Friday, January 29, 2010

Music Samplers From My Youth: Part 1

In 1979, A&M Records had quite a stable of talent. Three of my favorites (then and now) appeared on 'Propaganda'. Now, I'm not going to try and snow you that I bought this when it came out. I would have been 8 years old and the coolest kid in the world. If memory serves, I bought this one in late 1983 or 1984. As the label states on the bizarrely illustrated cover, this was "a blatant attempt to influence your musical taste", and it partially worked. As for side one (all live), we were told to "play loud!" and, as my parents could attest, I listened.

Joe Jackson had a surprise hit single in 1979 with "Is She Really Going Out With Him?". A&M tried to capitalize on that success with a couple of songs recorded at Whisky a Go Go on May 12, 1979. "Throw It Away" is raucous, and the Chuck Berry tune "Come On" was interesting because it wasn't something that appeared on Jackson's studio albums. The Police follow that up with two songs recorded at The Bottom Line on April 4, 1979. "Landlord" and the show's closer "Next To You" are pure punk. For many years these songs were only available on 'Propaganda', but they are in print now. "Come On" is a bonus track on Jackson's 'I'm The Man' album, and the Police songs are on the 'Message In A Box' box set.

Side two has six studio songs, including "Slap & Tickle" from a UK band just starting out called Squeeze. Perhaps you've heard of them. Jackson appears again with an unreleased song called "Don't Ask Me." It is available now as a bonus track on the reissue of 'Look Sharp'. In other words, with all of these songs available now, this record doesn't have quite the kick it used to, but here is the tracklist and a couple of my favorite songs ripped from my vinyl copy... pops, scratches and all. The next time I write about Music Samplers From My Youth, I'll fill you in on another A&M compilation from the same time period that was also influential.

Side One: LIVE (Play Loud!)
Granati Brothers - Go Crazy
Joe Jackson - Throw It Away (mp3)
Joe Jackson - Come On (mp3)
The Police - Landlord (mp3)
The Police - Next To You (mp3)

Side Two
The Reds - Joey
Bobby Henry - Head Case
Joe Jackson - Don't Ask Me
Squeeze - Slap & Tickle
David Kubinec - Another Lone Ranger
Shrink - Valid Or Void


vaubu said...

Yeah, I bought in a mall cut out section probably around the same time you did and its blatant attempt worked on me too. Squeeze, the Police and Joe Jackson were already appreciated on my boombox but songs like "Headcase" and "Joey" threw me for a loop in a good way. What an amazing cover too!

vaubu said...

and of course: "Valid or Void"!