on 19 January 2001
One of the best live bands I ever saw "Hit By Hit" chronicles the bands early singles before they signed to a major label. The album opens with "I Want Everything" a real 'in your face' grinder, this is music delivered with passion and genuine intensity, music for real gangsters, I'm amazed Guy Ritchie hasn't lifted any of these tracks for one of his movies.Bolstered by Kris Dollimore's blistering guitar this is rock music with an edge, if you like your music hard but with integrity, check this. Top track "This Damn nation".
on 26 March 2008
So where was everyone on Feb 14th? Not in Kentish Town Forum, unfortunately. The Godfathers original line up were back together for an anniversary tour and sounding fantastic, but couldn't create an atmosphere ALL by themselves: for that you need a crowded venue and an up-for-it audience.
It would be a shame if the world forgot about The Godfathers. Although they were always out of time, trying to reignite a punked-up rock (as in R&B/R&R) spirit during the haircut decade, ironically you could argue that the first years of the new century have been more Godfathers-friendly than any time since they started. Bands like The Hives have based their entire career on emulating 'Cause I Said So' (not included here), consciously or not, and the whole garage-revival owes a debt to these guys along with Billy Childish and Mick Collins.
So what do you get on this 2CD? on the first disc, Hit By Hit, which was their first album (I know it's a singles compilation but after all that's what 'album' originally meant) and has been elusive/expensive for years: now you can get THIS DAMN NATION (otherwise unavailable) on CD at a reasonable price, not just one of their very best tracks but ONE OF THE BEST SONGS EVER - it's the essence of punk even though it probably isn't strictly punk. There's hardly any lyrics and yet it says EVERYTHING: it's in the attitude.
You also get two of their other best songs: I WANT EVERYTHING, and their stunning version of COLD TURKEY. 'Lonely Man' is fantastic...but then there's not a bad track on here, even the Rolf Harris cover and the instrumentals are great. Added to the original LP is the Love Is Dead E.P.(previously re-released on the '96 Sony comp), the original version of 'Love..' far better than the Sony remake.
The 2nd Cd has the previously issued Janice Long session (perfect version of 'If I Only Had Time'), a never-issued before (as far as I know) Kershaw session from '85 and some live tracks, all great, even the cover of 'Anarchy In The UK', which hasn't often been covered with this much dignity.
When you listen to this 2CD you'll want more: 'Birth School Work Death' was reissued by Sony in Europe in 2003, but doesn't seem to be available now unfortunately: for anyone who doesn't know it was their 1st album for Sony and an unmissable classic. The next album 'More Songs..' was patchy, suffering from the usual overproduced-2nd-LP-syndrome but is easier to get hold of. The stunning 'Unreal World' album was their fourth in all, with a slightly different line-up; you can find it cheaply and you should do so. I have to confess ignorance of the two albums they made in the Nineties, but these are hard to find now.
The aforementioned '96 compilation has a couple of B-sides unavailable elsewhere since the original singles, and the '07 compilation has their Van Morrison cover (also from a B-Side, ditto availability) and some alternate versions.
But this long overdue compilation is the perfect place to start. The Godfathers introduced 'Anarchy..' on Feb 14th as a great traditional English folk song ("but with electric guitars"): the best songs on here make that grade too. Buy, listen, learn, enjoy, and next time they play: go and bloody see them! They deserve the support, and you deserve to hear these songs played live.
on 5 June 2011
A greatly under rated band, I loved this album when it first came out, it seemed there just weren't any other bands playing this kind of intense guitar-driven and punk-influenced music (it turns out there were, just precious few in Britain). This reissue is excellent, my original copy is on vinyl, so it is good to get this on CD at long last. In addition, there is a treasure trove of previously unreleased material on disc 2, so a must buy for any fans of the band and a great starting point for anyone interested in checking them out for the first time.