Tuesday, 16 December 2014

SHAM 69






















"Tell us the truth"
Year:  1978
Country:  UK
City:  Hersham
Label:  Universal Music
Format:  CD
Tracks:  15
Time:  39 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock



























SHAM 69 formed in Hersham, Surrey in 1976 (the 12 November issue of NME notes they are rehearsing at this time, although only Jimmy Pursey would remain from this early line-up 12 months later). SHAM 69 lacked the art school background of many british punk bands of the time, and brought in football chant back-up vocals and a sort of inarticulate political populism. The band had a large skinhead following (left wing, right wing and non-political), which helped set the tone for the Oi! movement. Their concerts were notoriously plagued by violence, and the band ceased live performances after one of their gigs at Middlesex Polytechnic in 1978 was broken up by National Front skinheads fighting and rushing the stage. Late 1979 the band was dissolved after recording four albums in just two years. But in 1988 Pursey and guitarist David Parsons reformed the band, joined by new personnel for three years and to make "Volunteer", a mainstream hard-rock album which became in a total comercial failure. Although subsequently going through a number of lineup changes and stops, Sham 69 remained more or less active and is still playing shows until nowadays.
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"That's life"
Year:  1978
Country:  UK
City:  Hersham
Label:  Universal Music
Format:  CD , LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  38 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:         Punk  Rock




















"That's life" was released the same year as their debut in 1978. The record doesn't feature the greatest sound quality, though I wasn't expecting it too. It kind of brings the record down a bit, but it is not too bad. The album does have some comedy in it as sometimes there is some dialogue before or after songs, even though sometimes I can't understand what they are saying it is still pretty entertaining. Jimmy Pursey has a fairly good voice and works well on all the songs. He has a good (yelling) vocal range which he demonstrates on many tracks including "Who Gives a Damn?" and "Is This Me or Is This You?".










When you first listen to the album, it may put you off guard because the opener, Leave Me Alone has some talking for about a minute until the song finally kicks in. But at least the song is well done and sets the tone for the album but not one of the best off it. This album has some very solid punk tracks including the title track That's Life. The song has some great clean vocals, and keeps a steady pace throughout the chorus. It also features one of the albums few guitar solos. Overall a very good song, but kind of gets messy at the end. Another great punk song is Who Gives A Damn?. After some noise, the opening riff comes in followed by Jimmy's distinct vocals. This song also has a great solo and some good lyrics with Jimmy yelling: "Who Gives a Damn; I'm Doing The Best I Can". A personal favorite of mine is Angels with Dirty Faces, a very catchy song that has the signature group chant in the chorus. It is a short and effective song. This song was also the second and last single released off the record. Sham 69 tried to mix things up a bit with the Reggae Pick Up songs. These songs though are not even reggae. They do have somewhat of a reggae beat in the background, but both songs are basically just dialogue and easily my two least favorite songs off the album.











So overall, SHAM 69's That's Life is recommended to any fan of classic punk or just punk rock in general. SHAM 69 was, in my opinion one of the best bands to come out of England during the punk movement and an influence to many of the street punk bands that came after them. I often feel they are underrated and not given enough credit. In the case of being overlooked, many people always think of the Sex Pistols, The Jam, or The Clash (as they should) when it comes to 70's british punk rock, but SHAM 69 should be up there. Anyways, this is a solid record (although it can get a little messy at times) from SHAM 69 at their peak in 1980. From here on, after the good "Hersham boys", SHAM 69 released non studio albums throughout the 80s decade, but the increasing violence at their shows made it difficult for the band to tour, however they regrouped in 1987. (*NOTE = this review was written by Tom 79 ).
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"soapy water and marmalade"
Year:  1995
Country:  UK
City:  London
Label:  A Plus Eye
Format:  CD
Tracks:  10
Time:  38 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:         Pop Punk





























After a long hiatus of inactivity from 1979 until 1995, with the exception of three years to record the most impopular album "volunteer" (1988), Jimmy Pursey and company are come back mid 90's with a disk more or less en vogue those years. We mean the succesful californian pop punk, popular during almost all 90's decade and which this Sham 69 album is quite or very similar. Is this a mistake or somehting negative? no at all. Nothing to do with their most agressive two album, but the band show us how also they know how to send the same message with a some kind of punk music softer, slower and more melodic. Then in 1995, the work passed almost unnoticed... nor bad opinions neither good ones... simply unnoticed. But it seem with the passe of the years it got more acceptance and was re-issued three times at the moment. Right
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"the A files"
Year:  1997
Country:  UK
City:  London
Label:  Cleopatra
Format:  CD
Tracks:  14
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock
























Review by: "Adam Bregman, ALLMUSIC: "Sham 69's first studio album of the '90s (after their career tailored off in the '80s), The A-Files is a thoroughly enjoyable thud on the head, though none of the songs appear to make any sense at all (maybe if you hung out with these guys, you might get some of the jokes or references). But in its own silly way, it's a more mature work. "Tag" is a cool atmospheric dub-reggae instrumental, while "I'm Mad" is about the mad cow disease and may include some commentary on vegetarianism, though maybe it doesn't. However, the nonsensical lyrics are interesting and Jimmy Pursey sings them with one of the greatest, most carefully enunciated punk voices of all time. Occasionally, three-fourths of the way through a song, the guitarist comes up with some very memorable hooks, but the production is too slick for a punk record. Though it's jumbled and baffling, this is a very sophisticated work for a gang of boot boys from Hersham. For those who dislike or even hate its worst album "Volunteer" (1988) or perhaps "Information Libre" (1991), here comes the final of tunnel, the light, the redempion... finally"
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"direct action: day 21"
Year:  2001
Country:  UK
Label:  The Store For Music
Format:  CD
Tracks:  14
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Pop Punk




























Everybody know the particular atraction of Jimmy Pursey for the british pop, mod music and similar soft and melodic sounds which can to remind bands such as: The Who, Small Faces, Creation, The Troggs or The Kinks. Their third album already showed this influence, and pop music appeared again in 1995 with "soapy water and marmalade" and also in this work entitled "Direct action". In fact Sham 69 was never a band which recorded fast and agressive punk rock but rather the opposite, a mid-tempo, few distorted and classic rockin 1977 punk music. Their albums closer to pop or simply melodic, are in my opinion good samples how these guys know how to do it. Good job.
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"Western culture"
Year:  2007
Country:  UK
City:  Hersham
Label:  Bad Dog
Format:  CD , LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock








































After an small success and certain dissapointment with "Soapy water and mister marmalade" (95) and "The A files" (97) and too many years without to record anything new except live albums, compilations, etc. The legend band SHAM 69 decided finally to make an album of pure, simple, easy and direct punk rock, aka Oi! music. Nothing more... why? these guys are superbe making this kind of music, they already have demonstrated with their two first albums, why not to do the same. Here we go with "Western culture". Twelve tracks with high quality with no exception and a kind of artwork, design and packaged like its music: simple and direct. One day I thought SHAM 69 never will to do another 1977 style album, but fortunately I was wrong... at all. Congratulations for those guys from Hersham and to everybody to recommend to listen to this album.
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"Who killed Joe public"
Year:  2010
Country:  UK
City:  Hersham
Label:  none
Format:  CD
Tracks:  11
Time:  36 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk  Rock

































"Who Killed Joe Public" is the eleventh studio album by punk rock band SHAM 69 and the second album not to feature original singer Jimmy Pursey. During the making of the album Jimmy Pursey put up on his official site a message saying "Who Killed Sham 69?", an obvious play on words aimed at Parson. One year after the album's release Jimmy and Parson have since settled their differences and reformed the line-up from 1977 thus leaving and angering the leftover members. The leftover members formed their own band called 'IF...' and toured the UK with Tony Feedback (Angelic Upstarts) and Rick Buckler (The Jam) having two drummers live. After feeling hard done by the leftover members then decided to also tour under the name SHAM 69 after original member Neil Harris joined them. The album continues the stylistic line as its precedent and excellent "Western culture" but perhaps a little bit less inspired, less "good" in the whole sense. Anyway nothing to do with SHAM 69 90's decade albums, but here the band make a pure and simple punk rock with a classic rock sound. Well, in fact there are some exceptions but they are very well solved: "Hall Of fame" (which can to remind Madness soul music), "Then there were none" (rock'n'roll balad) and "The last gang in London" (ex+cellent reggae).
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"Their finest hour"
Year:  2013
Country:  UK
City:  London
Label:  none
Format:  CD
Tracks:  12
Time:  36
Genre:  rock
Style:         Punk  Rock





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"It'ill end in tears"
Year:  2015
Country:  UK
City:  London
Label:  none
Format:  CD , LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  36
Genre:  rock
Style:         Punk  Rock






























ACCORDING TO LINES ALBUM : "the music is of its time and with the energy and passion that has taken them from the heady days of punk and street rock they have now come of age. Unlike many they play and act with total sincerity, still ripping up the stages of the world with their style of live performance and their outlook on the world. With many line up changes the band is by no means the most sincerest yet and the world has already experienced that".
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