Top positive review
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Punk no is dead no?
on 23 November 2013
Perfect book for anyone who wasn't buying 45s in the 70's or for someone who did but has since parted with them or can't be bothered to get them out of the loft. As is said in the book, there has always been more to music than just the music. In the punk era, I wouldn't buy a single if it had an awful sleeve, and some of them sure did. I'm not sure if some of the weaker sleeves have improved what with the distance we are now at from punk (almost 40 years woah). Maybe bad design is just bad design. I still don't like the art for the Killjoys or Slaughter & the dogs 1st single! Strange that the sleeves work fine as art works, separated from the music they contained. They are stand alone objects. Its not just Brit punk included here, there are lots of rare US records, most of which were hard, or impossible to find in the UK. These include some of the great 45s by Californian bands, championed by book author Jon Savage on his amazing 'Black Hole' CD. There is also a CD available to accompany this book (sold separately).
The text sheds new light on the complex relationship between musicians, fans , label owners & activists in Paris, London & NY /CA and the relationship between 60s garage punk and the 70s phenomena. A highlight for me in Punk 45 is the interview with Skydog label boss Marc Zermati who had a lot to do with helping to introduce to London the likes of MC5 (although they had played in London in the 70s) The Flaming Groovies (the Grease EP is such a fabulous record with a wonderful sleeve) Iggy, and some great Pub Rock - just great raw Rock n Roll. This was a golden period, when it wasn't exactly clear about what punk should be (something to do with reality and energy), before cliché and the lowest common denominator & the cash-ins kicked in. A nice piece from Soul Jazz main man recalls him being impressed by the huge collage of punk/new wave 45 sleeves at Bonaparte records in Bromley as I was too.
The single really was the perfect medium for punks short sharp musical shocks (Ok there were at least 3 rather good LPs too..)
as it was for other once vital youth musics, 60s soul, 70s funk, rockabilly, reggae... If you weren't there, get this book, and if you were I think you'll enjoy looking back without getting those tatty and musty old records out! Rock On!