CHANGE OF HEART and SIMPLY SAUCER at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Friday (October 5), doors 9 pm. $12-$15. RT, SS. See listing.
When I call Ian Blurton to discuss Change of Heart's new 25-song retrospective, There You Go '82-'97, he's looking at a giant collage of everyone who ever played in his small-p punk band that toured relentlessly in the 80s and 90s and got videos into rotation on Much's The Wedge.
The mural is also the artwork for the LP package, out on Sonic Unyon, which comes with a bonus disc of "outtakes and weirdness."
"We destroyed almost all of our history making the cover, which was really fun," says Blurton. "It's not [sad] - it's nice, because now it's all in one place. You can actually look at it instead of its being in boxes."
A teenaged Blurton started Change of Heart with bassist Rob Taylor in 1982 in Toronto's west end. It's the band's 30th anniversary, then, though Blurton, who has since played in C'mon and Blurtonia and produced tons of records, says it also just seemed like the right time to take a look back.
"I'm not in a full-time band right now, so I thought it would be a good idea," he says. "But [the album] turned into a massive six-month project that kind of took over my life."
It was culled from Change of Heart's six-album discography on Primitive, Cargo and Virgin, remastered by João Carvalho and remixed by Michael Phillip Wojewoda, who also rebuilt the tracks for 1992 album Smile since the original master was gone. Getting the song sequence to flow proved challenging.
"One song would be kind of punky, one would be kind of proggy, and then there'd be pop, so trying to make peaks and valleys was hard," says Blurton, laughing hard when I mention that some songs are a jumble of genres.
Friday's show at the Horseshoe - the last in a string throughout Ontario and Quebec - will feature all nine members who played on albums and five different incarnations of the band, starting with 1997's Steelteeth lineup and working back to 1986's 50 Ft. Up.
But don't mistake this for an ongoing reunion or expect a new album.
"It's been so much fun hanging out with everyone," Blurton says. "But Friday is our last show. Ever."