Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A bit of Pop/Punk/Psychobilly is good for you.

I have always had a soft spot for The Cramps. This should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me, but does seem to confuse some people I have met who seem to think that I sit around all day listening to strange and obscure Electronic/Avent-garde music Reading MR James, Robert Aickman and discussing Public info Films (ok sometimes I might)
So with that in mind here are a few albums that have been with me since teenage years and are played on a regular basis in the house whilst Hoovering and washing up and pottering around. There are other albums I could include here (Swell Maps Marineville a superb pop/noise/punk psych classic) but all three of these albums in my opinion are true singalong foot tapping greats. 1st up is The Cramps Off the Bone.
What more could you ask for here??? A Cramps compilation of obscure 50s Rock'n'Roll/Rockerbilly cover versions plus a healthy number of Cramps originals, all in a 3D cover (I still have the glasses) covering the Iillegal Records years 79 to 83. Garbage Man is a major foot tapper, and Some New Kind of Kick still reminds me of The Fall (Replace Lux's voice with Mark E Smith impersonation and you'll see what I mean)
The Ramones Its Alive has got to be one of the best live albums of all time. Recorded at The Rainbow Theatre London New Years Eve 1977 and was released in 1979. The album is an absolute cracker and contains most tracks from the 1st three Ramones albums (Ramones, Leave Home and Rocket to Russia) I remember when I first got this album I played it to death. Some years later I finally got to see The Ramones Live and was not disappointed. of course the ups and downs and inner conflicts within the band are now well documented, Johnny's Political views (Right), Joey's views (Left), Tommy leaving, Marky Drinking, Dee Dee's Rap album see End of the Century Documentry), Joey not speaking to Johnny for years. But all of that can never take away how exciting and bloody awesome this album and the band truly were.
Next up has to be the Undertones 1st album. I know its probably a cliche, but from the moment I heard Teenage Kicks on John Peel I was hooked, then seeing the band on TOTP shortly later just confirmed it all for me (Their Old Grey Whistle Test appearance is fantastic) As soon as the album came out in May 1979 I got a copy. The Undertones were in fact signed to Sire Records, the same label as the Ramones. I was also fortunate enough to see them on tour in March and Sept 79 and managed to meet the band on both occasions after the shows (I was still at School and got home late on both occasions) All members of the band were fantastic and very sociable and shared their drinks and cigarettes with all of us. As for the album it is a pop classic. Jump Boys, Billys Third, I Know a Girl, Male Model. All superb and very catchy sing along tracks. It really is a perfect pop album.

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