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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave 1977: Pure Mania - The Vibrators

 Pure Mania - The Vibrators
Produced by Robin Mayhew and The Vibrators
Released June 1977
UK Chart #49

Side 1
Side 2

    Knox - guitar, keyboards, vocals
    John Ellis - guitar, vocals
    Pat Collier - bass, vocals
    John "Eddie" Edwards - drums

Single On Pure Mania



 Released 20th May 1977
Did Not Chart

Live versions of two songs from the album were also released as a Single.



Released 26th August 1977
Did Not Chart

The girl who features on the Picture Sleeve was actually Knox's girlfriend at the time Carol Semaine.

Other Tracks Previously Released but Re-Recorded For Pure Mania

 Whips and Furs
RAK Records
B-Side to We Vibrate
Released 19th November 1976
Produced by Mickie Most

BBC Sessions
Included Dance To The Music (Whips and Furs) and Sweet Sweet Heart.

John Peel Session 22nd June 1977.
Included Petrol, Keep It Clean, Baby Baby, London Girls, and She's Bringing You Down.

Live in 1977

Live at The Marquee.
This recording was not actually released until 1992 on Released Emotion Records as a Limited Edition. The London Girls Single was taken from this particular show.
Strangely enough the album does not have an actual title track, though on their second album V2 they did open that record with a song called Pure Mania!

I never really understood people who accused The Vibrators of being "bandwagon jumpers" because the band formed in February 1976, a couple of months before even The Clash took up arms! Maybe people didn't like the fact that Knox was in his thirties and the whole Punk/New Wave scene was meant to be "for and by the Kids" - that's actually a total nonsense I think.

Within a month of forming they had their debut show at the Hornsey College of Art supporting The Stranglers (another bunch of "old" guys who also found a place in the heart of the Punk/New Wave scene) and of course they would be a part of the legendary 100 Club Punk Festival in September 1976.

Their performance at the 100 Club did raise a few eyebrows when Chris Spedding joined them on stage but it was a good thing for the band because Spedding recommended them to RAK Records (the label he was signed to) and within a couple of months the band had released their debut single We Vibrate / Whips and Furs (on the same day it was released, 19th November 1976, Chris Spedding and The Vibrators also released Pogo Dancing / The Pose).

1977 was a busy year for the band as they not only released their debut album Pure Mania but were out on the road in the UK, Europe and North America playing around 116 shows in total. Some of these dates were in support of Iggy Pop, and Ian Hunter besides headlining shows of their own.

What of the album you say? Well from track one to the end of track fifteen there's no let up. It's fast, it's furious, totally in your face rock and roll.

My favourite tracks on the album are: Into The Future, Baby Baby, Petrol, London Girls, You Broke My Heart, Whips and Furs, and Wrecked On You.

The only single to be released from the album (if you discount the live version of London Girls) Baby, Baby is a classic I think and stands out as probably one of their best songs ever (which is saying something when you consider that the band are still on the go today and still writing new material). It's amazing to think that it never got to the charts at all as it is a great poppy punk record on a par with the likes of what Generation X, The Jam and The Stranglers were releasing (they only ever had one charting single and that was Automatic Lover released in March 1978 and that only reached #35 but did get them a spot on Top of The Pops!).

The album was released all over Europe, Asia, America and Canada in 1977 and since its release it has been reissued a number of times on both Vinyl and CD.

The album is well regarded by some music critics and, 17 years after its release The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music named Pure Mania one of the 50 Best Punk Albums of All Time.

Just incase you were not aware (where have you been hiding?) the song Stiff Little Fingers that appeared on the album was the inspiration for a certain band from Belfast to adopt it as their name.
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