Maybe the best Punk album of the late 70's The Upstarts debut is full on from Liddle Towers and Police Oppression to Never Again and We are the People. A must for anyone with a love for real working class punk.
This review is for: Teenage Warning Angelic Upstarts (Captain Oi!) I'm coming to this album as a fresh listener in 2012. I've never heard it before and I'm not a fan of the group particularly. I have eclectic tastes and I like good music regardless of the genre. I'm gradually upgrading my old vinyl to CD and I have just one Angelic Upstarts 7" single in my collection ("I'm An Upstart" b/w "Leave Me Alone") and before buying this CD I'd not heard any of their other songs. I always liked both sides of this single and this appears to be the only CD that includes "Leave Me Alone", so this is the sole reason for my purchase. I'm not keen on a lot of swearing in songs and "Leave Me Alone" contains some `F-words', but in this case it isn't done for effect to be cool or outrageous, it's just natural and fits the track perfectly.
I didn't expect to want to listen to a whole album, because this is not the usual type of music that appeals to me. But, the rest isn't the foul-mouthed angry album I was expecting at all and I surprisingly found myself listening to the whole album and thoroughly enjoying it. "Leave Me Alone" is the only track with the 'F-words', some of the rest has angry moments as you'd expect. I played the album loud and at one point I had a feeling like my Dad was going to shout at me to turn this racket down (that must be a throwback memory because I no longer live with my Dad! - He probably objected to "I'm An Upstart" at full blast back in the day though).
After listening to this CD, I vaguely remembered there being some Angelic Upstarts tracks on a compilation CD I've got called "Zonophone Records - The Complete Punk Singles Collection (The Zonophone Punk Singles Collection)" (another purchase I bought to upgrade one 7" single!), so I dug that out and found there are 6 Angelic Upstarts singles on there and they are all good too. So apart from one single, this is a group that had passed me by, but a fresh listen in 2012 and this music still stands up today, so I may be investigating further.
This is the 4th "Captain Oi!" CD i have bought and I'm really pleased with the care and attention to detail. Adding the bonus single versions is something I think is essential with these type of releases, because often they are quite a bit different to the album versions.
"Captain Oi!", Mensi and the boys can all have 5 stars.
Having read John Robb's excellent book Punk Rock: An oral history I have been listening to a lot of old punk stuff and the fires have been well and truly blazing since. Rather surprisingly one of my favourite albums from this period has become the Angelic Upstarts Teenage Warning . Why surprising then ? ...Well it came as a surprise to me because I just wasn't expecting them to be a band i would especially like ( due to their skinhead Oi connotations) let alone love all over again. In fact The Upstarts barely registered with me at the time of the release of Teenage Warning in 1979 when the punk explosion was dissipating yet it is the best discovery I have made since delving into the punk archives. Of course I was aware of the excellent aggravated single "I'm An Upstart" and the title track rang a few bells....very loudly... with it's terrace chant vocal backing but the rest...well it's like hearing a new release. Teenage Warning isn't a classic album by any means. It's very limited in what it does ( but then again so was most punk) and the song-writing isn't always the best but somehow I find even this lack of craft endearing ,something which would probably make them puke but then how elementally punk is that. The aforementioned tracks are the strongest but I also like "Never Again " , "The Murder Of Liddle Towers" and "Police Oppression " but really though pretty much the album whole is a blast ...a one dimensional one but a blast none the less. Mensi sings with goggle eyed fervour and it's always great to hear a band who sound genuinely angry . Why aren't there any bands like this around now? ( If there are and I have missed them please educate me) The world is ( arguably ) more up the spout now then it was then so there is still plenty to be irate about. Maybe Mensi was right...... maybe no one was listening .
Great albulm from one pf the most underestimated punk bands ever loved it as a kid when my older brother used to play teenage warning on his old record player still sounds as good today in my forties as when i was a kid, if you like intelligent punk music buy this! and get anarchistic "wind me up like a clockwork orange!" i love it and i'm sure you will too.
Recieved opinion has it that this album was patchy and disappointing and that the band promised more, and while i won't kid you it's a masterpiece it certainly has it's share of punk classics, particularly the title track, I'm An Upstart and Never Again.When the punk retrospectives are rolling this band is usually a footnote at best but for me they were the real deal; real anger suffused with a pop sensibility.At their best they rank with the greats of that era and should not be dismissed as sub-Sham headbangers or whatever nonsense the art school meeja crowd will tell you to fit their self serving agenda today.