Crushed Butler Stuff Scroll down for Archives
Check out CB also on myspace: www.myspace.com/crushedbutleruk
Steve Krakows' review for Plastic Crime Wave Sound - March 27th 2007
THE 70's INVASION
This band was a real POWERHOUSE along the lines of the STOOGES, THIRD WORLD WAR, and SLADE, in fact they opened for SLADE and a number of others while they were together for 2 years from '69-'71, the band's music did not come out at the time, rather like so many it was released many years later onto cd.......the leader JESSE HECTOR went onto HELTER SKELTER for one single, then with the legendary HAMMERSMITH GEURILLAS , see below, also in the band were DARRYL READ, and ALAN BUTLER, BUTLER was the original bass player, during their time together a couple of other bassists came and went, however BUTLER came back later to play and was on what may be their last recording 'HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT'........see the following page at the DARRYL READ site for more info - http://www.darrylread.com/butler.html
READ himself gave us a 'thumbs up' on our review here, he says u can now get a cd of demos called 'UNCRUSHED'.......
STOOGES-like bombast, KINKS influence, NOISY, LOUD, and HARD......definite pre-punk vocals are screamed.......'I JUST CAN'T BREATHE NO'....heavy bass crashing cymbals, and the drums throughout the song sound like bullets.........
'LOVE IS ALL AROUND'
i suppose this is CRUSHED BUTLER's statement of love and flower power, but the most heavy one u can imagine about that subject........again the attack has the primitive sound, with only 3 guys; guitar, bass, and drums, this band made a hell of a lot of niose.....'IN THE DARK OF THE NIGHT WITH THE WORLD OUTTA SITE, I CAN SEE THE REFELCTION ON U', and 'LOVE IS ALL AROUND ME AROUND ME, I'M SO GLAD U FOUND ME, NEVER FELT THIS WAY BEFORE'.......
'HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT'
prehistoric SLADE rock sound, drums STOMP, pre-punk like no other, 'SHE WAS ONLY 17, SHE WAS HIGH SO CLEAN, THE ONLY THING SHE WANTED WAS A YELLOW BAND IN HER HAIR, ........WELL HER DAD SHE WAS RICH, AND HER MOM SHE WAS POOR,..........JUST A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT, JUST A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT,JUST A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT,JUST A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT, BUT YOUR MY BABY NOW' !!
'MY SON is ALIVE'
this one by CRUSHED BUTLER comes on like a declaration of pure niose, STOOGES meets SLADE with BOOMING BASS, ' MY SON IS ALIVE, MY SON IS ALIVE, SO COME ON BABY GIVE ME SOME MORE', and 'OH LORD U WERE BY MY SIDE'......the drums pound away and pound, and pound !!
Friday, August 11, 2006
crush on this
posted by Big H @ 11:23 AM
Crushed Butler - Uncrushed
Crushed Butler is wild. Yes, wild. Fucking-around-the-world-in-a-day-bloody-missing-link-between-punk-rock-and-psychedelia-wild. They exsisted in a weird time space, five years ahead of their time in 1971 when Jesse Hector, Alan Butler and Darryl Read got it together to scare the progressive boys and introduce the teenage girls to the street-tuff punk rock. Jesse Hector’s vocals stand somewhere between the mod-ness of Steve Marriott and John Lydon (Lydon an early fan of Jesse Hector and Crushed Butler) ...this 7-track re-release was of the release of the original demos on 10inch in 1991 and the power within the grooves in undeniable.
The just over two minute grime of ‘It’s My Life’ starts with a outta control human nightmare beat machine of Read and brings into the nighttime hustle boogie of a man on some very bad speed, as Hector spits out ‘Its My life’ whilst Crush Butler run outta control down the rock’n’roll highway. Whilst ‘Factory Grime’ was the Stooges before the Stooges ... this ain’t for the poor, but for the violent, a fuck-you-rage against the boredom of a life set out for Crushed Butler. Its just something that you need to run through and listen to, over and over again. Nobody summed up working class rage then Hector as he two-fingered his future and dived into no future with this ultimate protest song against drudgery. The shout/scream for My Son’s Alive works its way into ‘Love Is All Around Me’, which sits easily up there with other proto-dirty-pill-mod-classics such ‘How Does It Feel To Feel’ and ‘I Can Take You To The Sun’. Unfortunately, the world wasn’t ready for revolution. That would come five years later with the surging freak-outs of Sex Pistols and the Clash. Ignore this album at your peril! Why? Because you’ll wonder how the fuck you did without it for so long.
Crushed Butler - Uncrushed. CD, £9.00
followed (Slade, Mott and the Faces for starters) in the ensuing 18 months.
Be warned though: this is SERIOUSLY raw (as in practically a demo) quality-
it makes 'Raw Power' seem like 'Dark Side Of The Moon' by comparison!! Hated
by the beardy prog'n'psych establishment of the time (not that there's
anything wrong with that stuff either) but now validated as a seminal
influence, as is the band's leader, the one and only Jesse Hector (later a
Hammersmith Gorilla, and a vital link between London pub rock and punk) on
dirty high energy rock and roll as we know it, and how it should be today.
Let us not forget either the near-legendary status of pinup drummer/
occasional vocalist/ teen actor Darryl Read, who now collaborates regularly
with Ray Manzarek. The gatefold 10" design is replicated with plenty of pics
and cartoons and full liner notes, and a bonus version of '. . .Dropout' not
before released.. In other words, one not to miss. And possibly the best
band name ever ! Due In:
I'm well giddy on this 'band-that-time-forgot'…UK's short-lived and unsung garage gallants, Crushed Butler!! If not intriguing for their name alone, maybe these (un)refined info-bits will interest. This band was one of those "never heard til now" UK bands from the late-'60s/early-'70s. You're perhaps already thinking of another freaky folk or strange psych title, but these guys existed outside of the hippie daydream and felt that working class rage and those urban doldrums before the fancied punk revolution hit the proverbial streets. Crushed Butler was the soul and grit of John Lydon, George Brigman, and the Stooges condensed into one proto-hessian contaminated pill for mod-poppin' consumption, years before any of those artists and scenesters did their dirty thing, in 1971! Just a couple of ragged and chunky dudes, and a 17-year-old pinup/teen heart-throb drummer boy (who holds a wicked beat) jamming the same kind of tunes to boot…catchy, hooligan boogie-blues leaving a trail of glam glitter in their shredding path. RPM done ace, dusting off these pogo-rawkin' songs and presenting Uncrushed--a short yet seminal best of collection from this inspiring power trio. MT
I've been hyped to this proto-Hammersmith Gorillas group (featuring the long-lived Jesse Hector whose first recordings circa 1959 [age 12] are still available via Norton) ever since a ten-inch version of this rather short (21:12) CD came out a few years back. As far as that high-energy late-sixties p-rock thingie goes this unearthed rarity sure beats the Gorillas by far and comes off as just powerful and as high energy as Crushed Butler's comrats in arms...like the Pink Fairies without the psychedelia maybe or a less blooze variation of Stackwaddy or even Killing Floor. The funny cartoon enclosed therein (done in that classic English style nobody seems to rah-rah anymore) explains the Butler story for y'all, but anyways for more of that hard-edged punkoid oomph you could use some Crushed Butler alongsides the usual Rocket From The Tombs/Mirrors/Magic Tramps/Umela Hmota/Rotomagus/Denudes... spins that only goes to PROVE to you that the past was really the future and the present is the real dungeon that's so bad that I would want my worst enemies marooned here! Hope you're having fun, guys!
Crushed Butler - Uncrushed
Hindsight is a beautiful and painful commodity, as this compilation should make clear enough. Uncrushed captures three young, hungry Londoners whose raw sound mesmerized their peers -- and blew away the day's biggest names -- yet failed to pry open those corporate portals. Yes, Crushed Butler fell short, because 1969's audiences didn't want anyone writing off their hippie dreams just yet. And as drummer Darryl Read once noted, nobody felt compelled to smash their instruments when the music spoke so ferociously for itself. Read's clattering snare on "It's My Life" is the perfect counterpoint for its up-the-system lyrics ("Workin' like a slave, workin' for you/Doin' somethin' I don't wanna do"). Pop stars or not, don't expect these guys to pump your gas! "My Son's Alive"'s explosive gallop is one of the missing links to thrash today, while "Love Fighter"'s grinding drone shows Crushed Butler realized intensity didn't come from tempo. Jesse Hector's guttural drawl makes the lyrics hard to decipher, but his shuddering guitar provides enough of a reference point. In fact, the band achieved its brightest moments amid trying circumstances -- as a session from winter 1970 proves. "Factory Grime" is the track to beat, banged out in one mind-melting take. However, the band only got to do it after spending time on "Love Is All Around Me," a clichéd boogie popper written by the session's producer, Roger Ferris. Still, Read's nagging cowbell and Hector's insistent guitar make an extraordinary moment out of an ordinary song. The band tried again as Tiger in February 1971 with "High School Drop Out," which is another average song livened up by Alan Butler's limber bass work. Shorn of prospects, the band collapsed, but that's hardly an indictment when people are still trying to crack the code three decades later. Don't let the raw mono sound distract you; this six-track EP should restore some long-overdue respect. ~ Ralph Heibutzki, All Music Guide
CRUSHED BUTLER UNCRUSHED
these guys were ahead of their time back in 1969 with their pure balls to the wall punk rock sounds, taking the sounds of garage rock and the likes of the stooges and merging them into one of the earliest examples of pure punk rock mayhem with a little bit of sabbathesque heavy metal, all the tracks were recorded between 1969 and 1971, features Darryl Read, Jesse Hector and Alan butler, march 2006
rpm records cd 17.99
Crushed Butler liner notes by Clive Zone
|We're gonna go back to a time when a hairy young Briton was sleeping off a hangover called the '60's, a time unsure of direction for the coming decade. With its stash all spent a generation was resting its head, but not everyone had gone to bed. Three wild kids has stayed up to smash the rules and rock-out. Deep underground could be heard a rumble - the protopunk throb of 'Crushed Butler'.|
(Also, check out Mark Paytress's article for the Record Collector in: Reviews).
It was late in the summer of '69 when Darryl Read first met Alan Butler and Jesse Hector, or 'Ray' as he was known in those days. Darryl at the time was playing with a black outfit from Tottenham comprising of Keith Locke, Rosko Gee and Derek Johnson, and was also helping out a three piece playing progressive classical rock that were without a drummer, and used the Pimlico Rehearsal Rooms. One evening as they were packing the gear away he noticed a couple of fierce looking characters with real short hair, sideburns, wearing straight leg Levi's, bringing their equipment in, and they'd noticed him, and asked if he wanted to jam in with them, there was something really electric about the chemistry in that rehearsal room, and it was agreed that they would play again soon, the other band had stayed on to watch and could see where it was going, and they were concerned about losing their drummer. A week later Ray called Darryl at Keith Lock's place in Tottenham, where he was staying, to arrange another jam at Pimlico, and a couple of days later they were back in the Rehearsal Rooms with it cranked up high. Alan and Ray had brought a friend 'Tony' with them, who was so impressed by the potency of this second jam that he decided to speak to a friend of his - Graham Breslau about possible management.
|They were now a band, and were jamming around numbers like 'Song of a Baker' by the Small Faces while working their own material.. They were playing a lot together, rehearsing whenever and wherever they could, a couple of times at Keith Lock's place, Darryl managed to get a few hours under the stage at The Duke of York Theatre, where he was working on lighting. On Tony's recommendation, Graham Breslau came down to see them rehearsing at Pimlico, and was knocked out by the sheer energy in their playing, and after a couple of weeks suggested they go into Regent Sound Studios and see if they could get a recording together.|
|So one October evening in '69 they made their way to their first studio session and put down two songs, they were recorded live in mono on 8 track, with added vocals from Ray and Darryl. One of them 'It's My Life' was put together by Darryl, Ray and Graham. Neil Sedgwick produced it and got it compressed at the BBC where he was working. It was then that Graham decided to give it a go as manager and a meeting was called over at Barnet to discuss the next moves. It was agreed that a van was needed, a rehearsal room, some new equipment and a small weekly wage of a fiver to get by on. A week later things were finalised, Graham got some money together and a red transit was purchased from Stamford Hill. Alan took on driving duties and off they went on a spending spree for new gear. They hit 'Sound City' and 'Marcaris' where Ray picked up a Telecaster (which he sprayed green) also a Marshall stack in red, and a bass amp. Next stop 'Drum City' in Shaftesbury Avenue for a new Hayman drum kit, in silver.|
|The band now
needed a name, dozens were suggested, 'The Clash' even, but none really did it, until
Darryl came up with 'Crushed Butler', it was so original and crazy, it was just right (and
incidentally, wasn't connected to Alan Butler in any way). Tony took the bomb site
publicity shots and they rehearsed a couple of times in a warehouse in
End, then Graham found The Bell Pub in London Colney that had a large room out the back
and booked it for two weeks for intensive rehearsals. Here they could leave the gear set
up and come in each day and play right through uninterrupted, the Hayman drum kit was
taking such a pounding, bits started coming loose and dropping off it and it was traded
for a sturdier Ludwig kit in silver glitter finish. Graham would drop in late afternoon
every day to see how things were progressing. Then one afternoon he came by and said,
'Right, get everything in the van, you've got a gig tonight at The Country Club in Belsize
Park' it was to be the first of many and they were to support Osibisa as the other band
couldn't make it. They arrived at the club and were shown where to set up their equipment
and asked, 'Where's the plugboard?' The reply was, 'What's a plugboard?' so the club
owner, Stewart Lyons, sorted it out and they were ready to play their first set. They were
wearing red slash necked t-shirts, in fact shirts that had the necks cut out, with ragged
edges, straight leg Levi's and those haircuts. By 8.30 the place was packed with the
regular crowd of longhairs and Osibisa people and Crushed Butler went on and blew shit out
the place with numbers like, 'It's My Life', 'Keep On Choogling' (Creedence Clearwater),
'Move It' (Shadows), 'Song of a baker', and an original instrumental workout that later became known
as 'Uncrushed' and 'Factory Grime' which became a regular set opener.
All the numbers were jammed around the main frame of the song and they went down really well, people were coming up after the set saying 'You really frightened us man'. Osibisa weren't too good that night, but then 'Crushed Butler' weren't the kind of band you could easily follow and to make much impression. In fact they were asked to go on again at the end of the night for another short set. The gig had gone well and further bookings were made. The next gig was at the Ealing Jewish Youth Club and then another over Southall Way with a band called 'Balls' (Denny Lane, Trevor Burton) who were managed by Tony Secunda who came over after the set to express his excitement and gave them a contact number. The gigs were coming but the band were lacking somewhat in the bass department. It was discussed and they auditioned fort a new bassist, but it was agreed to keep Alan as a non playing band member, going over to looking after the equipment and driving, and Stan Auldis from 'Ardvark' got the job. They continued gigging through the winter of 69/70 and were spotted by Roger Ferris, a young in-house producer for E.M.I. who also was song writing with his girlfriend, Gloria Macari. He thought they were great and managed to swing their second session, this time at E.M.I. House in Manchester Square. The band arrived in The Square in a lime green roller to the dismay of onlookers from upstairs windows. After a brief meeting, they went through to the studio where they recorded two numbers, 'Love Is All Around Me' which was penned by Roger and Gloria and was as near to 'commercial' as Crushed Butler got, and 'Factory Grime' in one take, and have survived on acetate. Roger really gave these recordings a big push at E.M.I. but the bigwigs just couldn't see it (just as they missed the point with The Pistols six years on) and they continued without a deal.
|They were getting
a live following, in particular a group of young boxers who were under the wing of Jerry
James in London's East End, and made it regularly to gigs. They were playing venues such as
Guildford Civic Hall (with 'Atomic Rooster'), F.A.R.X. in Potters Bar, Imperial Collage in
Knightsbridge, the 2 J's in Braintree, and the Lyceum (with 'the Climax Blues Band') plus
dozens of small clubs and discos around town. About this time an ad was put in Melody
Maker for yet another bassist as Stan felt he'd gone as far as he could, they went out a
couple of times with Stewart ('Mac') MacDonald on bass who had been in Killing Floor and also
the 'Krayon Angels' with Darryl, a permanent bassist is what they needed but no-one they
checked out seemed right, and then Jerry James put them onto Barry Wyles who has
been bassing with Smile ('Queen'). He was a great player and they instinctively knew he was
right, he looked the part too, with short spikey hair, and his aggressive style. In the
early spring of 1970 the band went into Dick James Studio in London's West End to cut
their third session and met with a Mr Harold Champagne who wasn't really suited to them and
thought they were far too wild, during the recording he mentioned something about one of
Hectors strings buzzing on a track which triggered of a severe slagging from the band in
the studio: something about 'poking his nose in', and unknown to them, the whole thing was
being witnessed through a monitor camera in the control room, and a halt was called to the
session, the band left without any tapes, however something was recorded, probably two
songs, but whether they were wiped or not isn't known. Graham was finding it a strain at
times with unfortunate things happening to him, he'd been savaged by a dog directly before
a gig at London Colney and the plug had been pulled on the band at a gig at Harrow
Technical Collage on March 26th, with Black August, but power was resumed and they did
finish the set, thanks to their young boxing pals. At a gig in Hitchin, Graham had rushed
to grab a huge card crop that was falling onto Darryl as they were playing only to
a punch in the stomach, as in the chaos, Darryl mistook him for a marauding punter.
When they returned a couple of weeks later, they didn't get to play. Alan Bown wouldn't get off the stage and just kept playing on while the band were backstage waiting, and some angry youngsters bricked the windows in protest. The one good piece of press they got around then was by Simon Staple; from a gig at the City University with 'U.F.O,' he wrote for Sounds, and had a rather hunched stance, he made his way backstage and simply said, 'Fucking incredible', he also asked Darryl if he was going to get his haircut, to which he promptly replied, 'Yeah, if you have your hump removed', at which the band fell about laughing at him, however, he did give them a rave review! At the Guildford gig with 'Atomic Rooster', they were testing out a new backline for the venue, some brand new Vamp Power gear, and were allowed to jam for a while at the sound check until Rays fuzzbox (which he was asked not to used) blew out some of the new amplification. At another gig they were seen by Terry King who spoke to graham about not being able to hear the vocals well enough and recommended a new P.A. which Graham went out and brought. Their next session was at Decca Studios in Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead. This time four songs were recorded but unfortunately only two have been located, these being 'My Sons Alive' and 'Love Fighter'.
Once again, Graham tried his best to get a deal with the new recordings but the companies just wouldn't go for it. It was now summer and Graham had been trying for nearly a year. They went to Track Records but they 'can't do anything with it right at this moment'. They even pushed their way into Blackhill's place to play Pete Jenner an acetate, who got a record deck out of his car and brought it into the building in order to hear it, and commented 'very cultural' but still no joy. Here was a lot of people who liked them but they just couldn't get a break. Rays frustration was beginning to show more and more with threats of leaving the band becoming frequent, they were still needing a permanent bassist, there was drop in wages which didn't help things at all and at the end of it all Graham pulled out a manager and most of the equipment went with him. The last gig with Graham was the Radio Geronimo Benefit. The band continued for a short while but soon it was down to two, Darryl and Ray, who carried on trying to get a deal regardless. Then one day at the end of the summer, Ray went for an audition as guitarist with a band fronted by Neil Christian, he got on well enough, but managed to persuade Neil to come over to a rehearsal room in West Hampstead and see Crushed Butler go through their paces. Darryl had found a bassist , Arthur Anderson though friends to join them, and Neil, who was quite taken by it said he'd try and help, and during the autumn began his spell as manager. The band existed under the new name 'Tiger' during this next phrase. Neil knew a guy called Dave Siddle at the new De Lane Lea Studios over at Wembley, and got 'Tiger' some free time as guinea pigs, testing the new equipment. Things were fine there till they found Ray playing on top of one of the pianos. Queen , who were there rehearsing, watched from the balcony. There was curry all over the floor and drum sticks were found stuck in their nice new ceilings. A few tracks were recorded but its not known what happened with the tapes.
A further recording was made in January '71 of the song 'High School Dropout' at a demo studio in Tooting, and put onto acetate, but this disc has unfortunately been lost. Neil took it everywhere but couldn't get a deal and eventually went off on his own ventures. Still deep inside knowing they had something special, they tried Starlight Artists, and Barry Perkins could see what they had, thought they were great, and said at the time, 'he'd mortgage his house if that's what it took to get them there'. He got them into the Marquee Studios in February '71 for a lunchtime promo gig and to record a second version of 'High School Dropout' with Tony Tavener engineering. This was followed by a gig at the Greyhound in Fulham, and in the meantime, Barry Perkins had played the demo of 'Dropout' to Dick Leahy who was with Bell Records, who had them round for a meeting with a view to a deal, but nothing came of it.
Still unsigned, the bassist, Arthur Anderson left and Ray's good friend Alan Butler came back on bass, it was as if it had gone full circle, and one last attempt was made. Don Arden, The Small Faces manager, was contacted, they drove over in Alan's Ford Consul to his Wimbledon office and discussed their plight, played a demo and he agreed to come and see them play at the Rehearsal Rooms at West Hampstead, which he did. Just able to get in the room with his heavy friends amongst the equipment, he was impressed, and told his people to sort out some gigs for them, but nothing happened. One last gig was played at The Tower Tavern, by the Post Office Tower as it was then, and they were approached by a BBC guy raving about the performance, but sadly nothing blossomed, and that was it, they'd been crushed. . .or had they!
It was spring '71 and Darryl figured there was still a chance of a deal with Track Records as he knew Kit Lambert, but instead he was eventually put on the company payroll by Chris Stamp, much to the annoyance of the staff, supposedly to help out with The Who, but spent most of his time with John 'Speedy' Keen of Thunderclap Newman. He went for a few auditions around this time and at one audition in Shepherds Bush, a girl at the Rehearsal Rooms said 'You oughta be with 'Third World War', they're looking for a drummer' and she fixed up an audition. Darryl had loved their single 'Ascension Day' and looked forward to it. He didn't get the job, a few band members didn't like his ferocious style, there was even a certain amount of leverage from Bill Curbishley to get him into the band; but it wasn't to be. But he got on well with Terry Stamp and Jim Avery and struck up a song writing friendship that was to last years. When they put their second album together, which was for Track, he heard a lot of the songs very early on, and one track in particular, 'Hammersmith Guerrilla' stood out, and he thought it would make a good band name and told Ray.
Eventually his career in music and film took him abroad, but not too far down the road. In 1974, Jesse Hector and Alan Butler got the deal they'd been after for so long with The Independent, Chiswick Records as 'The Hammersmith Gorillas'.
Written by Clive Zone 1999 (liner notes for) 'Uncrushed' The record of all the songs (found so far!) of 'Crushed Butler'. Released by 'Dig The Fuzz Records' on heavy vinyl, in a beautiful gatefold sleeve, with additional poster.
Crushed Butler Cartoons illustrated by Mark Reeve
'Crushed Butler' The Record Collector two page spread Expose
by Mark Paytress June 1998
RPM RECORDS NEWS
We’re back with GLAM !! This month sees the long anticipated release of GLITTERBEST (RPM 265). It’s the next in the evolving, and happy to report successful Lipsmackin’ 70’s series.
What came out of reviews for Velvet Tinmine were comments about how certain glam recordings were pre cursors to the first punk singles in sound and attitude. So taking this as the concept beginning for
GLITTERBEST (named after the Sex Pistols record company) we’ve pooled this collection of tracks that in some part laid foundations for the later movement. The set ranges across: the terrace aggro stompers of the Jook and Hammersmith Gorillas, with connections to other tracks by Trevor White (singer/guitarist with the Jook), Jet ( with the Jook’s Chris Townson, Trevor White and Martin Gordon) Helter Skelter and Crushed Butler (both led by the Gorillas legendary Jesse Hector); the trashy side with attitude that is the Hollywood Brats: the pub rock of Ducks Deluxe ; the precursor bands such as Englands Glory lead by Peter Perrett, Tiger Lily who developed into Ultravox, Despair - a 1973 vehicle for Knox of the Vibrators, and the Chris Spedding single that provided an early outing for the Vibrators name. Added to which are some delightfully obscure glam singles that are little gems of spiky attitude or chaotic performance in their own right.
UK label RPM continues into the realm of Pre Punk 'n' Glam Terrace Stompers on the latest collection of the Slammin' 70s series of compilations. A cross pollination of Glam, Punk, Pub, Psych and Rock'n'Roll that would make the likes of Iggy Pop, Marc Bolan, Mott The Hoople, Roxy Music, Johnny Thunders and Jonathan Richman very happy.
Glitterbest digs deeper into the vaults than ever before and digs up groups like The Hammersmith Gorillas, Streak, Jook, Jet, Milk'N'Cookies, Flintlock, Trevor White, The American Jam Band, Spunky Spider, The One Hit Wonders, Dog Rose, Helter Skelter, Ducks Deluxe, Tiger Lily, Chris Spedding & The Vibrators, Despair, Farm, Crushed Butler, England's Glory and The Hollywood Brats.
This is a bunch of bands that connect the Glam sounds of The New York Dolls, Sparks and Mott The Hoople and punk bands like Joy Division, The Sex Pistols and The Vibrators and even influencing the later years of Brit Pop and bands like Pulp.
Glitterbest is much less novelty and one-offs like Velvet Tinmine was, and much more rocking solid bands trying to find a place in a time not yet their own.
Things start out raw and heavy with The Hammersmith Gorillas' mayhem inducing cover of The Kinks' You Really Got Me from 1974. I'm quite sure Van Halen had a listen to this before they tackled this song on their debut album in 1978.
The Hammersmith Gorillas later became Raw Records punk band The Gorillas (in 1978) and featured Jesse Hector also from Helter Skelter and Crushed Butler (two other bands featured on Glitterbest - Crushed Butler's High School Dropout is a raw standout featured later on the disc from 1971 which recalls Jerry Lee Lewis if he fronted a pounding glam band).
Streak featured future Vibrators member Ben Brierley (who was married to Marianne Faithfull and appeared on the Don Was produced album Sleep It Off by Cristina later in 1984) and members of The Arrows. Bang Bang Bullet is Streak's take on The New York Dolls sound and it works perfectly.
Jet's Nothing to Do With Us is one of my favorite tracks here - with its tense bassline and explosive drums, its off kilter rhythm breaks and angsty vocals are the perfect precursor to the Brit Pop of bands like Pulp.
Flintlock's Sooner or Later is a refreshing power punk number which would fit right next to The Rezillos space retro pop punk style.
Milk'N'Cookies offer up an interesting cross between Joy Division style music and Brett Smiley styled vocals on Good Friends.
Session guitarist Chris Spedding (Sex Pistols and Cramps demo producer and an ex-Womble) joined the then un-recorded Vibrators in 1976 to record the amazing early punk single Pogo Dancing, which pretty much speaks for itself.
I kept coming back to the raw New York Dolls inspired style of Despair - an early group for Vibrators member Knox. Their Sweet Sweet Heart is the kind of glam angst I love so much and is a demo version of a song which ended up on The Vibrator's first album Pure Mania in 1977.
England's Glory has Peter Perrett later of The Only Ones doing an amazing Lou Reed impersonation on City of Fun.
Glitterbest ends with the punkest moment yet - The Hollywood Brats' Sick on You.
©2005 Carl Thien Email me