Happy to finally welcome into the fold this amazing and essential punk album, Inflammable Material from Ireland’s Stiff Little Fingers. Originally released in 1979, this 1980 US pressing was offered by Rough Trade Inc., 1412 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133… for those wondering. I’d been on the hunt for this album since my Milwaukee days back in the early 2000’s, and only just found out that the opening track, Suspect Device (which is arguably among the top three on the album) is a slightly different recording from the bootleg CD version I’ve known and have grown to love in the 18-some-odd years since I knew of this album’s existence… so that’s bitter sweet. Anyway, if you’re into seminal punk from across the pond with a timestamp of nearly 40 years, get into Inflammable Material. Simply put, it’s one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.
This copy of Jingle Bell Jazz was sought out by my better half, and contains jazz-tastic renditions of holiday favorites by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Chico Hamilton, among others. Recorded between 1959 and 1969, Jingle Bell Jazz was originally released by Columbia Records in 1962 (Frosty the Snowman by the Dukes of Dixieland was replaced by Herbie Hancock’s Deck the Halls on this 1980 reissue). Solid holiday music from start to finish, and a great find by my wife.
I was strikingly unaware, back in some foggy 1998 day, that my purchase of Don McLean’s American Pie was actually an abridged version of the original album. Often one to overlook the tiny print, this glaring indicator is now unmissable on the back sleeve, and stands as a reminder that one should always at least attempt to scan the fine print.
I wish that when I’d gotten the soundtrack to the 1980 film, The Elephant Man, that my 18-year-old self would have realized how amazing the cast was (John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins), and that it was, in fact, a very early David Lynch classic. My memory of this film is spotty, but I’ll never forget the ominous, yet somewhat soothing soundtrack. I really want to watch this film now.
Before Jesus Built My Hotrod, before the Revolting Cocks were even a drunken mistake of an idea, before Thieves, Stigmata, and Dark Side of the Spoon, there was Special Affect. This 1980 one-off by Ministry’s Al Jourgensen (guitar) and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult’s Frank Nardiello aka Groovie Mann (vocals) is up-beat dark wave music for the curious at heart, and you wolves among the sheepish weeds. Brush up on the lyrics to the left then enjoy a rare video of the album’s title track, Too Much Soft Living.
I just recently decided that I don’t listen to enough Blondie. I think I saw Blondie at a Tibetan Freedom Concert some several years back, but I could be wrong. Probably am. Anyway, AutoAmerican is Blondie’s fifth studio album and was released on Chrysalis Records in November of 1980. The #1 hit (in both the UK and the US) The Tide is High is actually a cover of a 1967 Jamaican ska track of the same name released by The Paragons. So, there you have it.
What I once thought was Oingo Boingo’s first release, 1980’s Oingo Boingo, is actually their third, following 1976’s 7″ You Got Your Baby Back and 1978’s extremely limited 10″ titled Demo EP (only 130 copies released). Regardless of its apparent lack of exclusivity, this 10″ predates their epic 1981 studio debut, Only a Lad, and is the perfect soundtrack for a lazy, salsa-making day.
Former Dead Boys lead singer Stiv Bators released his first solo album in 1980 on Bomp! Records titled, Disconnected (featured here). This, of course, followed the breakup of The Dead Boys just a year prior (reportedly due to constant pressure from Sire Records to become more marketable / mainstream). Considered more power pop than disturbing hardcore that surrounded The D’ Boys, Stiv’s debut feels surprisingly tame by today’s standards, but must have seemed unsightly back in the early days of the primitive 80’s. Think glam rock for the disheveled, obscenely drunk and painfully talented. Disconnected is also on Spotify, if you’re into such convenient things. Cheers.
The name looks right, at least, familiar, but the characters on the cover… not exactly sure what’s going on here. More disco than initially expected, the Now Sound Orchestra’s flamboyant interpretations of classic, sci-fi favorites is something, SHOULD be something, worthy of this amazing cover art. A classic, ready for reevaluation. You’re welcome.
Last night we made wontons. We made wontons and listened to all six sides of The Clash’s 1980 overwhelming masterpiece, Sandinista!. We prepped, we cooked, well, boiled, and we listened… to all six sides. I honestly don’t remember the last time I listened to this prominent album in its entirety, but it was the perfect soundtrack to our adventurous evening. Whatever your plans are this weekend, make sure, that in some way, they include The Clash. Happy Friday, kids.
Argybargy is a fun word to say in your head with a Morgan Freeman voice. It’s also the title of Squeeze’s third studio album. Release in 1980, Argybargy (thanks, Mr. Freeman) is home to the charters, Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) and Another Nail in My Heart. If I Didn’t Love You also appears on Argybargy but failed to chart even though it received decent airplay.