singles - The I-94 Bar

Can: The Singles - Can (Mute/Spoon Records)

can the singlesSo, while a single a-side was supposed to get you up and interested, a B-side wasn’t. In fact, many bands - particularly mainstream bands - would plop dud choons on the B-side, convinced that no-one was listening.

Nope. The fans were listening. And boy, did some fans get annoyed with the shit they found there. Why would your favourite band slip you sludge on the B-side? You pay good money, you expect a decent track on the flip.

Smarter (and poorer) bands began to use the B-side to their advantage - slipping in a cracking live rendition of a familiar song, or a joke or experimental track. Hell, a record costs money to make, you don’t want to spend all that just to waste the space on the flip. Hence The Damned’s crackling rendition of “Help!”, the Beatles song performed with kettle drums at a million miles an hour. Brilliance.

New book lifts the lid on the art of Aussie punk and post-punk 45s

45 psychosurgeons

Pressed for a Xmas gift for that special Rock Action person in your life? Worry no more. “Product 45” has landed.

“Product 45” is a lavish book released this week that focuses on the years 1976-1980 and showcases single cover art from the Australian punk/post punk era. This is the first book in a series of three that looks at the art of packaging Australian music as told by the musicians, the artists and the fans.  

This lavish coffee table masterpiece has been lovingly compiled by Sydneysider Murray Bennett who has carved a career packaging records for Australian independent and major labels.

The Fall: New Facts Emerge & The Fall: Singles 1978-2016 - The Fall (Cherry Red)

newfactsemerge thefallR.I.P. Mark E. Smith, 1957-2018

"New Facts Emerge" came out in late July last year; the singles box (Seven discs! Eight hours!) came out four months later; they're my Christmas present from me to me. 

"New Facts Emerge" - it merits seven bottles, if not eight. Bludgeoning, bruising, then it takes you on a short cruise: bloody hell this is good. It also grows on you with repeat listenings. However - and this is critical - while many long-term Fall fans seem contemptuous of the band's turn to powerful cranking rock, most Fall fans would find it difficult to come up with a Top 10 of the band's best 10 songs - you won't have that problem much with Judas Priest, or Alice Cooper, will you?