Rollin on with albums from the archive, I present these treats for your amusement:
The Jam, Snap!- 2 LP This seminal trio at their finest – well it’s a collection of their finest. Sounds so fresh and explosive even now. Great gatefold deco and liner note copy-writing. Explodes out of speakers and especially love the ambient tube sounds of “Down in Tube Station at Midnight”.
Oingo Boingo, Only A Lad 10 inch, 4 song EP
No other band sounds anything like Oingo Boingo — started as something like a 15 piece, whittled down to more like six, with marimbas and percussive elements along with electronics to make a completely new and extremely danceable heady brew (for you youngsters, this was Danny Elfman of every Tim Burton soundtrack fame)’s band. Also the 10inch 4 song EP is the best music format ever created.
The Specials, The Specials From the opening track “message to you Rudy”, the drum sound is massive and hollow and upfront, the guitars are crisp and restrained, and the stories are all songs (or vice versa) — while they lost their drummer this year, this band is touring, played the Warfield in San Francisco just recently. As an aside, I was fortunate to share a speaking gig with the guitarist Lynval Goulding at SxSw.
Life in the European Theater, Compilation Opens with The Clash’s London Calling and just rocks on from there with aforementioned the Jam & the Specials, plus XTC, Au Pairs, Echo and the Bunnymen, Madness, The Beat, The Undertones (all of the above of UK bands of course), with The Doors’ almost forgotten Peace Frog as (somewhat inexplicably) the only American entry. This was released in 1981 so the first sample of a lot new sounds for this West Coast kid.