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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Rewind: Warhead - U.K. Subs (1980)

Warhead/ The Harper / I'm Waiting For The Man
Gem Records
Produced by Nicky Garratt and Charlie Harper
Released 29th February 1980
UK Chart #30



Fifth single for the U.K. Subs and the first single from their soon to be released second album Brand New Age (released April 1980).

Warhead opens with a bass line from Paul Slack that opens a floodgate of memories just as songs like Fast Cars (Buzzcocks), Something Better Change (The Stranglers) and Public Image (Public Image Ltd) do.

This was the U.K. Subs as you've never really heard them before. Tackling a big issue like the Middle East, Russia in Afghanistan, the rise of Islamic extremism, the political incompetence of both the USA and Russia to come to a solution and the destruction of nations was not something you would hear much about in those days especially on the radio and certainly not ever on Top of the Pops (until the U.K. Subs performed Warhead on there of course!).

Warhead (2008 Version) on Jet13 Records and re-issued on Combat Rock (France) on 10" Vinyl in 2016 (and CD in 2017) as Warhead Revisited.

It's still a popular live favourite as well:

The B-sides were nothing much to write home about (which was quite unlike the U.K. Subs as their B-Sides were usually pretty quality). The Harper was a little instrumental where Charlie got to show off his chops on the harmonica (demonstrating that he still had a touch of the blues about him). Waiting For The Man was of course a rendition of The Velvet Underground song, whilst it would not necessarily be the one I would go to as a great cover version it did have a bit more of an edge than the Slaughter and the Dogs version (though the Slaughter cover does try and at least maintain some semblance of the original).

Friday, 24 February 2017

Rewind: 1978 - I Am The Fly - Wire

I Am The Fly / Ex Lion Tamer - Wire
Produced by Mike Thorne
Released 24th February 1978
Did Not Chart



On this day in 1978 Wire released their second single I Am The Fly. The song would also appear on their second album Chairs Missing that would be released in August 1978.

The B-Side Ex Lion Tamer was taken from their excellent debut album Pink Flag.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Rewind: 1979 - English Civil War - The Clash

English Civil War / Pressure Drop
Produced by Sandy Pearlman


    Joe Strummer - lead vocals, rhythm guitars
    Mick Jones - backing vocals, lead guitars
    Paul Simonon - bass guitar
    Topper Headon - drums


    Joe Strummer - lead vocal, piano, rhythm guitar
    Mick Jones - backing vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitars
    Paul Simonon - backing vocal, bass guitar
    Topper Headon - drums

Released 23rd February 1979
UK Chart #25


The follow up to Tommy Gun and the Second Single released from Give 'Em Enough Rope was issued on this day in 1979.

The B-Side had originally been recorded as part of the Lee Perry Sessions for Complete Control in 1977 and the final released version is only a touch different from that. You can find it on The Clash Bootleg "Street Rats".


NME 24th February 1979
Single Review
By Danny Baker
A wise enough if miscued and rock 'n' rolly warning about all things uniformed and sinister that this chap can flow to easier than a tuppeny ha'penny 'Oliver's Army'. But then it was a CBS choice, we hear. 
The flip is the old Toots 'Pressure Drop' from the set of yore but done more professionally, less manic.
Now is this a good thing? It sounds OK anyway and they at least feel the stuff - which is more than can be said for the disgusting rubbish that "Ol' Keef" pays his bills with.
Despite myself, The Clash are still the only rock group I would cross the road for.

There's an old clip from a TV Show put on by Tyne Tees Television called Alright Now from March 1979 where The Clash are "Interviewed" and then, to use Joe Strummer's words, "Plug in and Play" a storming version of English Civil War.


Setlist :
Safe European Home
I Fought the Law
Jail Guitar Doors
Drug-Stabbing Time
City of the Dead
Clash City Rockers
Tommy Gun
(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
English Civil War
Stay Free
Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad
Police and Thieves
Capital Radio
Janie Jones
Complete Control
London's Burning
White Riot

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Rewind: 1980 - Purple Hearts & Secret Affair Mod Revival Double Header

On this day in 1980 two bands at the heart and centre of the Mod Revival released brand new singles with one reaching the lower end of the charts and the other breaking into the Top 20 in the UK
Jimmy / What Am I Gonna Do



Produced by Chris Parry
Released 22nd February 1980
UK Chart #60

My World

B-Side: So Cool
I-Spy Records

Produced by Ian Page
Released 22nd February 1980
UK Chart #16


Jimmy was featured on the Debut Album from the Purple Hearts - Beat That!

My World was featured on the Second Studio Album from Secret Affair - Behind Closed Doors.

Hanoi Rocks Boxsets (October/November 2016)

There's a couple of things from Hanoi Rocks that came out the tail end of last year that I wasn't aware of until recently. Quite similar but from different labels.

Strange Boys Box - Hanoi Rocks
Released October 2016

The Limited Edition Boxset comes as either a 5CD set or as a 6 LP Set (though the label haven't actually said exactly how limited it will be)

(Click On The Links Below To Listen To The Music)

It contains:

The above Boxset from Hanoi Rocks was not actually the only boxset to be released in 2016 in their name. 

In November 2016 there was also this one released as a 6 LP Set.

Johanna, the label that had released all their albums prior to signing to CBS, based in Finland issued a Limited Edition (500 Copies) Boxset called Mental Beat 1980-1985 that collected together their first four albums (not the Live Album),

 Two Steps To The Move and also another collection called Rebels On The Run (which was subsequently released as a stand alone CD on Ainoa! label in Finland).

The Strange Boys Box I saw reviewed in the latest issue of Classic Rock. They gave it 7 out of 10 and basically called it a "Flawed Box". Ian Fortnam, who "reviewed" it seemed to spotlight Razzle's death and the fact that he maybe didn't look so good wearing lipstick as the bookend to his piece whilst stating inbetween that "their first five albums are far from flawless".

But for me, therein lies the charm of these albums. They weren't perfect soundwise (after all the band were still finding their way in the studio) but musically they captured Hanoi Rocks in all their glamorous and decadent glory.

Standout tracks for me are:
Bangkok Shocks Saigon Shakes Hanoi Rocks: Tragedy, Lost In The City, and 11th Street Kidzz.

Self Destruction Blues: Kill City Kills, Beer and a Cigarette and Taxi Driver.

All These Wasted Years: The whole album is an absolute delight and I've said it often that it is one of my favourite Live Albums ever! Until I Get You and Don't Never Leave Me in particular are two of my favourites though.

By the time they got it "right" when Two Steps To Move was recorded it lost a little of the swagger because it was almost too perfect (though still a great sounding album I think)!

Standouts on Rebels On The Run: Rebel On The Run, Two Steps From The Move and Oil and Gasoline.

No doubt the 500 Copies of Mental Beat 1980-1985 are long gone but you can still get the Strange Boys Box on Amazon.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave 1977: Eddie and The Hot Rods Debut Peel Session

On this day in 1977 John Peel Broadcast the Debut Session of Eddie and THe Hot Rods.
They would actually record another session in 1977 that spotlighted a couple of songs from their Life On The Line Album and would feature Graeme Douglas on Guitar who had joined after being in The Kursaal Flyers.
 Recorded 15th February 1977
Broadcast 21st February 1977
Teenage Depression
Keep On Keeping On
On The Run
Why Can't It Be
Production and Studio Engineering: Jeff Griffin and Mike Robinson

Monday, 20 February 2017

Rewind: Buddy Holly - Buddy Holly (1958)

Buddy Holly - Buddy Holly
Produced by Norman Petty and Bob Thiele
Did Not Chart

Side One

Side Two
The Crickets

    Buddy Holly, guitar, vocals
    Joe B. Mauldin, bass
    Jerry Allison, drums
    Niki Sullivan, rhythm guitar (on Ready Teddy)

Singles on Buddy Holly
A-Side: Words of Love
 Released 20th June 1957
Did Not Chart

 A-Side: Everyday
B-Side: Peggy Sue
Released 20th September 1957
US Chart #3*

*It was actually Peggy Sue that charted

In the UK it was released on a 78RPM record but the other way around
A-Side: Peggy Sue
B-Side: Everyday
Released 15th November 1957
UK Chart #6

AA-Side: Listen To Me
Released 5th February 1958
Did Not Chart

The UK Release on 78RPM was not a Double A-Side 
A-Side: Listen To Me
B-Side: I'm Gonna Love You Too
Released February 1958
Did Not Chart

A-Side: Rave On
AA-Side: Take Your Time
Released 20th April 1958
US Chart #57

The UK release was not a Double A-Side
A-Side: Rave On
B-Side: Take Your Time
Released June 1958
UK Chart #5

EP Releases from Buddy Holly

A-Side: Listen To Me / Peggy Sue
B-Side: I'm Gonna Love You Too / Everyday
Released September 1958

A-Side: Rave On / Take Your Time
B-Side: Early In The Morning / Now We're One
Released December 1958


The first "solo" album by Buddy Holly actually still featured The Crickets and there was still music being released as The Crickets on the Brunswick label and Holly's "solo" material was being issued on Coral. There were also a couple of releases on Decca under Buddy Holly's name. Brunswick and Coral were actually both subsiduaries of Decca! Goodness me, it's hard to keep up with it all!

At the time of the release of the Album Buddy Holly and The Crickets were on tour first in Australia and then played 50 shows in 25 days across the UK.

The album contains tracks that were released as singles in the US and the UK, a number of which are regarded as some of his finest tunes (Words of Love, Everyday, Peggy Sue, Listen To Me and Rave On).

I love this album to bits. It contains my favourite song of all-time as well - Rave On - so I'm more than a little biased!

I want to dedicate this to my friend Wooders who holds the music of Buddy Holly in such high regard and most importantly to the memory of my Dad, without whom I would not have had a lifetime love for the music of the goofy looking kid with the glasses from Lubbock, Texas.

 Gone But Never Forgotten
Buddy Holly
7th September 1936 - 3rd February 1959

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