Thursday, 29 November 2018

Out Came The Freaks!: Island Post Punk Anthology


This is a most enjoyable but ever so slightly flawed box set. A "post punk" compilation should surely include material by Magazine, Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Gang Of Four, Doll By Doll, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Public Image, New Order and early Simple Minds amongst others? (More on that later...). Furthermore, wonderful as though the Roxy Music, Nico, John Cale and Brian Eno tracks are and how they definitely fit the musical tone, they date from several years before punk, let alone post punk. The reggae tracks do not really fit, either, let's be honest. Or the funk ones. For me, "post punk" was largely about moody keyboards, "industrial" somnolent ambience, evocative, dark guitar riffs, reflective, doom-laden lyrics. We don't get much of that here, it has to be said. Here, we get all sorts in the box - reggae, punk, funk, hip hop, rap, dance....

All that said, yes, I know that obviously there are restrictions in that they can only use what was recorded on the Virgin label or its subsidiaries. So this is not a criticism, really, the box set is truly outstanding in both content and sound quality. It throws up lots of interesting material that I may not have even come across, otherwise. I really enjoy listening to it, but when I do, I don't feel I am having a "post punk" session. Anyway, here are my personal highlights (with their genres in some cases) :-

Re-Make Re-Model - Roxy Music (glam)
Baby's On Fire - Brian Eno (glam-ish)
Teenage Depression - Eddie & The Hot Rods (more punk but there you go)
Do Anything You Wanna Do - Eddie & The Hot Rods (ditto)
Typical Girls - The Slits (punky reggae)
Ku Klux Klan - Steel Pulse (reggae)
Hiroshima Mon Amour - Ultravox!
Rock Lobster - B-52s (new wave)
Broken English - Marianne Faithfull (post punk? hmmm)
11 O'Clock Tick Tock - U2
Warrior Charge - Aswad (reggae)
Television, The Drug Of The Nation - The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy (hip hop)
Busting Out - Material & Nona Hendryx (more dance/funk?)
Nasty Girl - Betty Davis (funky but not really post punk)
World Shut Your Mouth - Julian Cope (new romantic)
How Much Are They? - Holger Czukay & Jah Wobble (dance)
Dr. Mabuse (First Life) - Propaganda (dance/synth pop)
I'm A Wonderful Thing, Baby - Kid Creole & The Coconuts (dance/pop)
Wild Thing - Tone Loc (dance/hip hop)
No Sell Out - Malcolm X (hip hop)
Big Powder Dust - Bomb The Bass (rap)

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