Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.

Thursday

Automatic Lover (Re-upped and expanded as requested)



Were the Vibrators real punks? Maybe not, but then again, were the Stranglers? Or Eddie and the Hot Rods? Even more to the point, was Steve Jones? Plenty of rock careerists jumped onto the punk/new wave bandwagon in the wake of the Sex Pistols' success (and more than a few folks, like Jones, stumbled into the new movement by accident), but unlike most of them, the Vibrators took to the fast/loud/stripped down thing like ducks to water, and both Ian Carnarchan and Pat Collier had a genius for writing short, punchy songs with sneering melody lines and gutsy guitar breaks. If the Vibrators were into punk as a musical rather than a socio-political movement, it's obvious that they liked the music very much, and on that level their debut album stands the test of time quite well. Pure Mania boasts a bit more polish (and less politics) than many of the albums from punk's first graduating class (such as Damned Damned Damned or The Clash), but if you're looking for a strong, satisfying shot of chugging four-square punk, cue up "Yeah Yeah Yeah," "No Heart," "Petrol," or "Wrecked on You" and you'll be thrown into a frenzy. 
Maybe Pure Mania isn't purist's punk, but it's pure rock & roll, and there's nothing wrong with that.




Do you dance often? I hate dancing. I rarely get caught dancing in public, unless I’m under the influence of punk rock, where dancing is loosely interpreted. Older punk records usually go as far as getting my feet tapping, but rarely do they ever cause me to kick my chair from beneath me and twist my hips. I’ve been dancing lately, and it’s because of The Vibrators’ “Pure Mania.” Very similar to The Buzzcocks’ pop-punk flavour, The Vibrators display a mastery of hooks that would embarrass modern pop-punk bands if ever put to comparison with these punk rock veterans.
“Pure Mania” focuses on sex. What’s more important than girls? If you’re in the business of making albums, I’d recommend following The Vibrators’ formula of love ballads with ridiculously catchy beats and those vocals that will make almost every girl swoon. Why not throw in a piano and organ behind a voice yearning “Baby, baby, baby, won’t you be my girl?” Make sure you have a decent crew of backup vocalists to match your chilling “Ooooooh’s,” designed to run up a girl’s spine. They need to be solid musicians as well to achieve a similar overlay of guitars that provide a spark on top of a throbbing bass. You can try, but you probably will only get as far as succeeding as a Vibrators’ cover band. I doubt you can also match the relentless gear shifting vocals of Ian “Knox” Carnochan. His voice grinds and soothes, with recognizable resent and confidence, as he sorts through his love life. He is the ignition to The Vibrators’ aforementioned mastery of hooks and a vital supplement to the competent instrumentation that drives The Vibrators’ sound.
Once “Pure Mania” begins, you’re tapping. You’re fidgeting, you’re nodding, and you're mouthing the words. “Into the future! SEX KICK!” You sing along. Why? Because The Vibrators have got your number. After the opener “Into the Future,” the corny but undeniably amusing “Yeah Yeah Yeah” begins with a repetitive line that you can only guess given what you just learned. It gets better. Whether it’s the pounding “No Heart,” with its deep vibrations and verbal accusations of “She ain’t got no heart and no love…gonna send her off to heaven with a .38,” or “Stiff Little Fingers,” with lyrics indicting the living dead, The Vibrators create music that is legendary.
There are many songs on “Pure Mania” that qualify as compelling. With the possible exception of “I Need a Slave,” every song on “Pure Mania” will draw you in with an addictive sound. What you should consider then is that the first 13 songs of the album are stellar, catchy, and raunchy doses of punk rock. The closer “Bad Time” does not disappoint, so you can add it to the list. It also helps immensely that the entire album clocks in at just over 30 minutes. If you’ve connected the dots, you probably understand that this all means you have something new to listen to tonight.
That’s right, dancing shoes.


A Double Headed Vibrator??!!



As in their first album, V2 shows the Vibrators taking the driving energy of punk and applying it to songs that have a subtle, pop-like quality; while it does not have the wonderfully brash and itchy cohesiveness of Pure Mania; it's a solid album well worth hearing. The songs are mostly catchy and listenable, the lyrics are as capable as those in the group's previous release, and the arrangements have much more variety and colour than most punk records of the time do. "24 Hour People" sports Chuck Berry-style guitar licks and 1960s-derived backing vocals, "Public Enemy No. 1" and "Fall in Love" are less punky and more straightforward rockers, "Feel Alright" has a 1960s garage band-style chorus, and "Nazi Baby" audaciously adds strings to the fast, almost danceable music. The only really ineffective excursion on this album is "Troops of Tomorrow," a slow, menacing number that somehow gets too thick for its own good and is further marred by an excessively lengthy opening section.





However, changes were definitely on the horizon, as Old Father Time hoofed 1977 out the door. In the brave new world of 1978 when Punk looked washed up after the Pistols split, the Vibrators pulled off the enviable trick of managing to go with these changing times, by mainlining their bad style to a tacky but appealing plastic New Wave image. Authenticity was over-rated anyway: what counted in the final analysis was the noise you made and the Vibrators, resplendent in lurex and wraparound shades, bashed out a beguiling disposable Pop racket on V2. With Gary Tibbs coming into replace a Boyfriends-bound Pat Collier, the Vibrators attacked the new year with gusto.
This LP even spawned a hit single in Automatic Lover (the non-LP Judy Says also made the lower reaches of the Top 75, both sides appended to this disc), but listen to the section of Pure Mania where they chuck every audio effect imaginable on top of their standard speed Punk to make for pure 1978 listening – the speed of the hand defeating the eye, or ear in this case. The pace only really lets up on the churning drone of Troops Of Tomorrow and a slight country hue to the Sweet Jane vibe on Fall In Love. It is smart, snappy and fun, particularly the daft, semi-choral mid-section from Wake Up and Flying Duck Theory. V2 is irrepressible Pop music of the time and can tell you much more in its grooves about Britain in 1978 than any BBC4 multi-part documentary.

 





Taken from the 2002 double CD Pure Mania + V2 to MP3 @ 320kbps adding a lush album rip of Pure Mania in FLAC…and before you ask, no I don’t have V2 in FLAC…yet 😉


The Vibrators; Pure Mania

1.      Into The Future…
2.      Yeah Yeah Yeah
3.      Sweet Sweet Heart
4.      Keep It Clean
5.      Baby Baby
6.      No Heart
7.      She’s Bringing You Down
8.      Petrol
9.      London Girls
10.   You Broke My heart
11.   Whips And Furs
12.   Stiff Little Fingers
13.   Wrecked On You
14.   I Need A Slave
15.   Bad Time
16.   London Girls (Live) [*]
17.   Shake Some Action [*]

The Vibrators; V2
1.      Pure Mania
2.      Automatic Lover
3.      Flying Duck Theory
4.      Public Enemy No. 1
5.      Destroy
6.      Nazi Baby
7.      Wake Up
8.      Sulphate
9.      24 Hour People
10.   Fall in Love
11.   Feel Alright
12.   War Zone
13.   Troops of Tomorrow
14.   Judy Says (Knock You in the Head) [*]
15.   Automatic Lover (Single Version) [*]
16.   Rock The Kids [*]





7 comments:

  1. -= Faith Healer =-1 August 2015 at 14:52

    Great review! I think The EXPLOITED definitely considered them punk enough to cover TROOPS OF TOMORROW and turn it into one of the greatest Punk anthems of all time!!! Also, Stiff Little Fingers named themselves after the Vibrators song!

    Excellent upload!

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    1. Thanks "Faith Healer". The Exploited definitely turned around Troops Of Tomorrow and made it the anthem of the 80's or second wave punk. In my defence, at the time of the V2 back in 1978 "Troops" didn't fit with everything else I was listening to (I was a tender 14 years old). All I wanted was UK Subs, The Clash, Sham 69, Penetration, and The Adverts to name a select few. Life was simple, and "Troops" was oh so very complicated...

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  2. -= Faith Healer =-2 August 2015 at 17:11

    Totally understand! The original is definitely a little more mellow than Exploited's version, and it definitely stood out more on an Exploited record! all great bands you mentioned above by the way .... I was very much into the same bands at the time with a heavy focus on Street Punk like The Business, Angelic Upstarts, Stiff Little Fingers, CRASS, etc.

    Great site!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks again Faith Healer, all great bands you mention there as well. I hope I keep you interested in the future posts.

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  3. Puremania file has expired,plese please A-J- reup please¡¡¡ many tanks¡¡¡n ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope this doesn't become a habit Barry :)

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  4. Bad habits my friend,sorry¡¡ Many tanks Andie¡¡¡

    ReplyDelete