Thursday, March 06, 2008

SHAM 69: Hollywood Hero @ VBR

Sham 69 was formed in the working-class community of Hersham (in Surrey) in 1975 by singer and lyricist Jimmy Pursey; the name came from an ancient bit of graffiti celebrating a local football team's winning season in 1969. From the start, Sham 69's politics were populist, and their sound accessible; straight-ahead four-square punk with a hard rock influence and lyrics that often used sing-along slogans in their choruses, such as "If the Kids Are United" and "(Gonna Be A) Borstal Breakout." The band went through a revolving cast of musicians early on before settling on the lineup of Pursey, Dave Parsons on guitar, Albie Slider on bass, and Mark Cain behind the drums. They began scaring up gigs where they could, and began playing the notorious London punk venue the Roxy on a regular basis, where they built up a loyal following. Step Forward, a small independent label, released the band's first single, "I Don't Wanna," in September 1977. The success of the single and the band's growing fan base prompted Polydor to sign the band in the U.K., and their first album, Tell Us the Truth -- one side recorded live, the other in the studio -- was released in early 1978. (Sire released the album in the United States, and it would prove to be the only Sham 69 album released in America until the late '80s.) By the time the album came out, Albie Slider had left the band and Dave "Kermit" Tregenna took over on bass. Sham's second album, That's Life, was released in the fall of 1978, and featured two major hit singles, "Hurry Up Harry" and "Angels With Dirty Faces"; and as many of the first wave of U.K. punk bands were beginning to peter out, Sham 69's popularity continued to grow. --- by Mark Deming, AMG

1. ASBO Sportsday
2. No Apologies
3. Western Culture
4. Medic
5. Here Comes The Lies
6. I Want Glory
7. Hollywood Hero
8. I Don't Believe A Word
9. Give Me A Minute
10. New York City
11. I Love Her
12. Bite The Bullet

pw - hangoverhard

1 comment:

zxunami said...