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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).
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