Album News, Digital Music, Reissues — September 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

Love Tractor’s ‘Themes From Venus’ to be reissued — hear an unreleased mix

The fourth album from Athens, Ga., college-rock favorites Love Tractor — 1988’s Mitch Easter-produced Themes From Venus — this fall be reissued on CD and vinyl with a half-dozen bonus tracks including two songs mixed by Brendan O’Brien.

You can hear one of those bonus tracks, O’Brien’s previously unreleased mix of the album’s title track under its original name “Nighttime Time Zone,” via Soundcloud below.

The HHBTM label will reissue Themes From Venus, remastered from the original tapes, on Nov. 19 in digital, CD and vinyl formats. The six bonus tracks on the CD aren’t part of the vinyl tracklist, but are included as digital downloads. The label has a variety of bundles available for pre-sale now.

Themes From Venus, which followed 1987’s major-label detour This Ain’t No Outer Space Ship, would prove to be the band’s final album before going on hiatus in the early ’90s.

Though Easter produced the record, the band’s label brought in O’Brien — not yet the superstar producer he’d become — to mix a few of the album’s songs.

As the band says of “Nighttime Time Zone”:

“‘Nighttime Time Zone’ is the original title of the song ‘Themes from Venus’ that got changed somewhere on the road when we stopped to eat some place, somewhere, now long forgotten.  Armistead (Wellford) suggested the title and it stuck.  We had initially recorded the track with Mitch Easter but our record company (Danny Beard and DB Records) wanted us to let Brendan O’Brien have a go at mixing the song.  If memory serves we were somewhat bewildered  by the idea as we were fully into Mitch Easter and what he brought to our sound.  This was before Brendan went on to a hugely successful career working with people like Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam and Mastodon among others.  Listening back to Brendan’s mix of ‘Nighttime Time Zone’ reveals a different take on the song.  First of all, there is no saxophone and the song has a somewhat more ’70s vibe to it, the drums sound great.  As much as I like Mitch’s work on ‘Themes’ (he was incredible to work with) it is really cool to have these different takes on the song.  Brendan also did mixes of ‘Hey Mess’ and ‘I Broke my Saw,’ which is presented here (among the outtakes) in its original long version.”

The new re-release follows last year’s reissue by HHBTM of Love Tractor’s 1982 debut album, remixed and remastered by Bill Berry and Sugar’s David Barbe, as well as a Record Store Day 7-inch featuring two songs, “60 Degrees and Sunny” and “Festi-vals,” that were recorded during the sessions for that album.

Below, check out the Themes From Venus reissue’s tracklist and new artwork.


Love Tractor, Themes From Venus

1. “I Broke My Saw”
2. “Themes From Venus”
3. “Crash”
4. “Satan’s New Wave Soul Losers”
5. “Venice”
6. “Crystal World”
7. “Hey Mess”
8. “Nova Express”
9. “Fantasy”
10. “Here Come the Cops”
11. “Nighttime Time Zone” (Brendan O’Brien Mix) *
12. “Hey Mess” (Brendan O’Brien Mix) *
13. “Fantasy” (Instrumental Mitch Easter Mix) *
14. “I Broke My Saw” (Long Version Mitch Easter Mix) *
15. “Satan’s New Wave Soul Losers” (Instrumental Mitch Easter Mix) *
16. “Crash” (Instrumental Mitch Easter Mix) *

* CD bonus tracks. Included as digital downloads with vinyl reissue.




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