Artist News Releases

James Murphy discusses LCD Soundsystem live album, and ‘subway symphony’

By | Published on Friday 28 February 2014

James Murphy

A live album of LCD Soundsystem’s 2011 farewell concert in New York will be released this year, frontman James Murphy said in a live interview at the by:Larm festival in Oslo yesterday. The Madison Square Garden show was, of course, captured in the documentary, ‘Shut Up And Play The Hits’ in 2012, and it’s audio-only companion will finally see the light of day later this year, he confirmed.

Explaining the delay, he said: “The movie took a much longer time than I thought. I had to mix the film, then we had to mix the whole concert, then I thought, ‘I don’t want the concert audio to be the record’, so I had to mix it again. Then I think EMI got bought by Halliburton and they sold it to Warner/Chappell – I don’t know, some big thing ate another giant thing – and it took a minute to work out what I was allowed to do, cos there’s re-record things with contracts”.

While you ignore Murphy’s not entirely accurate summary of corporate movements in the music publishing sector, instead take note that the new live album will be available as a Record Store Day special on 19 Apr as the five-disc vinyl boxiest titled ‘The Long Goodbye’, with an unabridged recording of the four-hour gig. A digital and CD release will follow on 19 May.

Murphy also discussed a long-term ambition of his to change the sound of the New York subway. Explaining the idea, he said: “I love the subway, but it’s really unpleasant sounding – the sound made when people swipe their cards is this constant whining dissonance. I wanted to just make a nice sound. I want each station to have a series of notes, and they’ll be all related, so during rush hour it’ll be all crazy Brian Eno moments in stations. I don’t wanna make an art project, I just want a civic design that I don’t need to take credit for”.

He admitted that he’s been failing to get this idea off the ground with various New York officials since 1999, but says that after discussing the idea in a number of interviews he realised there was a different angle he could be taking – namely to ask members of the public to get behind him.

“I’ve decided to run it like a public campaign, because I’ve realised that appealing to the bureaucrats to agree with me about the subway needs is kind of insane”, he said. “But if I’m like, ‘There’s a whole bunch of people that vote who want this to happen’, then there will be some guy who’ll say, ‘I’m gonna make this my cause'”.

A website for this campaign, where you can sign a petition in favour of the idea, can be found at