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Various Artists
No Thanks! 70's Punk Rebellion

Rhino Records

This delicious collection of '70s Proto-Punk and New Wave upstarts - some almost forgotten, some still in airplay - makes an aging punk rock grrl like me positively pogo for joy! Johnny Thunders sang "You Can't Put Your Arms 'Round A Memory"…but this boxed set comes pretty damn close. Rhino is touting it as "The First Definitive Overview of the Dawn of Punk/4 CDs With 100 Tracks That Took the Piss Out of Bloated '70s Rock". Mostly featuring 1970s young New York malcontents, this collection of bands is appropriately, largely American - before the Sex Pistols, there was Television (from Delaware…yes, Delaware)…before the Damned and the Clash, Detroit's Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Clean-shaven dapper dans like Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello coexist peacefully alongside wonderfully belligerent loudmouths like Joan Jett and the Runaways, and Darby Crash of the Germs (and perhaps much better than they did in person).

A fun and surprisingly thorough 116-page booklet is included, containing rare and drool-worthy photos, liner notes, commentary and personal tributes by contemporaries in the '70s punk scene, including Johnny Ramone, members of Blondie, X, Lenny Kaye and more. Listening to this compilation and reading along in the booklet, it's almost like being there…almost. To flesh out the experience, fine companion reading would be Lobotomy/Poison Heart - the first installment of memoirs by the late Ramones bassist and loveable bad boy Dee Dee Ramone (a.k.a. Douglas Colvin), Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk edited by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, and/or From the Velvets to the Voidoids: A Pre-Punk History for a Post-Punk World by Clinton Heylin.

Interestingly, no Sex Pistols music is featured, but Rhino producer Gary Stewart humbly states: "…Let's be honest: Never Mind the Bollocks - the punk equivalent of Sgt. Peppers [sic] - is a more essential purchase than this set. I hope you've already bought it before plunking down the 60+ hard-earned dollars for this one." Well! So much for my initial assumption that Rhino is implying through the production of No Thanks, that American Punk rocks over Brit-punk! In any case, this 4 CD set is but the tip of the iceberg -- but like a rough-cut diamond, it's one big, beautiful chunk of the finest ice.

However, this gem is slightly flawed - though we get the typical lusty shot of a sweaty Lux Interior fellating a microphone, sadly absent are more tracks by his psychobilly fiends the Cramps, doing that voodoo that they do so well…their one token track on this compilation merely skims the surface of a long-standing band whose genre has been difficult to label cleanly and therefore has often been shunted to the side.

And Disc 4 ends inexplicably with Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - produced in *1980*. Hmm…

In any case, I found this solid collection of early-to-late '70s street rock completely irresistible, and essential for indoctrinating today's new breed of disenfranchised youth before they are convinced that Sum 41 is "punk" - eek!! I suggest that it be piped in subliminally over the P.A. systems of all American high schools, STAT! Well, one can dream… At least buy it for your teenage niece and maybe she'll say "Blink 180-who?!" before the day is done.

In the liner notes, Punk Rock icon Joan Jett contends, "When these recordings were made, punk was not a fashion. It was a way of life." AMEN.

- Dee Vinyl

Track Listing:

1. "Blitzkrieg Bop" - Ramones
2. "White Riot" - The Clash
3. "Heart Of The City" - Nick Lowe
4. "Boredom" - Buzzcocks featuring Howard DeVoto
5. "(I'm) Stranded" - The Saints
6. "Neat Neat Neat" - The Damned
7. "In The City" - The Jam
8. "Final Solution" - Pere Ubu
9. "Roadrunner" - The Modern Lovers
10. "Little Johnny Jewel" - Television
11. "One Chord Wonders" - The Adverts
12. "Born To Lose" - The Heartbreakers
13. "Search And Destroy" - Iggy & The Stooges
14. "Let Me Dream If I Want To (Amphetamine Blues)" - Mink Deville
15. "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" - X-Ray Spex
16. "1 2 X U" - Wire
17. "Blank Generation" - Richard Hell & The Voidoids
18. "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" - The Stranglers
19. "Cherry Bomb" - The Runaways
20. "Personality Crisis" - New York Dolls
21. "Teenage Depression" - Eddie & The Hot Rods
22. "Two Tub Man" - The Dictators
23. "Hey Joe (version)" - Patti Smith
24. "Your Generation" - Generation X
25. "Lust For Life" - Iggy Pop
26. "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" - The Adverts
27. "Satday Night In The City Of The Dead" - Ultravox!
28. "What Do I Get?" - Buzzcocks
29. "X Offender" - Blondie
30. "Lookin' After No. 1" - The Boomtown Rats
31. "Don't Dictate" - Penetration
32. "Bingo Master" - The Fall
33. "Free Money" - Patti Smith
34. "The Modern World" - The Jam
35. "Chinese Rocks" - The Heartbreakers
36. "New Rose" - The Damned
37. "Ambition" - Subway Sect
38. "See No Evil" - Television
39. "Suspect Device" - Stiff Little Fingers
40. "Mannequin" - Wire
41. "Baby Baby" - The Vibrators
42. "Love Comes In Spurts" - Richard Hell & The Voidoids
43. "First Time" - The Boys
44. "Sonic Reducer" - Dead Boys
45. "Shot By Both Sides" - Magazine
46. "Mystery Dance" - Elvis Costello
47. "Trash" - New York Dolls
48. "The Day The World Turned Day-Glo" - X-Ray Spex
49. "Do Anything You Wanna Do" - Eddie & The Hot Rods
50. "Ready Steady Go" - Generation X
51. "Teenage Kicks" - The Undertones
52. "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" - Ian Dury
53. "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've?)" - Buzzcocks
54. "Rocket U.S.A." - Suicide
55. "Mongoloid" - Devo
56. "Homicide" - 999
57. "Mr. Big" - The Dils
58. "Warsaw" - Joy Division
59. "Where Were You?" - The Mekons
60. "Lexicon Devil" - The Germs
61. "(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures" - The Rezillos
62. "The Wait" - The Pretenders
63. "We Got The Neutron Bomb" - The Weirdos
64. "Pablo Picasso" - The Modern Lovers
65. "Action Time Vision" - Alternative TV
66. "2-4-6-8 Motorway" - Tom Robinson Band
67. "We Are The One" - The Avengers
68. "Borstal Breakout" - Sham 69
69. "Wasted" - Black Flag
70. "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" - Ramones
71. "I Love Livin' In The City" - Fear
72. "She's So Modern" - The Boomtown Rats
73. "Ghosts Of Princes In Towers" - Rich Kids
74. "We're Desperate" - X
75. "You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)" - The Dickies
76. "Dancing The Night Away" - The Motors
77. "Hong Kong Garden" - Siouxsie & The Banshees
78. "Hanging On The Telephone" - Blondie
79. "Top Of The Pops" - The Rezillos
80. "Adult Books" - X
81. "The Sound Of The Suburbs" - The Members
82. "California Über Alles" - Dead Kennedys
83. "Another Girl, Another Planet" - The Only Ones
84. "(I Want To Be An) Anglepoise Lamp" - The Soft Boys
85. "Radio, Radio" - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
86. "Typical Girls" - The Slits
87. "Human Fly" - The Cramps
88. "Psycho Killer" - Talking Heads
89. "Babylon's Burning" - The Ruts
90. "If The Kids Are United" - Sham 69
91. "Alternative Ulster" - Stiff Little Fingers
92. "Boys Don't Cry" - The Cure
93. "She Is Beyond Good And Evil" - The Pop Group
94. "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" - Joe Jackson
95. "Get Over You" - The Undertones
96. "Love Like Anthrax" - Gang Of Four
97. "Peaches" - The Stranglers
98. "Into The Valley" - Skids
99. "You Can't Put Your Arms Round A Memory" - Johnny Thunders
100. "Love Will Tear Us Apart"- Joy Division

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