The Lurkers “Fulham Fallout” 1978. Beggars Banquet Records. Fulham Fallout is classic 70′s punk, the debut album from English rockers The Lurkers (who have been dubbed, mostly accurately, “The British Ramones”) and it hit #57 on the UK album charts. It’s such great British punk! Snotty, upbeat, punchy, catchy, full of 3-chord hooks, and, like The Ramones, simple, straightforward rock-n-roll: no pretension, no politics. Also like The Ramones, the songs do start to kind of sound alike after awhile, though The Lurkers mix things up occasionally with the inclusion of the harmonica and glockenspiel (not instruments known for their prevalence in the punk canon) and a cover of Phil Spector’s and The Crystals’ 1963 “Then He Kissed Me,” though The Lurkers cheekily rename it “Then I Kicked Her” and speed it up, a lot. My favorite tracks on Fulham Fallout are “I Don’t Need to Tell Her,” “Shadow” (that single released in 1977 was Beggars Banquet first ever release and influential John Peel named it his #11 song of ‘77) the hyper-beat and aptly titled “Go, Go, Go,” “Self Destruct” (“self-destruct! gonna get fucked!”) and the album closer “Be My Prisoner” that’s intro’d with a great drum solo. They only slow down a little, once, on “Gerald” (this one has the aforementioned harmonica) and it’s probably the most complex songs on the album but also my least favorite.
Bauhaus “Bauhaus 1979-1983″ 1985, Beggars Banquet. I’m cleansing my palette after two days of soft rock with a spin of dark gothic post-punk, a double LP comp of many of Bauhaus’ best and some lesser known tracks. Bauhaus 1979-1983 went to #36 in the UK and Spin ranks it in the top 10 of the best and most essential goth albums.
Side A is simply amazing, five of my favorite Bauhaus songs back-to-back: “Double Dare,” “In the Flat Field,” (both on their debut In the Flat Field), “Dark Entries” (released as a single in ‘80),” “Stigmata Martyr” (also on In the Flat Field) and “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (the live version from Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape, released in ‘82), which was the band’s first-ever released single in 1979 and widely considered to be the first goth rock record. Side B is just as strong, starting off with the great cover of T. Rex’s “Telegram Sam” (Bauhaus’ from ‘80, T. Rex’s from ‘72; I love them both). A couple of other favorites are the single “Terror Couple Kill Colonel” from ‘80 and “The Passion of Lovers,” which Bauhaus released as a single in ‘81, hitting #56 on the UK chart. Also on Side B are tracks from In the Flat Field “St. Vitus Dance” and “A Spy in the Cab” as well as the title track “Mask” from their second album released in 198. Side C kicks off with more from Mask: “Kick in the Eye” (which they released as the second single from the LP), “Hollow Hills” and “In Fear of Fear.” Next up is a fantastic cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and a single from ‘83 “Lagartija Nick” which went to #44 in the UK. Side D leads with a Brian Eno-penned song, “Third Uncle,” and then moves into two singles, “Spirit” from ‘82 (#42 on the UK chart) and “She’s in Parties” from ‘83 which also appears on Burning From the Inside. “She’s in Parties” was the band’s last single release; it went to #26 in the UK. Also on Side D is “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” from The Sky’s Gone Out (1982) as well as “The Sanity Assassin” (a non-album fan club only single) and “Crowds.”
I feel so, so much better now.
Tubeway Army “Replicas” 1979. Beggars Banquet Records. Today, March 8th, is Gary Numan’s 60th birthday (b. 1958). Numan fronted the ice cold pre-industrial synthpop Tubeway Army before finding long-lasting success as a solo artist (I still love “Cars”). Replicas is science fictiony (influenced by Philip K. Dick) and heavy on synth and drum machines (influenced by Kraftwerk and John Foxx-era Ultravox). Tubeway Army released two singles from Replicas: “Down in the Park” and the utterly amazing “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” which hit #1 in the UK where it remained for four weeks (and notably covered by The Dead Weather as the b-side for “Hang You from the Heavens”). Also notable are “You Are In My Vision,” “The Machman” and “Me! I Disconnect From You.” Replicas had a lasting influence on synth rock: the industrial bands of the 80′s and 90′s evolved the sound and kept the dark nihilistic attitude (i.e. Nitzer Ebb, Nine Inch Nails, Marily Manson, etc.).