Tuesday, October 24, 2006

CHELSEA
The Punk Singles Collection (1998)
Label: Captain Oi! Records
Format: CD
Ripped: EAC MP3 (VBR - HQ)
HHA Rating: 10
pw = hangoverhard.blogspot.com

"Old school" punk bands are a dime a dozen, you say. Well, you might be right. There were just as many talentless bandwagon-jumpers in 1977 that based their entire musical careers on 1 Sex Pistols song as there were talentless bandwagon-jumpers in 1988 that based their musical careers on 1 Bad Religion song. But look hard enough, and you'll find the diamonds amongst the trash. Chelsea are those diamonds.
Gene October milled about in the punk scene for a while, going through literally countless lineups for Chelsea by the time Chelsea's first album was released in 1979. It was a great example of working class, angry, midtempo punk rock. He would go on to record 2 more worthy albums, 1980's Alternative Hits, and 1982's Evacuate, before stumbling into musical oblivion. All three of these albums are worthy of praise, and stand significantly above most of the garbage that got thrown around in that era, all in the name of Punk.
Honestly, I would recommend you purchase all three of Chelsea's landmark albums, as they are all consistently exciting slabs of punk, even after all these years. But if you limit yourself to just one Chelsea CD, this will serve that purpose. The only problem is all of the B-Sides that inevitably show up to mar a "Singles Collection" such as this. Especially when there are truly great album tracks that are nowhere to be found on the disc.
Gene October was a worthy songwriter, and produced too many memorable punk tunes to be forgotten, or lumped in with hoards of cut-rate UK punk bands. Chelsea were better than most. The Damned, Sex Pistols, Ruts, Chron Gen, Anti-Pasti, Adverts, Drones, UK Subs, Abrasive Wheels, 999, Adicts, Sham 69, Eater, Lurkers, Vibrators... all great bands. But NONE of them have THREE top-rank albums, perhaps one or two, but not three. Other than The Clash, and Stiff Little Fingers, I can't think of any politically oriented punk band of the period with three great albums.
*** punkviper (Pittsburgh, PA USA) *** reviewd on Amazon
[tracks]
1. right to work
2. the loner
3. high rise living
4. no admission
5. urban kids
6. no flowers
7. no one's coming outside
8. what would you do
9. i'm on fire
10. look at the outside
11. don't get me wrong
12. no escape
13. decide
14. rockin' horse
15. years away
16. freemans
17. i.d. paradise
18. how do you know
19. evacuate
20. new era
21. war across the nation
22. stand out
23. last drink
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