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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Punk/New Wave and Post-Punk: The Sound of 1978 #3


We venture for the third time into the great wide open of 1978 to find twenty tunes that for us summed up The Sound of 1978!



On The Playlist
If The Kids Are United - Sham 69
First Top Ten single for Sham 69 released in July 1978 (peaked at #9) on Polydor and the follow up to Angels With Dirty Faces. Die Toten Hosen would release it as a single in 1991 featuring the vocals of Jimmy Pursey. Rancid have also covered the song along with many other bands down through the years.

Dot Dash - Wire
Third single on Harvest from the Wire lads and if their second single I Am The Fly was brilliant then this one must be truly magnificent!

Judy Says (Knock You In The Head) - The Vibrators
Released in June 1978 and wallowing in the basement of the charts at #70 the sixth single from The Vibrators. Their previous single Automatic Lover made it to #35 on the UK Singles Chart.

Downtown - The Cuban Heels
Whilst half of Johnny & The Self Abusers had gone on to form Simple Minds the other half formed The Cuban Heels and this was their debut single on Housewives Choice (great name for a label!).

Rock Lobster/52 Girls - The B-52's
Debut single (both sides) from the wild and whacky Athens outfit on DB Recs released in April 1978. It would get an official UK release in July 1979 on DB Recs and then re-issued by Island Records in August 1979 when it peaked on the UK Chart at #37.

14th Floor - Television Personalities
Debut single from the band that would bring us Part Time Punks in November 1978.

The Murder of Liddle Towers - Angelic Upstarts
Self-Released Debut single in May 1978

Justifiable Homicde - Dave Goodman and Friends
Released on The Label in July 1978.

Both the Angelic Upstarts and the Dave Goodman and Friends single deal with exactly the same subject matter.
Liddle Towers (a 39-year-old electrician and amateur boxing coach) was arrested outside the Key Club in Birtley on 16 January 1976 by PC Goodner. After a struggle he was put into a dog van by six policemen and taken to Gateshead police station. Later, at 4 am, he was taken from the station to Queen Elizabeth Hospital because he complained of not feeling well, and, after an examination which apparently revealed no injury and nothing wrong with him, he was taken back to the cells. He was discharged later that same morning at 10 o'clock.
Both the taxi driver who took Towers home and his local GP, Dr Alan Powney, who saw him later that day at 2 o'clock, gave evidence that was consistent with Towers' own account of having been assaulted in the cells. Towers told his friend: 'They gave us a bloody good kicking outside the Key Club, but that was naught to what I got when I got inside'. Towers died on 9 February 1976 at Dryburn Hospital, County Durham from injuries received at the hands of the police during the night of 15–16 January.
On 8 October 1976, an inquest into the death of Towers returned a verdict of justifiable homicide. The case had been reported in the national press and the verdict was widely criticised, causing considerable disquiet over both the integrity of the Northumbria Police and of police behaviour and accountability in general . On 3 May 1977, the Attorney-General, in answer to a Written Question from the MP for Chester-le-Street Giles Radice, said that the DPP had "decided that the evidence was not such as to justify the institution of criminal proceedings against any officer." Later, on 8 July, the Home Secretary recorded his refusal to set up an inquiry under the provision of S32 Police Act (1964).
The justifiable homicide verdict was appealed and, on June 1978, was set aside by the Queen's Bench Divisional Court, which ordered a new inquest. The second inquest, held in Bishop Auckland in October 1978, reached a verdict of 'death by misadventure'.
The Tom Robinson Band dedicated their 1979 album, TRB Two to Mary Towers, the mother of Liddle Towers. The song "Blue Murder" on this album relates to the death of Towers.

19 & Mad - Leyton Buzzards
I still can't get my head around the fact that this lot ended up as Modern Romance! I absolutely loved this single on Small Wonder Records.

The Addington Shuffle - The Drug Addix
From their Debut The Drug Addix Make A Record EP. The EP was released on Chiswick Records. The band of course is known for featuring a young lady on backing vocals called Mandy Doubt who was infact Kirsty MacColl.

"A" Bomb In Wardour Street - The Jam
Double A-Side with David Watts and a powerful song about the violence of the times! Didn't get an awful lot of airplay but David Watts did and the single peaked at #25 on the charts. Version on the Playlist is from a live performance on Revolver.

I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry - Tanz Der Youth
They were quite short lived releasing only one single. The band featured Brian James (ex-The Damned) and Andy Colqhoun (ex-Warsaw Pakt). Supported Black Sabbath on Tour and played Reading Festival before disappearing. 

10.15 Saturday Night - The Cure
Was the B-Side to the Debut Single Killing An Arab released in August 1978 on Small Wonder Records. The version on the Playlist is from their John Peel Session in December 1978.

I Love You You Big Dummy - Magazine
B-Side to the single Give Me Everything. A great cover of a Captain Beefheart classic.

Ain't You - Kleenex
Swiss Girl Band who first released this as part of a Four Track EP on the Sunrise Label and then whittled it down to two tracks for release by Rough Trade Records. They had to change their name due to a dispute with the Toilet Paper manufacturer who had a product of the same name! They became Liliput.

We finish with a wee flavour of Northern Ireland and in particular the Good Vibrations label.
Big Time - Rudi
Northern Irish band and debut and first single released on Good Vibrations label (GOT 1).

Strange Thing By Night - Victim
Second release on Good Vibrations label (GOT 2).

Justa Nother Teenage Rebel - The Outcasts
Second release from Northern Irish band The Outcasts and their first for Good Vibrations (GOT 3).

Don't Ring Me Up - Protex
GOT 6 on the Good Vibrations label, and another great wee band from Northern Ireland.

Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
Probably one of the greatest songs ever I reckon (and so did John Peel). GOT 4 on the Good Vibrations label and a brilliant Debut EP from Derry's finest.


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