John Cage Bubblegum/Eloge d'Eros

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Not just Stereolab's first absolute masterpiece, "John Cage Bubblegum"'s cheeky title also functions as a dead-on shorthand description of the group's music. No other artist of its generation fused the high-minded daring of the avant-garde and the lowbrow infectiousness of pop with as much invention, skill, and appeal. The song in question captures the group at its most energetic and hypnotic, creating galloping drone-pop forged somewhere between the garage and the laboratory. Even at just over three minutes, it possesses the inimitable scope and scale of an epic. "Eloge d'Eros" operates on a similar frequency, although its buzzing Moog melody can't possibly match the A-side's locomotive force. (Limited to 1,400 copies. The first 300 were pressed on pink vinyl and included a stick of gum.)