The “Nurse With Wound List” At 40: A Beginner’s Guide

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Released 40 years ago, in 1979, and expanded in 1980, the “Nurse With Wound List” has cast a long, indelible shadow for experimental music fans and record collectors. A jumble of 291 artist names — all presented without explanation nor starting points — it is at once a broken primer, a shopping list, a scavenger hunt, a pre-internet listicle without context, a myth, some homework, a still-challenging wall of ideas.

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This week intrepid crate-digger crew Finders Keepers, in collaboration with Nurse With Wound’s Steven Stapleton, releases the first ever anthology of NWW List bands, 13 tracks on two slabs of vinyl. It barely scratches the surface of even the French bands on the NWW List, but provides a tasting platter that doesn’t skimp on the undeniably essential...

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