, you like me
    You like me, you like me, you like me

    RICK ROSS – Apple Of My Eye lyrics

    Just being somebody that the neighborhood respected
    And my mama could be proud of, was the apple of my eye
    That’s all I ever wanted, just to being something man
    At that point what else can you ask for?

    Tears running out of a nigga face
    In a room full of failures I feel out of place
    Still sleeping on the floor when you deserve better
    Got you reeking through the cold even in warm weather
    I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki, instead of beefing with your dog you just give him some distance
    We all make mistakes, lets not be to specific
    You rather be a killer than be statistic
    An never fold no I never ran
    On my soul I’ll roll like an avalanche
    I thank the lord I got some great friends
    That’s why every bottle I open I say amen
    Just had seizure at the Super Bowl
    Woke up in the third quarter looking for the smoke
    If its more then a quarter million, Ill count it twice
    Poochie broke my heart shit I call it life
    An never will I call it rite
    Not perfect but I’m the one you would call at night
    Traveling the world, I’m just reppin’ my city
    But rarely do I hear that this nigga done did it
    When niggas in fatigues will keep you intrigued
    Cause the loss of lifes the only thing that niggas believe
    So I pray you listen carefully
    Then I become another muthafuckin’ casualty

    Always speak and say right
    I just never ever walk on by
    (never ever walk on by)
    You even stop and put one in the sky
    (the sky)
    You do it for the love of you and I
    (for the love of you and..)

    Standin’ on your block but you so out of place
    Uncle on the couch, momma running out of space
    Lights off so you never tend to speak much
    Go your separate ways every time the lease up
    A fat ugly nigga thought I’d never be nothing
    Another tree stump, happy with his free lunch
    Duckin’ pigeons, I’m an eagle on a sunny day
    Flap my wings once a week, pray I glide safe
    I want fried chicken at my funeral
    Rolls Royces, dope boys, Sway interviews
    Everybody dying for the same things
    Cop kill a nigga don’t nobody gangbang
    I’m happy Donald Trump became the president
    Because we gotta destroy, before we elevate
    Real shit, look at me inside the white house
    With a pocket full of weed inside the white house
    Dead presidents tattooed on a nigga chest
    U.S. treasury addressing me, mad at my address
    Own the biggest residential pool is the US
    Drake and Kanye can invite every bitch they ever met
    Finger fuckin’ bitches in the holy water
    Then I go an tell what happened to my only daughter
    So her daddy told it to her firsthand
    Never perfect but its not just bout them purses

    Always speak and say right
    I just never ever walk on by
    (never ever walk on by)
    You even stop and put one in the sky
    (the sky)
    You do it for the love of you and I
    (yeah)

    The streets could never teach me
    All the things I got from you
    I found myself in the wrong lane
    And I ended up in pain (Pain)
    I was strolling down a dark street
    When this girl passed me by
    She said you’ve always been a good friend
    (Always been a good friend)
    And you never never never let me down
    I’ll just fall back never turn back
    Let it go let it go
    I’ll just fall back never turn back
    Let it go let it go

    Always speak and say right
    I just never ever walk on by
    (never ever walk on by)
    You even stop and put one in the sky
    (the sky)
    You do it for the love of you and I
    (for the love of you and I)

    Pink Guy – Dog Festival Directions (Pink Season Album)

    [Verse]
    If you want to eat some dog
    I have good news
    There’s an annual dog festival
    Where you can eat all the dog you want
    And it’s located in Yulin Guangxi China
    And the festival spans about ten days
    With 15 thousand dogs consumed
    And it goes from the 21st to the 30th of June
    I just wanna let you know
    I’m just tryna’ be a bro
    So you first take a flight to Guangzhou China
    Once you get off at that airport
    You wanna ask around for the Guangxi provincial bus
    And it costs 20 US dollars
    And it’s a four and a half hour ride
    And you get off at Maoming West
    Just remember Maoming West
    Now you might have to stay there a full night
    Depending on the time you arrive
    Because the next bus that goes to Yulin only runs like once a day
    And you have to buy another ticket
    It’s about another 22 bucks
    But from there it goes straight to Yulin
    Soon enough you’ll be eating some dog
    Now there are about 8 available hotels in Yulin
    I’m checking online now
    I suggest the Yulin Lijing International Hotel
    Offering a sauna, fitness center
    Wow it’s not too bad at all
    Nevermind, it’s 50 bucks a night
    But with free complementary breakfast
    And a free cancelation fee
    So it’s not a bad as I thought
    When you’re ready the concierge will know exactly which festival you’re talking about
    And he or she will give you directions
    So take a cab
    But don’t get ripped off
    If you’re white they’ll charge you double
    I shit you not
    I shit you not
    But anyways enjoy your flight
    Goodbye
    Enjoy the dog festival

    Run DMC – Jam-Master Jay (Run-Dmc Deluxe Reissue Album)

    Kick off shoes, jump on the jock
    Listen to the Jam Master as he starts to rock
    His name is Jay and he’s on his way
    To be the best DJ in the US of A

    J-a-y are the letters of his name
    Cutting and scratching are the aspects of his game
    So check out the Master as he cuts these jams
    And look at us with the mics in our hands
    Then take a count, 1 2 3
    Jam Master Jay, Run-D.M.C

    He’s Jam Master Jay, the big beat blaster
    He gets better cause he knows he has to
    In ’84 he’ll be a little faster
    And only practice makes a real Jam Master

    We’re live as can be but we’re not singing the blues
    We got to tell all y’all the good news
    The good news is that there is a crew
    Not 5, not 4, not 3, just 2
    2 MC’s who are claiming the fame
    And all other things won’t be the same
    Beacause it’s about time for a brand new group
    Run-D.M.C. to put you up on the scoop
    We make the fly girls scream in ecstacy
    We rock the freshest rhymes at a party
    We put all the fellas in a daze
    It’s everyone that we amaze
    And we got the master of a disco scratch
    There’s not a break that he can’t catch
    Jam Master Jay that is his name
    And all wild DJ’s he will tame
    Behind the turntables is where he stands
    Then there is the movement of his hands
    So when asked who’s the best, y’all should say:
    "Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay"

    Jam Master Jay is the one in charge
    It’s up to him to rock beats that are truly large
    He is the master of the scratch and cut
    So move your arms, so move your legs
    So won’t you move your butt

    We’re not talking ground, we’re not talking sky
    We’re not talking low, we’re not talking high
    We’re not talking big, we’re not talking small
    We want all of the people on off the wall
    We’re not talking night, we’re not talking day
    But we’re talking bout Jam Master Jay

    De La Soul – Memory Of… (US) (feat. Estelle & Pete Rock)

    [Hook: Estelle]
    And it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
    And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
    But you’re not easy to love
    I love the memory of…
    I remember your face, I remember your way

    [Verse 1: Estelle]
    I remember you now
    Part of my existence
    I remember your face
    You came in and got me
    All in a day
    Yeah, all in a day
    I remember your lips
    Do you remember the taste?
    Remember family names
    Your child, my child, our child
    Whitney and Dwayne
    Different to my world now
    Remember the way
    You gripped my hips so tight now?
    Slow up the pace
    Maybe erase, don’t remember my words

    [Hook: Estelle]
    Cause it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
    And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
    But you’re not easy to love
    I love the memory of…
    I remember your face, I remember your way

    [Verse 2: Posdnuos]
    How could I forget?
    A ballad was born upon a demo of a fly love song
    Didn’t take long before the archer with the wings heard it
    Shot us in the heart with a contract, he knew we were a hit
    The right amount of soul with a parallel amount of grit
    But the archer couldn’t see the target of departure
    Gave in your pink slip and called it quits
    It’s understood you would
    Label me a mate who wronged you
    Cause I kept wanting to feature
    With them other females on they songs too
    Your words spoken in mono for monogamy
    Telling me I had to go cause I chose
    Stereo for stereotypical male biology
    And now I’m left setting traps
    For you to fall in for me again
    Who hates you to tell me
    "Slow up the pace, maybe erase, don’t…"

    [Bridge: Estelle]
    Slow up the pace
    Maybe erase, don’t remember my words

    [Hook: Estelle]
    Cause it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
    And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
    But you’re not easy to love
    I love the memory of…

    [Verse 3: Dave]
    Our last trip to Vegas had me feeling like we had a chance
    But chance just showed up at the wedding
    I guess I didn’t read the heading
    "Forgive and won’t erase the bitter past"
    But I ain’t up for kissing ass
    I bought you everything your pretty feet could fit in
    Put you behind the finest steering wheels
    Fearing you would drive a nigga crazy
    Told you grow up, but shit, you was my baby
    Bits and pieces never made nothing decent
    When I accommodated you, you played me like a stranger

    [Bridge: Estelle]
    I remember you now (Accountability is major)
    A part of what I did then
    Remember your face
    Just don’t let me trip over memory lane
    Cause time can’t be replaced
    And I don’t want to stay

    [Hook: Estelle]
    Cause, oh, it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
    And it’s so dah-dah-dee-dah
    Dah-dah-dah-dah-dee-dah
    It’s so easy to fall
    In dah-dah-dah-dah-dee-dah
    Remember your way
    Remember your way

    [Adlib: Posdnuos]
    It’s De La featuring Estelle
    With the Soul Brother Pete Rock

    Popcaan – New Level

    [Intro]
    New level
    Why?!
    New level
    You know…

    [Verse 1]
    Mmmmm
    You nuh haffi be my friend
    Me nuh haffi be your friend
    You nah buy me food
    You nah take care of mi kids them
    Me know them a pussy from long time
    So, me nuh too believe inna mankind
    Mi future brighter than sunshine
    Plus mi granny tell me this one time
    [Chorus]
    Say..
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    A dem turn Tony inna Rebel (you know, you know)
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    Woii yoii

    [Verse 2]
    Some of them too easy fi switch, a mussi Digicel Play
    Them have a bag of man a press up and play them
    Do anything from another man pay them
    Only mi press up a mi Matic and ‘K them

    [Hook]
    Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
    Nooo
    Because them nuh waan you fi “do it” like a new Nike
    My style is….fat pussy gyal inna drop top, Rayce
    My nine is….always there anytime when a road time
    Notnice… (you know, you know, you know)

    [Chorus]
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    A dem turn Tony inna Rebel
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil

    [Verse 3]
    Jamaica
    New money, no problem
    Money we a use solve them
    Some bwoy make money put dem a friend inna problem
    Watch your things like King Alarm them
    Them a chat me, but a gyal me a chat ’bout
    Pounds and US, Euros me nuh stop count
    The gyal them pretty like the money weh inna mi account
    Real thugs mi nuh forgot ’bout

    [Hook]
    Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
    Man a god inna earth, god inna real life, real life
    Work hard fi di glory, mi do wha’ mi feel like, feel like!
    If you try stop mi food you will dead inna real life
    You know, you know, you know
    Mmm hmmm

    [Chorus]
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    A dem turn Tony inna Rebel (you know)
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    New level, new devil
    Woii yoii

    [Interlude]
    New level
    Why?!
    New level

    [Hook]
    Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
    Nooo
    Man a god inna earth, god inna real life
    Work hard fi di glory, mi do wha’ mi feel like
    If you try stop mi food you will dead inna real life
    You know, you know, you know
    Mmm hmmm

    [Outro]
    New level, new devil (you know, you know, you know)
    New level, new devil
    You know, you know, you know (4x)

    You know, you know, you know…