Sunday, May 18, 2008

Punk Rockin' - Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks

by Cindy Jacobson
(I wrote this in 1988 so think of yourself as being in a time warp of coolness while you're reading it. Pretend you're in the late 80s looking back on late 70s punk rock. -Cindy J)

"We're the flowers in the dustbin. We're the poison in your human machine. We're the future, your future." -Sex Pistols, 1977

1988 seems to be the year when lotsa punk rock compilations are coming out, so I'm going to sort through them for you, ok?

The Clash--The Story of the Clash (Epic)
Well for starters you can take the first record or tape or disc (depending on which configuration it is that makes you get all horny) and toss it in the trash. Post '79 Clash is pretty dismal stuff (Oh the controversy I've just caused! The middle of the night phone calls I'm going to get from pissed off punk rockers!). But the second half is totally cool. You get highlights from the first two Clash albums plus all the singles in between. "Complete Control" still sounds as pissed off as it did ten years ago. After CBS released "Remote Control" on a single without the band's permission the Clash got mad and decided to stick it to 'em: "They said, well it's 'Remote Control'/We didn't want it on the label." By the end of the song guitars and drums are crashing all over the place and Mick Jones is chanting, "total c-o-n control." And that's why we still love the Clash today and forever.

The Clash on iTunes The

Ramones Mania (Sire)
One night me and Billy (that's my boyfriend) were out driving around and we stopped near that little beach along the bay that's right in front of Ghirardelli Square. We were parked with all the windows down and we were giggling and singing "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" as loud as we could. Of course we changed the lyrics to "well San Francisco really has it all." You'd think we were drunk or had consumed large quantities of illegal substances, you know, like us youth are prone to do, but we weren't drunk or on drugs at all. Who needs drugs when you've got the Ramones? Later on of course we got all gropey and mushy and did other naughty bad things that us lusty youth are prone to do.

Ramones on iTunes Ramones

Buzzcocks - Lest We Forget (ROIR)
This happened about three years ago, ok? I went into this record store in North Beach and there was a cute guy behind the counter with a cool leather jacket. Your basic hoodlum type. He was playing the second Buzzcocks album, Love Bites (iTunes link). Ouch. Now I thought this guy was really cool cause I love the Buzzcocks. Their first album was the first album I ever bought. As I was walking around the store he kept looking at me. So finally I bought a record and I blurted out something really stupid like, "you have a really cool jacket." And he said, "oh thanks." That's all he said. But I kept going back into the store. It took him forever to ask me out. And now he's my boyfriend. So I met Billy cause of the Buzzcocks. Cool, huh? Oh, Lest We Forget is live. Play it lots. Like all the best punk rock it's a loud, fast explosion of noise and rebellion. And Love Bites just came out on CD. Ouch.

You really should not be without: Singles Going Steady - Buzzcocks (iTunes link)

More Buzzcocks on iTunes Buzzcocks

Sex Pistols--The Mini Album/The Swindle Continues/Better Live Than Dead (all on Restless) and We've Cum For Your Children (Skyclad)
Ten years after Sid dies and we get four "new" Sex Pistols albums. Yeah, the swindle continues... Plus Never Mind the Bollocks, punk's single greatest expression, is a now a domestic CD. 'Bout time, Bugs.Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols CD cover The Ramones may've started the whole damn thing, but the Pistols rubbed it in everyone's faces. There isn't a single band today that's worth anything at all that doesn't owe a huge debt to Malcolm McLaren's boys (oooh! more controversy!). The Sex Pistols took the piss out of rock and roll and put the rebellion back in. As far as these new albums go, The Mini Album is the best, great raw demos from '76. Better Live Than Dead is high on intensity but low on quality. Side one of The Swindle Continues has more demos you've heard a million times while side two is post-break up poo. We've Cum for Your Children is pretty much a mess, but there's enough tidbits to satisfy the hardcore fan who has to have everything. It's almost worth it for the legendary Bill Grundy interview during which the Pistols said bad words on national television and a very young Siouxsie Sioux was lurking somewhere in the background.

If you don't own any Sex Pistols albums you should get Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (iTunes link) before you get any of these. And if you check out Public Image you'll know why Johnny Rotten's still the greatest and still pissed off. Play the Pistols' "Bodies" along side PiL's "Body" and you'll see what I mean.

If you already have Bollocks, check out: Spunk: the Official Bootleg by Sex Pistols (iTunes link), which is filled with great early raw demos when they had Glen Matlock. Coolness.

Addresses: Epic and Sire are major Michael Jackson and Madonna driven labels and you should be able to find their punk toys just about anywhere. ROIR lives at in NYC 10012. Restless (is)/was just a little chunk of Enigma, who (are)/were in El Segundo, CA 90245. And Skyclad (which means "all bare naked" for those of you who don't know anything about witches) parks its car at (removed cause it's no longer there) Middlesex, NJ. Ok?

from late 1988; unpublished

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