Violent Femme assembles all-star lineup for disc -- Lou Reed, PJ Harvey, and John Cale are some of the performers who give voice to Gordon Gano's tunes on ''Hitting the Ground''
Violent Femmes
Credit: Violent Femmes: Luciano Viti/Retna Ltd USA

Believe it or not, this month’s reissue of the Violent Femmes’ eponymous 1983 debut, featuring remastered takes of classics like ”Add It Up,” is not the most exciting Femme-related release this year. In the fall, frontman Gordon Gano will drop ”Hitting the Ground,” a CD of his songs performed by a jaw-dropping lineup of musicians, including PJ Harvey, John Cale, and Frank Black. Gano composed the songs for a scrapped 1996 indie film, ”Hitting the Ground.” He was so attached to the tracks that he decided to put out the soundtrack on his own and contacted people to play the music.

”I really couldn’t be happier with the group we ended up with,” says Gano. To bag his biggest legend, he sent a copy of ”Catch ‘Em in the Act” to the notoriously grouchy Lou Reed and asked if he’d participate. ”He called one day and just said, ‘It’s done,”’ recalls Gano. ”When he played it for me, he said, ‘I took the liberty of changing a few of your lyrics,’ and I was like, ‘Well, okay.’ He’s on a list of maybe three or four people who can do that.”