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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 2 May 2011
When Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus first uttered those famous words above, I'm sure that he didn't have a little known rock 'n' roll group from Detroit in mind. But when, in 1974, three african-american brothers by the birth name of Hackney (Bobby, Dannis & David) decided to record a 12-song LP, the title of which was to be a call to arms for the worlds undivided attention, he could well have been contemplating their eventual destiny & place in musical history.

The Death story truly belongs in rock 'n' roll mythology. The three brothers were first introduced to the magic of 'the devil's music' by their father when in the early 60's he sat them down to witness the first of The Beatles legendary performaces on US variety show 'The Ed Sullivan Show' (Febuary 9th 1964). The day after this momentus occasion it is reputed that David Hackney was to find a discarded guitar in an alley behind their family home and set forth to learn all the wonders that the instrument had to offer. Brothers Bobby & Dannis soon followed suit and the story of Death's inception is now set in stone. Nearly.

When the brothers first started out they were plying their trade as an R&B group (back when that term actually meant something) calling themselves Rock Fire Funk Express. It was only with the epithany that an Alice Cooper live show brought them that urged David and his siblings to change their name to 'Death' and take a more rock oriantated approach to their own music. In doing so they were to become one of the real fore-runners of the punk movement of the late 70's and attain a truly special place amongst the great 'lost' bands of theirs or any era (you know the place, it also contains The Modern Lover's teenage angst, The Soft Boy's psychotic doodlings & d.boon's eternal soul).

After recording a 12 song LP in 1974 the band were asked by Columbia Records to change their name (more preciscely they were asked by american uber-producer & executive Clive Davis, who has had a major role in countless acts careers, most notably Janis Joplin, Iggy Pop, Earth Wind & Fire and, uh, Milli Vanilli. Kind of falls away a little with that last one, no?). When the band point blankly refused, apparently telling local record promoter Brian Spears of Groovesville (who'd once worked with the legend that is George Clinton) that 'Clive Davis can go to hell', the recorded music went away in storage and was never to be heard of again. Thankfully in 2009, indie label Drag City (home to Pavement, Joanna Newsom, Will Oldham & Royal Trux amongst many other greats) deemed fit to release the 7 surviving songs as this long awaited LP, '...For The Whole World To See'. And history can now breath a huge sigh of relief.

The record is a blistering slice of proto-punk that brings memories of great luminaries such as The Stooges, MC5 and the whole CBGB's movement. Opener 'Keep On Knocking' almost sounds like a lost Beatles standard played for kicks, the lenghly 'Let The World Turn' predates Television by a generation and barn-storming closer 'Politicians In My Eyes' is surely the great 'lost' song of the Vietnam war (just to think, as america was belattedly pulling it's troops from the jungle nightmare this animilistic vendetta was pouring from this incredibly anit-corparate act. The more things change...). Fans of acts as diverse as the MC5, Love, Television, The Ramones, Chic and Sly & The Faimly Stone will all find something to adore in this music and it is only sad that the world remains as blind now as it was in 1974.

Also, thanks to Robert Manis of Chicago who's great music taste and unrelenting drive ultimately led to this release. Thank you sir, we are eternally grateful.
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on 20 February 2015
This album and the back story behind Death, reminds me of the real reason that I listen to music. They have all the characteristics of an original punk band but with a unique flavour which allows them to stand taller than many other punk artists of this era. A wonderful mix of songs on this album and I would advise anyone who is into any kind of rock music to give this rare wonder of the world a try.
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on 18 October 2015
This is very much rooted in the time that it was recorded but at the same time it remains timeless as all good music does.
A lot of people call it proto punk, others reference Bad Brains, but the songs bring with them a great deal more influences which make it something unique. listen to it for what it is and enjoy it.
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on 27 January 2014
This is a great 'lost' album returned to the light after something like 35 years in a vault. I happened upon this 3-piece band accidently while browsing the LP covers of the other band called 'DEATH'. I'm glad I found it! The songs on here pre-date the punk explosion of the late '70s, but have that same stripped-down, spontaneous feel - bit like The Stooges I suppose, so you could call them 'proto punk'. There's a soulful feel to some of these tracks too - I really think it's a very original sound, especially when you consider when it was made, it still has an edge. All the tracks are good - my favourite being 'Politicians In My Eyes' (still relevant!). It's a shame they didn't get a bit further, but there was some sort of disagreement where by the record company wanted them to change their name but they refused, so the album was shelved. Pitty. Definately worth checking this out. (Cool cover art too!)
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on 3 February 2014
I heard the track "Politicians In My Eyes" many years ago on a mix tape someone had put together for a party, and it's taken me this long to track down who it was by. It's a scorching proto-punk song with scathing lyrics about the two faced nature of many politicians, and is in a similar vein musically to the Stooges but with the lyrical power of the MC5. The rest of the mini-album doesn't quite match the immediacy of that track, but are excellent hard rock tracks in their own right with something a little different to their (mostly white) contemporaries that I guess came from their grounding in RnB music. Sadly the main driving force of the three brothers who made up the band passed away before this release of their long lost album, but it stands as a testament to the unique talent he possessed.
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on 3 August 2009
Three black blood brothers from Detroit that played tight R'n'B and Soul before they went to an Alice Cooper concert. That night exposed them to the world of Proto Punk/Garage Rock and bands like the Stooges and MC5 so they deceided to go Rock N Roll. The band played regulary from their moms Garage to audiences and were subsequentley offered a big record deal with Columbia that they famously turned down due to the fact that Columbia wanted them to change their name. They obvisously did the best thing but I can't help feel that this should of come out when it was made and NOT just now in 2009. Hence some of the tracks feel dated but if we grew up with it, the world would've been a better place. Therefore i only gave it 4 out of 5 stars even thoughy it deserves 5 out of 5. Again we have the major labels to blame for this so for that reason alone; BUY IT and stick it to the man...
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on 2 January 2014
After listening to tracks like prisoner you can feel the time and effort that went into it. After hearing the story behind the album you know that great music is timeless. Buy it.
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on 2 January 2015
A great hidden gem of an album. Why did it take so long for this to reach us. Makes you wonder what could of been for this band if this album was released back in the seventies.
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on 27 April 2015
Completely brilliant LP. Punk started here! Would highly recommend watching the documentary too.
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on 2 March 2015
A great record that was ahead of its time.
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