SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES Hong Kong Garden. Super rare 1978 vintage original UK promotional silk-screened poster, measuring 31" x 26", for their debut single release on 18 August 1978, by Polydor Records. Hong Kong Garden was one of the most important of the early British Post-Punk hits, reaching number seven on the UK Singles Chart. According to Polydor Art Director Jill Mumford this original silk-screened poster is one of just 15 believed produced – this example has benefitted fromsympathetic professional restoration and preservation, being lined onto acid-free Japanese paper, a conservation method that restores and flattens worn folds and edge creases, preserving the delicate paper and stabilising the vulnerable edges, protecting them from further dints and damage. This stunning original example has had significant investment already spent in order to preserve it and is now ready for conservation framing and display. A rare opportunity…!
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.
Cosmic Psychos “Blokes You Can Trust” 1991. Amphetamine Reptile Records, produced by Butch Vig, recorded at Smart Studios in Madison WI (where they apparently had a great time, thanking the Crystal Corner bar and Sprecher Beer in the liner notes). Blokes You Can Trust was the third LP from Australian punks Cosmic Psychos, though with recording and production by Butch Vig, fresh from Nirvana’s Nevermind, there is a distinct early 90′s grunge sound, albeit leaning more toward Motorhead metal and speed than the dirge of many grunge contemporaries. The opening track “Back at School” is fast and wicked; released as a single its b-side is a cover of the riot grrrl classic “Shove” by L7. “Dead Roo,” the other single Cosmic Psychos released, is also great, detailing the hazards of driving on Australian highways. “I’m Up You’re Out” definitely leans in the slower, heavier grunge direction but “Loser” has a more classic, 3-chord Ramoneseque punk vibe and “Nightshift” is hyper-speed hardcore punk. “Hooray Fuck” is all metal guitar, deep beats and head-banging to the anthemic chorus (“Hooray Fuck!”). “Do It to Me” is hilarious, but “Never Grow Old” feels tired and cliched. “What” is fairly straight-up punk but the album concludes with “Elle” which is an acoustic growler, filled with laughs and audience/band whoops and hollers, like it’s closing time in an almost-cleared pub, the lights are on, the amps unplugged and the band is wasted but needs to play one more song.
THE DAMNED Stretcher Case Baby. MEGA RARE AUTOGRAPHED 1977 UK promotional vinyl 7" which was never available for retail sale, but instead was originally given away at a series of London gigs and through an NME competition to celebrate the bands first anniversary, also including Sick Of Being Sick. Housed in a superb picture sleeve and matching skull labels. This is a legendary item from the beginning of the punk era and this copy has the bonus of being fully signed on the front of the sleeve by the circa 1978 line up of Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible [‘Brian Is A Toss’ above Sensibles signature], Rat Scabies and Algy. The fragile sleeve has some light wear, along with the vinyl that only shows one or two inaudible surface scuffs to show for its forty plus years in the wild. A wonderful collectors item that should take pride and place in any Damned collection.
SEX PISTOLS Pretty Vacant. Rare original 1977 Japanese 7" vinyl single released by Columbia with blue & silver label design manufactured by Nippon Columbia, also including No Fun, complete with a picture insert. The insert has minimal wear whilst the vinyl shows only light signs of play.
Dead Boys “Night of the Living Dead Boys” 1981, recorded in 1979 at CBGB. Bomp! Records. Today, February 18th, is Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome’s birthday (b. Eugene Richard O’Connor, 1955). Classic, early American punk, this LP features live renditions of Dead Boys songs from their classic debut album Young Loud and Snotty like “All This and More,” “Caught with the Meat in Your Mouth,” “What Love Is,” “Ain’t Nothin’ to Do,” “I Need Lunch” and the punk classic “Sonic Reducer.” From their second – and final – studio album We Have Come for Your Children included on Night of the Living Dead Boys are “3rd Generation Nation,” the cover of Rolling Stones’ “Tell Me,” “Catholic Boy,” “I Won’t Look Back,” “Ain’t it Fun” and “Son of Sam.” Also appearing is one song that does not appear on either of their albums, the lead track “Detention Home.” I don’t generally have high expectations of most live albums, especially ones from the 70′s at crappy punk bars. Night of the Living Dead Boys is surprisingly high quality for its time and venue with Stiv Bators’ dark slinky style easily shimmering through, Cheetah Chrome’s and Jimmy Zero’s guitars appropriately either murky or cutting depending on the song but always loud and the rhythm section of Johnny Blitz on drums and Jeff Magnum on bass driving (also loud!).
Also: anytime I ever write about Dead Boys, I have to post about the time that Cheetah and Johnny went on the Young Loud and Snotty 40th anniversary tour and we got to meet them (and get our album signed) at our favorite local record shop before the concert. Here’s me and the guys in 2017.
“The Rare Stuff” 1979 comp on Harvest Records of tracks by punk/new wave bands including The Saints, Wire, Rich Kids, The Flys, The Banned and The Shirts. The Saints, early punks from Australia, have four tracks (they, and Wire, are probably the biggest acts showcased on the LP): “River Deep Mountain High” (a punked-up and almost unrecognizable cover of Ike & Tina Turner’s famous song), “One Way Street,” “Lipstick on Your Collar” (a golden oldie which was a hit for Connie Francis in 1959; The Saints version is much better) and “Demolition Girl,” all originally recorded during their debut album – (I’m) Stranded – 1976/77 sessions. Experimentally punk Wire from the UK has just two tracks: “Dot Dash” and “Options R” which were recorded – but not included – on their amazing debut record Pink Flag. Rich Kids, formed by ex-Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock with vocals by future Ultravox member Midge Ure, have one track, “Only Arsenic” which they recorded during their sole album’s session Ghosts of Princes in Towers and released as the B-side to the LP’s title track single. It’s not particularly Sex Pistols-esque – rather it’s rough-edged 60′s-styled garage-pop, lending even more weight to the rumor that Matlock was fired from the Pistols for expressing his admiration for The Beatles. I’m not very familiar with the other bands on The Rare Stuff. The Flys, a British band described by Allmusic as “Half punk, half pop, a jangling, jarring cross between the Byrds and the Buzzcocks,” have four tracks: “E.C.4″ (which is really great!), “Love and a Molotov Cocktail,” “Can I Crash Here?” (also excellent) and “Civilization” which I believe were all recorded (but, again, not included) during sessions for their 1978 debut album Waikiki Beach Refugees and the EP Love and a Molotov Cocktail. The Banned, also from England, “only [released] two singles released at the height of punk. Both were cover versions delivered in a power pop vein – arousing suspicions that the group were among the many members of the pub rock fraternity attempting to jump onto punk’s bandwagon.” (Allmusic) All four songs from those two singles are on The Rare Stuff: “Him or Me,” “You Dirty Rat” (both originally by Paul Revere and the Raiders), “C.P.G.J.’s” and a fairly faithful rendition of “Little Girl” (originally by Syndicate of Sound, 1966). The final track is by The Shirts, the lone American band who were contemporaries of Talking Heads. They only get one song on the comp: a kinda sweet, arty song called “Cyrinda” which was the b-side to the song “Tell Me Your Plans” from their debut self-titled release The Shirts in ‘78.