Boys (The) - Collection, The (Music CD)

Release Date: 08 November 2010
Artist: Boys (The)
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The Boys are rarely discussed in the same breath as the great bands of the first wave of British punk, and that's a puzzle; the Boys may have lacked the "smash the state" politics of the Clash or the Sex Pistols, but their blend of pop hooks and buzzsaw energy was bested only by the Buzzcocks, and their music is at least as fun and furious as the Damned, Generation X, or the Vibrators. The Boys' reputation in America hasn't been helped by the fact their first two albums never received a proper release stateside, but Taang! has finally addressed this egregious error with The Collection, a two-CD set that features 1977's self-titled debut, The Boys, and 1978's sophomore effort, Alternative Chartbusters, in full. Given how many U.K. punk bands fell victim to the second-album jinx, it says a lot for the Boys that Alternative Chartbusters is just as strong as the debut (if more polished), and these two discs are a blast from start to finish. The tunes suggest these boys had a history in glam or pub rock before hitching their wagons to punk, but they embraced the four-on-the-floor blama-lama of punk with righteous enthusiasm, and their cheeky sense of humor fit the new noise like a glove on songs like "Kiss Like a Nun," "First Time," " "T.C.P.," and "Sway (Quien Sera)." Elsewhere, "Do the Contract Hustle" suggests that they learned the finer points of the music business the hard way (like most of their peers), and "Living in the City," "Cast of Thousands," and "Brickfield Nights" show they could speak on behalf of the kids with as much street smarts as anyone. Along with the first two albums, The Collection also includes 14 demos, outtakes, B-sides, and tracks from the Boys' Christmas album, released as the Yobs (and their rip through "Run Rudolph Run" is a cracking bridge between the old and new schools). The Collection is a top-notch introduction to one of the most underrated bands of punk's first graduating class, and for most folks this is as much from the Boys as you'll ever need; it's fun, bracing stuff. ~ Mark Deming
Release Date: 08 November 2010
Artist: Boys (The)

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Catalogue No: CG41353CD