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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 33 - Inflammable Material


I was thinking about the debut album of Stiff Little Fingers as it is the anniversary today of its release in 1979 on Rough Trade Records. I thought about writing a whole new bunch of stuff about it and then realised what I wrote last time out when I spotlighted it in Best Debut Albums feature last year was actually good enough and I still feel the same thoughts about the album as I did then. So forgive me for being a bit like a TV station that has nothing new to broadcast and so sticks a repeat on! Here's what I did for that feature last year (the Peel Session at the end is added today):


The Clash may have sung about Hate and War, and about Guns, and not opening letter bombs etc but some of the stuff they wrote about was actually a daily occurence for those who lived in Northern Ireland in the 70's. Enter a little band who had come to the attention of many via John Peel's Radio One show in 1978 with the constant playing of their first two singles ('Suspect Device' and 'Alternative Ulster'), who finally got their chance to record and release an album that documented their lives in the midst of The Troubles!

It was the first album ever distributed by Rough Trade and also the first Independent Album to enter the UK Album Charts, peaking at #14!

The rawness of it still sounds great today. I think and it still stands as one of my favourite Debut Albums.

An album that begins with the words, "Inflammable material is planted in my head/It's a suspect device that's left 2000 dead", is going to make you sit up and take notice that this is a band who really have got something to say!

As a Fifteen (going on sixteen) year old kid when it came out there were things in the lyrics that really struck a chord with me, the alienation, the mind numbing boredom of life, the constant put downs by those who didn't understand me, and the longing to change the world in which I lived. 

The album also possessed something that was rarely evident in Punk - Hope! Hope of a better life, in a better place, in a better world. Hope was like a diamond found among the ruins, it was dirty and at first seemed worthless but once polished up it sparkled into life and spoke of a way out of the rubble.

So here it is (again!), one of the great Debut Albums by one of the great bands to come out of Northern Ireland.
John Peel Sessions
(Click the Link to Listen)
Johnny Was.
Law and Order.
Barbed Wire Love.
Suspect Device.

 Inflammable Material - Stiff Little Fingers
Rough Trade
Produced by Geoff Travis, Mayo Thompson and Doug Bennett
Released 2nd February 1979
UK Chart #14

Personnel
    Jake Burns – vocals, guitar
    Henry Cluney – guitar, vocals
    Ali McMordie – bass, vocals
    Brian Faloon - drums

 Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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