An offer you can’t refuse!
A welcome return for this cultish London garage band’s debut, which is now a 29-track, 2-CD behemoth including a remastered collection of rare live tracks and radio sessions from November 1986. The album remains untouched but, unusually, sounds better than the original vinyl, with even more depth to the bass drum on some tracks.
Disc Two holds the 16 rare, intriguing and remastered tracks, including The Godfathers’ fledgling Radio 1 sessions with Andy Kershaw and Janice Long, (the latter previously available, but here sounding markedly improved from the woody-sounding Kershaw session).
Eight live tracks finish this revised edition, with covers including a storming Blitzkrieg Bop and Anarchy In The UK. This is where The Godfathers truly shine. Like Dr Feelgood before them, they never sounded better than when tearing an audience apart: Peter Coyne’s angry vocals, the sawing guitars of Dollimore and Gibson and the pounding beats of Mazur drum you into submission.
The Godfathers gave rock’n’roll back to the street and this edition is the definitive, essential collection for anyone with a hankering for hit after hit of classic British punk rock’n’roll. The sound of the first rebellion of the 80s London youth against Popworld PLC sounds remarkably fresh and relevant even today.
It would be a shame if the world forgot about The Godfathers. Although they were always out of time, trying to reignite a punked-up rock (as in R&B/R&R) spirit during the haircut decade, ironically you could argue that the first years of the new century have been more Godfathers-friendly than any time since they started. Bands like The Hives have based their entire career on emulating ‘Cause I Said So’ (not included here), consciously or not, and the whole garage-revival owes a debt to these guys along with Billy Childish and Mick Collins.
So what do you get on this 2CD? on the first disc, Hit By Hit, which was their first album (I know it’s a singles compilation but after all that’s what ‘album’ originally meant) and has been elusive/expensive for years: now you can get THIS DAMN NATION (otherwise unavailable) on CD at a reasonable price, not just one of their very best tracks but ONE OF THE BEST SONGS EVER – it’s the essence of punk even though it probably isn’t strictly punk. There’s hardly any lyrics and yet it says EVERYTHING: it’s in the attitude.
You also get two of their other best songs: I WANT EVERYTHING, and their stunning version of COLD TURKEY. ‘Lonely Man’ is fantastic…but then there’s not a bad track on here, even the Rolf Harris cover and the instrumentals are great. Added to the original LP is the Love Is Dead E.P.(previously re-released on the ’96 Sony comp), the original version of ‘Love..’ far better than the Sony remake.
The 2nd Cd has the previously issued Janice Long session (perfect version of ‘If I Only Had Time’), a never-issued before (as far as I know) Kershaw session from ’85 and some live tracks, all great, even the cover of ‘Anarchy In The UK’, which hasn’t often been covered with this much dignity. [Colney Hatch]