• Eleventh Dream Day (circa 1991)

After releasing two excellent albums for Atlantic Records, Beet (1989) and Lived to Tell (1990), Chicago’s Eleventh Dream Day were elated to be freed from their contract in 1991. Their label debut was a critical favorite, but Atlantic did little to support the group, especially after its second album came out, largely because the people that brought them to the company, including future Thrill Jockey Records owner Bettina Richards, all ditched, leaving poor EDD on a sinking ship. Founding member and guitarist Baird Figi, tired of the grind of touring, quit the band and was replaced by an old pal from Louisville, Kentucky, Matthew “Wink” O’Bannon of the excellent, psychotic Bodeco. The band recorded a powerful new album with Brad Wood at Idful that seethed and soothed in equal measure. I had a cassette of that record that I literally wore out—as much as I loved the band’s early albums, including the in-the-red brilliance of debut Prairie School Freakout, this new one was far and away its most accomplished, varied, and substantial.