on 13 October 2000
The Boys second and arguably their best album was originally released by NEMS on 17 March 1978. Whilst their first album had been a punk classic "Alternative Chartbusters" was more power pop with many well crafted, commercial and near perfect pop songs. The majority of the songs are Matt Dangerfield and Casino Steel originals with John Plain chipping in with several classics. Lead vocals are shared between Duncan Reid and Matt Dangerfield.
The album kicks off with the classic single "Brickfield Nights", Matt Dangerfield's finest vocal moment as he reminisces about his time as a teenager in Leeds. Had it received the airplay it deserved "Brickfield Nights" could have been one of the biggest selling singles of the 1970's. "USI", only the second song John Plain had written is followed by Duncan Reid's "Taking on the World". The old Dean Martin hit "Sway" is next up to receive The Boys treatment and is followed by "Do the Contract", a song about how The Boys signed their recording life away and highlights the bitterness they felt about their treatment by NEMS, their record company. Listening to the album, crammed with potential hit singles, its not difficult to realise that with the right record company properly marketing them The Boys could have been massive.
One of the slower songs, Heroine is next up followed by "Not Ready", a reworking of their own "Rock Relic". On the original album "Classified Susie" opened side two. Another potential hit single, until you listen carefully listen to the lyrics - Radio 1 would never have played it. Another pop classic, John Plain's brilliant TCP, a song about acne follows, with the untouchable Duncan Reid on vocals. "Neighbourhood Brats" is followed by the old Hollies hit "Stop Stop Stop". "Backstage Pass", a song about groupies is followed by "Talking" and the album finishes in fine style with "Cast of Thousands".
On this Captain Oi! Release the original album is joined by six bonus tracks. "Teachers Pet" was the B side of "Brickfield Nights" with "Silent Night" being a wonderful punk version of the old Christmas classic released as a Christmas single in 1978 by their alter egos, The Yobs and featuring John Plain on vocals. The other four tracks are previously unreleased classics. The best of them is "Lies" which once again is a potential hit single. She's No Angel" has ex Zig Zag writer Alan Anger guesting on vocals (The Rowdies with John Plain, Jack Black and Alan Anger released an acoustic version as a single in 1979). "Schooldays" and "You're the Other Man" are also two fine songs, which other lesser bands of the era would have been proud to release as singles. Also included for the first time with this release is an eight page booklet with full lyric sheet.
"Alternative Chartbusters" is simply one of the finest albums to come out of the punk and new wave era of 1976-82 and is a must for any record collector. Buy it and I'll guarantee you'll be back for more.
on 9 May 2014
Awesome - heard about this record for a decade, finally got hold of it (recommendation by James Baker - The Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon) during a chat in Perth, early 2,000's.
Perfect power pop with an awesome sense of humour. Nothing contrived like most crap pretending to be something.
Songs about acne, vibrators and a love of The Ramones. Need I say more.
on 2 April 2013
The second album from The Boys is as it's title suggested full of poppy punk songs, From opener Brickfield Nights surely one of the classic punk/pop songs of all time in an alternative universe this would have been no 1 ! This album is more varied than their first album with even a latin song ( sway ) and a ballad too but it has plenty punk/rockers, USI
John Plains memories of a youth club romance ! and Classified susie telling the tale of one of those girls this has some great songs and like the first album has been remastered by the bands Matt dangerfield with an extra CD of b sides, demos ect and a great booklet continuing the story of this iconic band