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Stars of CCTV

4.1 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 July 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Necessary/Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0009OU2M8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,929 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Cash Machine
  2. Middle Eastern Holiday
  3. Tied Up Too Tight
  4. Gotta Reason
  5. Hard To Beat
  6. Unnecessary Trouble
  7. Move On Now
  8. Better Do Better
  9. Feltham Is Singing Out
  10. Living For The Weekend
  11. Stars OF CCTV

Product Description

Product Description

Hard-Fi are the product of their suburban West London environment; the sound of twenty-something gun-slingers on the minimum wage. Stars Of CCTV, their debut album, is the sound of a band weaned on the heady concrete glamour of The Clash, Dexys, and Happy Mondays - of thuggish attitude-drenched anthems of modern living and hometown ennui.

Amazon.co.uk

Road-tested in a car speeding the mean streets of Staines, Stars Of CCTV - the debut album from Middlesex’s Hard-Fi – consciously sets out to update the sense of frustrated tension and suburban dread that powered second-wave ska acts like The Specials and The Beat back at the close of the ‘70s.

Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t ska-punk a la Brit troupers [Spunge] and Capdown: Hard-Fi play this music lean and moody, like The Streets on downers, or Massive Attack plugging in and tuning up. "Cash Machine" sees a swallowed debit card as the jump-off for vocalist Richard Archer to spin a tale of crushing poverty and unwanted pregnancy, spurred along by thrumming dub bass and the sad wheeze of a vibraphone. They do upbeat as well, as club anthem "Hard To Beat" – a heart-fluttering composite of Northern Soul elation and fist-pumping Rockers reggae – joyfully confirms. But it’s the emotional struggle, the ups and downs of life, that keeps Stars Of CCTV engaging throughout: see penultimate track "Living For The Weekend", a hedonistic blast filled with not a little of the passion that fuelled Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, which succeeds chiefly because it’s all too aware of the bad times as well as the good. --Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When I bought this album I had only actually heard 'Hard To Beat', which I thought was an OK song. The album reviews intrigued me, particularly with the Ska and Clash references. Now this is the only current album on my car stereo - it has a great beat and feel that makes it perfect for August summer evenings with the window down. This is a brillant debut and the hybrid Clash / Specials remark is spot on ( with a bit of The Jam thrown in, i.e. Living For The Weekend.)
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Format: Audio CD
This is an incredibly accomplished debut album - a blistering set of songs with not one dud track amongst them. Weaving together a diverse range of influences, Hard-Fi spin tales of everyday life and love, but they somehow manage to turn this ordinary premise into a collection of tracks unlike anything you've heard before. Their influences encompass everything from traditional Britpop-indie to ska, dub, reggae, pop and dance, informing the nous and flexibility that made 'Hard to Beat', arguably the standout track, a club anthem as well as a festival favourite.

Every track crackles with energy - this is the raw sound of disenchanted youth on the edge of greatness, determined to break out of a grey backwater and head for the bright lights of the city. Anyone who's ever been stuck in a dead-end job will identify with frontman and songwriter Richard Archer's vignettes of everyday working-class life; there's the anguish of being broke on 'Cash Machine', the elation of a new crush on 'Hard to Beat', the bitterness of the subsequent break-up on 'Better Do Better', joy at the prospect of two days and nights of freedom on 'Living for the Weekend'. 'Middle Eastern Holiday' is as fierce and vitriolic an anti-war song as you'll hear anywhere, but like the rest of the tracks, it's written from a heart-wrenchingly personal point of view. Along with 'Feltham is Singing Out', it illustrates Hard-Fi's ability to tackle social issues with breathtaking effectiveness, while skilfully avoiding making their songs into political polemics. The title track is a fitting close to the album - a sublime paean to a world in which every move we make is caught on camera, it all hinges on Archer's sneering refrain of 'can't you see the camera loves me', his voice dripping with sarcasm.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm not sure why I didn't check out this superb release when it introduced Hard-Fi's brand of (mostly) hard-rocking, fascinating tales of gritty suburbia way back in 2005. The band's influences are many and varied; punk, ska and soul are often cited although I'd probably throw in the power trio Supergrass from the mid-1990's and early Kasabian (circa 2004) as well. There are no fewer than 5 Top 20 hits included here with the masterful 'Cash Machine', the hard-rocking 'Tied Up Too Tight', the anthemic 'Hard To Beat' and the supremely catchy 'Living For The Weekend' all worthy of mention. To be honest, there's plenty more to appreciate here:- 'Feltham Is Singing Out' could easily have been a single whilst 'Middle Eastern Holiday' moves along stealthily as does the punky 'Move On Now'; the only break from the non-stop pace attack comes in the shape of the lovely reflective ballad 'Move On Now'. If you missed Hard-Fi first time around then give this classy album a spin and prepare to be suitably impressed.
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By S. Vasicek VINE VOICE on 11 Aug. 2005
Format: Audio CD
I've been tracking Hard-Fi for the past year or so & had been anticipating this album for a while. After just one listen I was blew away!
When I was listening to hit I was waiting to hear the/a filler track but instead I got quality song after quality song. I can't find fault with this album at all.
Richard Archer may well be the best songwriter in Britain today. You'd of heard the brilliant singles 'Cash Machine', 'Tied Up Too Tight' & 'Hard To Beat' but they're surpassed by 'Better Do Better', 'Feltham Is Singing Out' & the title-track 'Stars Of CCTV'. The only stop for breath comes with ballad 'Move On Now' which is another top track.
Musically I find it really hard to catergorise Hard-Fi's sound. Think rock, dance, ska, pop, the lot. Lyrically they're argubaly the best around at the moment. Like The Streets only, well, good. It would of been nice to have the lyrics in the album sleeve but if that's the only fault of this otherwise awseome record then I'm sure you don't need any more persuasion to buy it. I really hope this wins the Mercury Prize, it deseves it.
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By A Customer on 21 Aug. 2005
Format: Audio CD
One of the best albums of the year that iv heard.
Its hard to say who Hard-Fi are like, as they have a pretty unique style and a good one at that...closest to indie if anything.
Great lyrics, great music, great style...great album.
Cash Machine, Tide Up Too Tight, Hard To Beat, Unnecessary Trouble, Move On Now, Better Do Better, Feltham Is Singing Out, Stars OF CCTV are all brilliant songs, but hey, so are all the songs on this album.
I agreed with the comparison of Hard-Fi to The Streets..."like The Streets except, well, good" on someone else's review.
Buy this album, you wont be disappointed...atleast i wasnt, and the only time id ever heard of them was on an advert on telly for theyr album...i thought it looked alright, i bought it, and its brilliant.
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