Arthur Russell ‎– Let's Go Swimming

Rough Trade ‎– RTT 184
Vinyl, 12"

Tracklist Hide Credits

A Let's Go Swimming (Coastal Dub)
Mixed By – Walter Gibbons
B1 Let's Go Swimming (Gulf Stream Dub) 5:15
B2 Let's Go Swimming (Puppy Surf Dub) 4:51

Other Versions (5 of 9) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
LR-1002-1 Arthur Russell Let's Go Swimming(12") Logarhythm LR-1002-1 US 1986 Sell This Version
AU-1003-2 Arthur Russell Let's Go Swimming(4xFile, MP3, EP, 320) Audika AU-1003-2 2005
AU-1012-2 Arthur Russell Let's Go Swimming(CD, EP) Audika AU-1012-2 US 2011 Sell This Version
none Arthur Russell Let's Go Swimming(4xFile, AAC, EP, 256) Audika none UK & Europe 2011
AR 001 Arthur Russell Let's Go Swimming(12", Unofficial, W/Lbl) Not On Label AR 001 US 2003 Sell This Version


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December 20, 2009

I was lucky enough to find a promo copy of the Rough Trade version of this record which conatianed an intact promo info sheet. Being such a huge fan of Arthur's music it put an impenetrable smile on my face. I know there are many Arthur Russell fanatics out there so this is for you:

A skinny kid from Oskaloosa, Iowa comes to New York in 1973 to join the burgeoning new music scene after studying Indian music at the Ali Akbar Khan school in San Francisco. A skilled cello player, vocalist, and keyboardist, he studies at the Manhattan School of Music and within 2 years delivers a landmark concert of modern music at Sohos's famed kitchen. Philip Glass was in the audience and later composed music for the play "cascando" specifically for him to perform.

Simultaneously Arthur has a vision of fusing all music - serious, pop, dance etc. and brings his avant - compositional chops to bear on what the serious music mavens consider to be the highest form of art : Dance Music.

With two definitive cult jams under his belt, on the radio and on the charts (Dinosaur L's "Go Bang" on sleeping bag and Loose Joints "Is it all over my face?" on West End) our man decides to apply the same principles to rock. He records "Kiss me again" under the name Dinosaur on Sire (David Byrne appears on the record) and joins the seminal new wave group The Necessaries (with former Modern Lover Ernie Brooks) delivering one classic album on Sire. Hating the rigorous touring grind, he suddenly quits The Necessaries by bolting out the door of their van, cello in hand, en route to a gig somewhere in New Jersey. 4th and Broadway releases "Tell you Today" an out-take from the original Loose Joints sessions, as their first release, and he withdraws to further concentrate on neo-classical music ("Instrumental" on Crepescule and "Tower of Meaning" on Chatham Square). Simultaneously, he perfects his self-contained cello/vocal performance, which he takes on the road as a virtual one man band, combining complex structures, feedback harmonies, and interlacing them with sumptuous, almost devotional vocals.

Now, on September 22 1986, Rough Trade Records is proud to bring Arthur Russell out from the aegis of psuedonymous dance productions and into the spotlight with his own name with a new 12" dance release "Let's Go Swimming". With a remix by legendary Walter Gibbons (Strafe's "Set if Off"), this record is just a taste of the musical brilliance which Arthur posesses in abundance. "Let's Go Swimming" isn't Hip Hop, House or any easily categorised offshoot, but rocks like crazy.

Arthur Russell - a true unsung pioneer of the New York underground music scene - the twilight world where rock, dance, and experimantal music overlap has been a best kept secret.... but not any longer.


This only adds another teardrop of tragedy to Arthur's story. For me this label understood how special Arthur's music was and by all accounts many labels of that time simply weren't open minded enough for Arthur's brand of not so easily categorized music (Gil Scott Heron might have asked Is that Jazz?). To me it sounded like Rough Trade were ready to embrace Arthur's sound and share it with the world which makes this record even more heartbreaking for me.