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Title - 'Angelic Upstarts: The Albums 1979-1982'
Artist - Angelic Upstarts

For those not in the know, Angelic Upstarts (a band name that I've always loved) are an English punk rock band formed in South Shields in 1977.

The band espoused an anti-fascist and socialist working class philosophy, and have been associated with the skinhead subculture.

They released eight studio albums in their first decade and after a brief split they reformed in 1988; and a number of times subsequently, with new albums appearing in 1992, 2002, 2011, and 2016.

More than two decades after its release, their debut single, "The Murder Of Liddle Towers", was included in Mojo magazine’s list of the best punk rock singles of all time.

Indeed, Allmusic calls them "one of the period's most politically charged and thought-provoking groups".

Released this month via Cherry Red Records (UK), Angelic Upstarts: The Albums 1979-1982 is an immense 79 track five CD box set rounding up the early and most successful years of the men themselves, Angelic Upstarts.

CD 1 - TEENAGE WARNING
1. TEENAGE WARNING; 2. STUDENT POWER; 3. THE YOUNG ONES; 4. NEVER AGAIN; 5. WE ARE THE PEOPLE; 6. LIDDLE TOWERS; 7. I’M AN UPSTART; 8. SMALL TOWN SMALL MIND; 9. YOUTH LEADER; 10. DO ANYTHING; 11. LET’S SPEED; 12. LEAVE ME ALONE; BONUS TRACKS: 13. THE MURDER OF LIDDLE TOWERS (SINGLE VERSION); 14. POLICE OPPRESSION (SINGLE VERSION)

CD 2 - WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE
1. NEVER ‘AD NOTHIN’; 2. POLICE OPPRESSION; 3. LONELY MAN OF SPANDAU; 4. THEIR DESTINY IS COMING; 5. SHOTGUN SOLUTION; 6. KING COAL; 7. OUT OF CONTROL; 8. RONNIE IS A ROCKER; 9. LISTEN TO THE STEPS; 10. CAN’T KILL A LEGEND; 11. CAPITAL CITY; 12. WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE; BONUS TRACKS: 13. NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE; 14. UNSUNG HEROES PART II

CD 3 - 2,000,000 VOICES
1. TWO MILLION VOICES; 2. GHOST TOWN; 3. YOU’RE NICKED; 4. ENGLAND; 5. HEATH’S LAMENT; 6. GUNS FOR THE AFGHAN REBELS; 7. I UNDERSTAND; 8. MENSI’S MARAUDERS; 9. MR. POLITICIAN; 10. KIDS ON THE STREETS; 11. JIMMY; 12. WE’RE GONNA TAKE THE WORLD; 13. LAST NIGHT ANOTHER SOLDIER; 14. I WISH; BONUS TRACKS: 15. THE MAN WHO CAME IN FROM THE BEANO; 16. STICKS DIARY; 17. THE SUN NEVER SHINES; 18. NEVER COME BACK; 19. I UNDERSTAND (7” SINGLE VERSION)

CD 4 - LIVE
1. TEENAGE WARNING; 2. NEVER `AD NOTHIN’; 3. FOUR WORDS; 4. LAST NIGHT ANOTHER SOLDIER; 5. GUNS FOR THE AFGHAN REBELS; 6. MR. POLITICIAN; 7. SHOTGUN SOLUTION; 8. PRIDE WITHOUT PREJUDICE; 9. ENGLAND; 10. POLICE OPPRESSION; 11. KIDS ON THE STREET; 12. I UNDERSTAND; 13. YOU’RE NICKED; 14. TWO MILLION VOICES; 15. I’M AN UPSTART; BONUS TRACKS: 16. WE’RE GONNA TAKE THE WORLD; 17. LEAVE ME ALONE; 18. THE YOUNG ONES; 19. WHITE RIOT

CD 5 - STILL FROM THE HEART
1. NEVER SAY DIE; 2. FLAMES OF BRIXTON; 3. ACTION MAN; 4. WASTED (LOVED BY NO ONE); 5. HERE COMES TROUBLE; 6. THEME FOR LOST SOULS; 7. I STAND ACCUSED; 8. BLACK KNIGHTS OF THE 80’S; 9. CRY WOLF; 10. SOLDIER; BONUS TRACKS: 11. DIFFERENT STROKES; 12. DIFFERENT DUB; 13. WE DEFY YOU

Disc One is the debut Teenage Warning (1979) album that hit No.29 in the UK National Charts. Including the hit singles ‘I’m An Upstart’ (No.31) and ‘Teenage Warning’ (No.29), as well as two bonus cuts featuring both sides of debut 45 ‘The Murder Of Liddle Towers’ this is the best of the bunch, for me.

This is classic punk rock played as it should be. Raw, angry and from the heart. Inspiring, angst ridden punk anthems played like a speeding train, the album cover art sleeve depicts a tattooed orange with a clockwork key. This symbolizes the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange and is taken from the opening lyric of the title track, "Wind me up like a clockwork orange".

The second disc has the No.54 charting We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1980) album that includes hit singles ‘Never ‘Ad Nothin’’ (No.52), ‘Out Of Control’ (No.58) and the title track (No.65).

Following Teenage Warning was always going to be tricky, but for the most part they did it here. Thomas Mensforth's vocals along with the guitar work of Ray Cowie make this album more than what it should have been though, that's for sure. But, as always, if you enjoy raucous, hard-hitting, punk with some great guitars, then this is a must have album!

The seminal Two Million Voices (1981) is to be found on Disc Three. The album reached No.32 in 1981 and includes the singles ‘Last Night Another Soldier’ (No.51), ‘England’ and ‘Kids On The Street’ (No. 57) plus five bonus tracks.

The album probably stands out in that the clear patriotism of the band in the song "England" proves that patriotism and racism are not one and the same, something the far right at the time (and to some extent still do) try hard to instill in the public mind. Kids on the street still sounds as raw and powerful now as it did then.

OK, sure, Mensi may not be the most melodic singer in the world, but for raw energy and courage of conviction, the Upstarts are second to none; which they prove here on third third album.

The No.27 charting Live (1981) album is on Disc Four complete with four bonus tracks culled from an original flexi disc given away with the album.

Showcasing the raw angst this group had for their chosen lyrical subject matter, their intensity for propelling every word, every lyric into the faces of their beloved fans is amazing. The energy here is still beyond a joke to listen to now, some 37 years later.

The fifth disc is the Still From The Heart (1982) album that features the singles ‘Never Say Die’ and ‘Different Strokes’.

In truth, and as most all die hard Angelic Upstarts fans will attest, Still From The Heart was not one of their better albums. It doesn't really even sound like the Angelic Upstarts in that there's no real punk angst attached to any of the songs.

A great, solid album, nonetheless, and with Mensi's voice trying to wrap itself around various new variations of a somewhat diluted punk coarseness, it's most definitely a step out of punk rock for the ages that were changing, me thinks.

Housed in a sturdy clam shell box, each disc is in a cardboard wallet depicting the original LP art whilst the 20 page booklet comes complete with liner notes and pictures of all the relevant sleeves.

Still led by vocalist Mensi to this day, the Upstarts are regulars at the major European Punk Festivals. Check them out and see what all the fuss was/is about!

Angelic Upstarts @ Facebook!

www.captainoi.com

5CD Box-Set Purchase Link

www.cherryred.co.uk







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