The first wave rightly gets the recognition but hot on the heels by a matter of days, or weeks bands like Generation X and Buzzcocks took things to new levels. So the Clash had the slogans and Politics, The Pistols the nihilism and snot and The Damned were the first for everything it was bands like Buzzcocks who brought the poetry and teen love and With Idol and James Generation X brought the Legacy and homage to who passed before them from the silver screen and music clubs they openly embraced Elvis, The Beatles and The Who to name a few. It was their thrift store chic and boyish good looks and that swagger that they put to maximum use with Idol and his lip curl these magpies soaked it all up like a sponge punk, pop, rock and a dash of glamour.
This Deluxe Edition house in a solid slipcase is expanded to three LP’s. LP one is the debut album complete with lyric inner bag and the first thing that grabbed me was how fresh the songs sound. I still love ‘One Hundred Punks’ and the energy from the frantic drumming and the edge on Derwood-Andrews guitar playing. so Idols lyrics were a bit shit at times such as ‘Kleenex’ but it certainly doesn’t detract from his sneer as he spills the lyrics left right and center. But don’t forget these were just a bunch of snotty kids to be fair why shouldn’t their lyrics be a bit juvenile because at the end of the day that’s exactly what they were.
Musically they weren’t some kids picking up their instruments for the first time and a bit wet behind the ears as songs like ‘Listen’ might have been a bit sloppy but they used echo and time changes really well and it all weaved an awesome tapestry. ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ being the platform that Idol broke away and used throughout his career wasn’t the sound of a bunch of kids making a racket with volume and adrenalin it was and still is an exceptional song.
Be honest who doesn’t like shouting the refrain of ‘Youth Youth Youth’? A great way to end a great record fuck the detractors and the purists Generation X made a few exceptional albums and this was the first. Don’t even get me started on ‘Valley Of The Dolls’ which I trust will also get the same treatment as this?
The second LP features the singles and their B Sides now who doesn’t really think those couple of singles weren’t fantastic? ‘Ready Steady Go’, ‘Wild Youth’ and the slew of B Sides are a welcome addition to this collection housed as part of a double album. The Remaster has taken away all my clicks and pops and has me thinking how good would that album have been had these two been included on that as well? “Wild Wild Wild Youth!” Hearing the Dub version was probably the first time this young kid had ever heard any Dub – trailblazers for sure. Not sure how or why the B Side of ‘Fridays Angels’ is included here but I’m not complaining ‘Trying For Kicks’ is decent.as is ‘This Heat’ it has cowbell for Gawds sake!
Probably the main reason a lot will have picked up this set is the third LP (it certainly swayed it for me) with twelve previously unreleased tracks which include a couple of Phil Wainman recordings such as ‘Ready Steady Go’ and ‘No No No’ and the Us versions cover of Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’. the kind of material I’d expect to have on a set like this. The big revelation is still to come with the Alan Winstanley mixes. Alan Engineered the first album and also mixed these versions and to be honest Maybe its time playing tricks with me but boy these songs really do come to life on these versions.
There are seven songs in total and they take on a fresh and even more raw sound which is excellent. If I was to have a complaint about this set its the lack of little extras that aren’t essential but do tend to make this anniversary box sets a bit special. I wasn’t looking for silver rings or signed art reproductions (although that would have been nice) for £500 but maybe a 12″ book with essay from people who were there and pictures maybe a DVD with live footage who knows it must all exist maybe have gotten the band to do a short piece each because all that’s contained here is one side of the innerbag has an essay from Adrian Thrills which is nice to read but sort of a little lite. That something of a minor gripe because for less than 40 sheets this is a must-own for punk rockers and anyone who ever had a soft spot for these four scamps and their Rock and Roll sound because it really was a boss sound and I loved it then and still love it now. If anyone from the James, Idol, Chrysalis camp happen to read this I look forward to the ‘Valley Of The Dolls’ set it needs to happen for continuity and because I’d love it. Never mind a hundred punks I know four who ruled. Tony, Billy, Mark and Bob.
Buy Generation X Here