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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Bad Manners - The Albums 1980-85' [5CD]
Artist - Bad Manners

For those not in the know, Bad Manners are a rather excellent, and still going strong, English two-tone and ska band led by frontman Buster Bloodvessel.

With early appearances including Top of The Pops and the live film documentary, Dance Craze, they were at their most popular during the early 1980s.

Indeed, it was during the very same period of time when other ska / two tone revival bands such as Madness, the Specials and the Selecter filled the charts.

Bad Manners spent 111 weeks in the UK Singles Chart between 1980 and 1983, and they also achieved chart success with their first four studio albums with Gosh It's ... Bad Manners, Loonee Tunes! and Ska 'n' B being their biggest hits.

Releasing August 31st, 2018 via Pressure Drop / Cherry Red Records (UK), Bad Manners - The Albums 1980-85 is a 5CD, 93 track clam shell box-set rounding up pretty much all of Bad Manners’ releases between 1980-85.

The first CD, their wondrous debut entitled Ska 'N' B, spent three months in the UK charts in 1980, peaking at #34. Including the hit singles ‘Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu’ (#28), ‘Lip Up Fatty’ (#15) and ‘Special Brew’ (#3), it is, for my money, their best album to date.

1. 'Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu'
2. 'Here Comes the Major'
3. 'Fattie Fattie'
4. 'King Ska-Fa'
5. 'Monster Mash'
6. 'Caldonia (What Makes Your Big Head Hard)'
7. 'Magnificent Seven'
8. 'Wooly Bully'
9. 'Lip Up Fatty'
10. 'Special Brew'
11. 'Inner London Violence'
12. 'Scruffy Was a Huffy Chuffy Tug Boat'
13. 'Holidays'
14. 'Night Bus to Dalston' (Instrumental Version)
15. 'Lip Up Fatty' (12" Extended Version)
16. 'Special Brew' (7" Version)
17. 'Ivor the Engine'

Among the true innovators of popular music and one of the first artists to fuse ska and "fatness" while embracing the questions that drive us all - lest we forget the whole sticking the tongue out thing either - Ska 'N' B was chock full of musical goodness!

Fun, upbeat, energetic tracks such as 'Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu,' 'King Ska-Fa,' 'Monster Mash,' 'Wooly Bully,' the brilliant 'Lip Up Fatty,' and the spectacular BM anthem 'Special Brew' ensure that their debut has, and rightly so, gone down in British musical history as one of the best debuts released.

The second CD is Loonee Tunes, which hit #36 in the National Chart in 1980. This one contains the hit singles ‘Lorraine’ (#21) and ‘Just A Feeling’ (#13).

1. 'Echo Four-Two'
2. 'Just a Feeling'
3. 'El Pussycat'
4. 'Doris'
5. 'Spy I'
6. 'Tequila'
7. 'Lorraine'
8. 'Echo Gone Wrong'
9. 'Suicide'
10. 'The Under Sea Adventures of Ivor the Engine'
11. 'Back in '60'
12. 'Just Pretendin'
13. 'Lorraine' (12" Extended Version)
14. 'Here Comes the Major' (New Improved Version)

Bad Manners' sophomore release pretty much follows the blueprint of their debut release in that it's fun, original pop ska, with a few cover tunes and boisterous instrumentals added to the mix.

In keeping with the format of their first album, the first track 'Echo Four-Two' is an instrumental. In fact, it fast became the band's cult instrumental introduction number of time at all live gigs.

Their two knock your socks off tracks here that rose high in the UK charts that year are the frenetic love song 'Lorraine' and the boisterous beauty 'Just a Feeling,' a song that was so catchy back then, that just thinking about it now has it back in my head!

The third CD is the Gosh It’s ... Bad Manners album that reached #18 in the UK charts. Helped by the inclusion of the hit singles ‘Can Can’ (#3) and ‘Walking In The Sunshine’ (#10), Cherry Red has now added a bonus of the #34 charting ‘Buona Sera’ single PLUS two tracks from the Party Party soundtrack (both of which are appearing on CD in the UK for the first time).

1. 'Walking in the Sunshine'
2. 'Dansetta'
3. 'Can Can'
4. 'Weeping and a Wailing'
5. 'Casablanca (Rags and Riches)'
6. 'Don't Be Angry'
7. 'Ben E. Wriggle'
8. 'Runaway'
9. 'Never Will Change'
10. 'Only Funkin'
11. 'End of the World'
12. 'Gherkin'
13. 'Armchair Disco'
14. 'Walking in the Sunshine' (12" Extended Version)
15. 'Night Bus to Dalston' (Vocal Version)
16. 'Buona Sera'
17. 'The New One'
18. 'No Respect'
19. 'Yakety Yak'
20. 'Elizabethan Reggae'

This album contains a fascinating mixture of styles, from the quality writing and musicianship (yes, you read that correctly!) of songs such as 'Walking in the Sunshine' and 'Casablanca,' to the experimental, slightly left field maniac 'Gherkin,' to just balls out fun tracks like the rip roaring Hi-NRG of 'Can Can' and even 'Ben E. Wriggle.'

The fourth CD in this set is Forging Ahead, a #78 chart entry that includes the hit singles ‘Got No Brains’ (#44), ‘My Girl Lollipop’ (#9), ‘Samson And Delilah’ (#58) and ‘That’ll Do Nicely’ (#49).

1. 'Salad Bar'
2. 'Tonight Is Your Night'
3. 'Samson and Delilah' (Biblical Version)
4. 'Exodus'
5. 'Got No Brains'
6. 'Rose of Italy'
7. 'My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop)' (Extended Lick Mix)
8. 'Falling Out of Love'
9. 'Seventh Heaven'
10. 'Educating Marmalade'
11. 'What's Up Crazy Pup'
12. 'Your'
13. 'Psychedelic Eric'
14. 'Flashpoint'
15. 'Ben E. Wriggle' (Remix)
16. 'My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop)' (7" Version)
17. 'Samson and Delilah' (7" Version)
18. 'Good Honest Man'
19. 'Your' (Instrumental Version)
20. 'That'll Do Nicely'
21. 'Monster Love' (Dub)
22. 'That'll Do Nicely' (12" Express Version)

This album was the group's last album on Magnet Records and maybe they were just running down a contract they had with the label, but their zany, loose sound had started to become a tighter, more orchestrated, less chart-bound sound.

The fun 'Salad Bar' opens up the album with 'Tonight is Your Night' a great sing-along track, that's for sure. One of my all-time fav's of theirs, 'Sampson And Delilah' (here now as a Biblical Version) is backed by a fantastic 'Exodus.'

Sure, 'My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop)' (here as a wonderful Extended Lick Mix) might well have been done (many times) before, and actually received more radio play by other artists, but this BM version is the ONLY one that plays in my head when someone mentions the damn song! Another beauty is the Cossack-sounding 'That Will Do Nicely' that is here amongst the Bonus Tracks,

The fifth of the albums in this clam shell box-set is Mental Notes from 1985. Originally only released in North America / The Netherlands / Australia and Greece, amongst the ten bonus tracks are five that have never appeared on CD before, culled from rare American only 12” singles.

1. 'What the Papers Say'
2. 'Blue Summer'
3. 'Body Talk'
4. 'Tossin' in My Sleep'
5. 'Tie Me Up'
6. 'Bang the Drum All Day'
7. 'Destination Unknown'
8. 'Mountain of Love'
9. 'Work'
10. 'Saturday Night'
11. 'My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop)' (Extended Lick USA Re-Mix)
12. 'My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop)' (Extended Instrumental USA Re-Mix)
13. 'That'll Do Nicely' (USA 7" Re-Mix)
14. 'My Girl Lollipop (My Boy Lollipop)' (USA 7" Re-Mix)
15. 'Blue Summer' (Re-Mix)
16. 'Mr. Jordan (Louie Louie)'
17. 'Blue Summer' (Dub)
18. 'What the Papers Say' (12" Mix)
19. 'Bang the Drum All Day' (Extended Re-Mix)
20. 'Bang the Drum All Day' (Dub Version)

Now, in all truth, and after releasing a string of instantly catchy hit singles, the charts became a distant past for BM and this album all but disappeared upon release.

That said, it is still a must-own for the ska / two tone enthusiast, containing songs such as 'Tie Me Up,' 'Tossin' In My Sleep,' and the remakes of 'Bang The Drum All Day' and 'Destination Unknown.'

The Bonus Tracks here include the b-side cut 'Mr Jordan (Louie Louie),' a rather delightful uptempo soul track, with Buster putting in a really professional vocal performance. Truth is, if you played this track to someone who didn’t know it was Bad Manners, I don’t think they’d ever guess who it was!

Each disc comes in a card wallet that features its original LP artwork.

The 20 page booklet contains detailed liner notes, pictures of all the relevant record sleeves, memorabilia and press clippings from the time.

5CD Box-Set Purchase Link

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