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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Punk/New Wave and Post-Punk: The Sound of 1978 #2

On the second of our Playlists spotlighting The Sounds of 1978 we get to hear a few Debut Singles from the likes of SPIZZOIL, prag Vec, Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Normal, 2.3, Joy Division, UK Subs, Skids and Stiff Little Fingers along with bands like Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Adverts, The Clash, Ramones, The Dickies, Television, XTC, Ian Dury and The Blockheads, a Rotten-Less Sex Pistols, 999 and Buzzcocks.

Hope you enjoy this one. 

On the Playlist
Life On The Line - Eddie and The Hot Rods
Another single from the excellent Life On The Line album, this time around it was the Title Track. B-Sides of the Limited Edition 12" included three tracks recorded at The Rainbow in London (Do Anything You Wanna Do, What's Really Going On and Why Can't It Be)

6000 Crazy - SPIZZOIL
Debut slice of vinyl from the very charismatic Spizz and his buddy Pete Petrol, released on Rough Trade Records. It was a three track EP that also included 1989 and Fibre. Spizz is still on the go in 2017 and is about to release a brand new single Here Come The Machines.

Emergency - 999
After releasing two of the finest singles of 1977 Nick Cash and Company began 1978 with yet another quality single. Their best single of '78 though was still to come in October (Homicide).

The Great British Mistake - The Adverts
February 1978 saw the release of the Debut Album, Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts, on Bright Records. Included on it was a re-recording of their Debut Single One Chord Wonders and featured the singles No Time To Be 21 and Safety In Numbers.

Clash City Rockers - The Clash
Their fourth single on CBS and not included on any album until the American Release of their Debut album in 1979. The B-Side is yet another cracker, Jail Guitar Doors (which was a reworking of a song from Strummer's days in The 101'ers). The single reached #35 in the UK Singles Chart.

Existential - prag Vec
Debut Four Track EP was called Bits released on Spec Records (which I think was their own label) in October 1978. The drummer of the band was called Nick Cash and shouldn't be confused with the 999 frontman. Nick also played with Fad Gadget and also drums for The Members these days.

My Way - Sex Pistols
Despite the fact that the Sex Pistols had imploded big style in the USA in January 1978 there was still music to be made that would appear as the Soundtrack to the film The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle that would raise its ugly head in 1979. The first shot from the Rotten-less Pistols was the Double A-Side No One Is Innocent (A Punk Prayer) with Ronnie Biggs on lead vocals and the flip side was Sid Vicious making his vinyl debut on My Way that was released in June 1978. I have to say that I was not very keen on this single at all and very little of the Swindle singles and album thrilled me at all (apart from Silly Thing that would be released in March 1979). Virgin Records would continue milking the public even up until 1983 with re-issues of the singles etc.

Hong Kong Garden - Siouxsie and The Banshees
18th August 1978 saw the Debut Single Release by Siouxsie and The Banshees on Polydor Records. It would reach #7 on the Charts which wasn't a bad start to a recording career that had taken long enough to get going! The version on the Playlist is from the TV show Revolver and is a live performance.

Traffic Light Rock - XTC
Originally released as part of an EP for the Christmas Edition of Record Mirror and included on the February 1978 eight track 10" Release from Virgin Records called Guillotine

Other artists featured on the sampler were Penetration, X-Ray Spex, The Motors, The Table, Avant Gardner, Roky Erickson, and Poet and The Roots.

Don't Come Close - Ramones
The fourth album from Ramones, Road To Ruin, was released in September 1978. Tommy Ramone said of the album, "Road to Ruin reflected not just the Ramone's enduring love for the sixties pop, but a nagging desire to expand beyond the confines of 120 seconds in search of a new vocabulary of harmonic hooks, albeit linked to the guitar-crunching sonics established on their first three albums". Version on the Playlist is from Top of the Pops in the UK that was seven days after the release of the album.
The single was released as a Limited Edition Red Vinyl 12" and also as a Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl 7" and 12".

Careful - Television
B-Side of Foxhole released on Elektra Records in April 1978. The record was released as a Limited Edition Red Vinyl 12" and had four different picture sleeves (Blue, Green, Yellow and Red). Both A and B-Sides were featured on the second Studio Album Adventure that was also released in April and reached the dizzy heights of #7 on the UK Album Chart. The single only made it to #36. Careful is one of my favourite tracks from Television.

Eve of Destruction - The Dickies
August 1978 saw the release of the second single from Los Angeles based The Dickies and it was another cover version, this time around a song from the 1960's that had originally been released by Barry McGuire. The Double A-Sided single was backed with Doggie Do. It was released on Limited Edition Pink Vinyl by A&M Records.

Warm Leatherette - The Normal
B-Side to the Debut Single from The Normal and the first single released in May 1978 on Mute Records (a label that would be closely associated with the rise of bands like Depeche Mode, Fad Gadget, Yazoo, and Erasure).

All Time Low - 2.3
Second Single release on Fast Product and the one and only single for 2.3. They had formed in Sheffield in 1977 and were one of the first of the Punk/New Wave bands from the City to get signed after Bob Last of Fast Product had seen them support The Rezillos. The band had also played support to Siouxsie and The Banshees and The Stranglers. Paul Bower (Guitar/Vocals) of the band was responsible for getting The Human League in contact with Fast Product when he set up a show for them at The Psalter Lane Art College.

No Love Lost - Joy Division
From their Debut EP An Ideal For Living released on Enigma in June 1978. This was released a number of months after the band had changed their name from Warsaw (which is also the name of the opening track of the EP). It was recorded in December 1977 but took quite some time to see the light of day.

Time's Up - Buzzcocks
From the 10" album Short Circuit Live at The Electric Circus.

The album, released on Virgin Records on Limited Edition Blue Vinyl (which also came with a free EP on Pink Vinyl called Another Close Shave by Mr John Dowie). 
It was recorded in October 1977 on the final weekend of The Electric Circus in Manchester before it closed its doors for good. The 10" live compilation was released in June 1978.  Other artists featured on the album were The Fall, John Cooper Clarke, The Drones, Joy Division (who actually performed under their old name Warsaw as it wouldn't be until January 1978 that they would become Joy Division but the record credited them with the new name) and Steel Pulse (the only non-Manchester act on the record).

C.I.D. EP - UK Subs
Debut Single from UK Subs on City Records that was released on Black vinyl and 10000 copies coloured Clear, Orange (described as yellow in the press ads), Dark Green and Blue, 2500 of each in September 1978. I also included the other two tracks, I Live In A Car and B.1.C. The band would go on to sign for GEM Records and enjoy a small window of success that included their first four albums charting  between 1979-1981 (three of them in the Top 20) and seven charting singles between 1979-80.

Reason - Skids
Debut EP from Dunfermline based band Skids, other songs featured on the EP released on No Bad include Test Tube Babies and Charles. The band would sign to Virgin Records in 1978 and have their biggest hit single - Into The Valley - in 1979. They would have ten charting singles in all and three charting albums before they called it a day in 1982. Richard Jobson would go on to form The Armoury Show and Stuart Adamson had left the band prior to their breaking up and had begun his new band Big Country in 1981.

 What A Waste - Ian Dury and The Blockheads
The first hit single for Ian Dury and The Blockheads, released in April 1978 on Stiff Records, it reached #9 on the Charts and was of course the forerunner to the magnificent Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick that came out in November the same year and reached #1!

Suspect Device - Stiff Little Fingers
Debut Single from the streets of Belfast on their own Rigid Digits label. The single was backed with Wasted Life. The single sold over 30,000 copies and had a lot of airplay by John Peel on his Radio 1 show (that led to a distribution deal with Rough Trade Records). Version on the Playlist is from an Ulster TV performance from June 1978.
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