An often forgotten incarnation of Scottish punk legends, The Rezillos. A name change developed to get out of record contract obligations. Although only a slight change of a consonant, a definite stylistic shift saw the group becoming more of an Irn Bru tinged B-52’s. This new New Wave output was prime for the American market and achieved a very much converted spot on a John Hughes teen movie soundtrack. Although the band maintained a massive following in Japan, they struggled to make a lasting impact in the UK & the US.
This box-set special lovingly compiled (as ever) by Cherry Red records, includes the band’s two studio albums Rev Up (1980) & Attack! (1982). Further items included in the set, an array of live recordings, BBC sessions, demos and non-album singles.
Disc 1 is primarily the debut album with added extras tacked onto the end. This album, the bands better-known work is a splendid mix of 60s girl group cool with rockabilly revival riffs and retro organ sounds. Additional material here includes the excellent stand-alone singles ‘Scuba Scuba’ and ‘Where’s The Boy For Me’ and two separate Peel sessions from 1980 & 1981 respectively.
The second disc featuring the lesser-known follow-up album ‘Attack!’, but the 2002 re-release version. Legend has it when the LP was released the wrong mix was used, causing copies to be eventually recalled. For completist purposes both mixes of this album have their own discs. Bonus tracks here include: a further BBC session and a Christmas cover of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’.
The remainder of this package is 3 discs of live material. The previously released Japanese live album, a UK reunion gig from 1996 and a rough live recording from 1981. The production quality on the Japan recordings is fantastic, the 96 reunion recordings are definitely worth an investigation but the 81 archive recording are definitely for completists only. Also added onto these final discs are further stand alone singles “Bitten By A Love Bug” & “Midnight”. These ended up being the last re-releases of the groups original run. I must admit I had never heard either before, but both are particularly strong material wise with very great production and it’s disappointing they called it a day not long after.
Overall this set is a well priced addition for Revillos/Rezillos fans looking to thicken out their collection, but as someone who has had a past interest and looking to hear further material this collection has a lot of much the same. When material is at it’s best the band shine their brightest, but unfortunately Cherry Red have included a lot of filler in this set.
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Author: Dan Kasm