Review: Gary Crowley’s Punk and New Wave Vol. 2 – Boxset

Gary Crowley and Jim Lahat unearth a diverse collection of timeless punk and new wave rarities.

Gary Crowley and Jim Lahat’s second instalment of Punk and New Wave compilations brings together a rare and lesser-known collection of tracks from the early years of punk and new wave.

This four-CD, six-LP box set compilation album, containing 77 tracks, stands out from your usual collections by delving deep into the realm of b-sides and lesser-known classics, avoiding the obvious choices. 

Accompanied by a comprehensive 32-page booklet featuring extensive track-by-track sleeve notes by Crowley and Lahat alongside anecdotes from the likes of Viv Albertine (The Slits), Damian O’Neill (The Undertones), Glen Matlock, Gary Valentine, Mike Sweeney (Salford Jets) and more all the tracks have been newly mastered and sound even better than they did decades ago, thanks to Phil Kinrade’s work at Alchemy Mastering.

The sequencing of the tracks is clever, balancing the inclusion of bands like The Clash and The Raincoats to counterbalance their differing styles. The compilation features notable bands such as XTC, Wah! Heat, Magazine, The Flys, The Jam, Generation X, The Heartbreakers, Penetration, The Only Ones, and Psychedelic Furs. It also dispels the notion that punk was a boys’ club by including plenty of female artists.

One of the standouts for me is Leyton Buzzards’ track ‘I’m Hanging Around’ .Leyton Buzzards were a British punk and new wave band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1976. The band consisted of Tony James on vocals, John Wray on guitar, Kevin Steptoe on bass, and Danny Costa on drums. They gained attention for their energetic live performances and humorous, satirical lyrics. I’ve always loved them and always will.

The compilation surprises with three fantastic cover versions of 60s tunes by The Times, The Mo-Dettes, and The Pleasers – brilliant choices – and the inclusion of tracks like ‘Dread Beat An’ Blood’ by Poet And The Roots showcases the infectious DIY spirit of the time.

Songs like Magazine’s  ‘I Love You, You Big Dummy’a track from their debut album, ‘Real Life’ (1978) and The Flys ‘Love And A Molotov Cocktail’ (one of their better-known tracks,) demonstrate the ability of bands from that era to write blistering great songs – play these loud!

The compilation also features lesser-known punk gems such as The Cigarettes‘They’re Back Again, Here They Come,’. The band’s contribution to punk, though somewhat underrated, serves as a reminder of the creative and diverse music that emerged during that time.  

With rare tracks from the Ramones, Penetration, Rich Kids, The Skunks and many, many, many more (full track list below), Gary Crowley’s Punk and New Wave Vol 2 is definitely one to add to your collection.

Side A
  1. The Clash – 1-2 Crush On You
  2. The Slits – So Tough
  3. The Undertones – There Goes Norman
  4. The Users – Sick Of You
  5. Leyton Buzzards – I’m Hanging Around
  6. The Dole – New Wave Love
Side B
    1. Ramones – Suzy Is A Headbanger
    2. The Heartbreakers – One Track Mind
    3. The Limit – My World At Night
    4. The Art Attacks – I Am A Dalek
    5. Penetration – Future Daze
    6. Rich Kids – Hung On You

      Side C
      1. Magazine- I Love You, You Big Dummy
      2. The Flys – Love And A Molotov Cocktail
      3. X-Ray Spex – Warrior In Woolworth
      4. The Members – Phone In Show
      5. The Piranhas – Tension
      6. Mo-Dettes – Paint It Black
      7. Poet And The Roots – Dread Beat An’ Blood
      Side D
      1. The Jam – Away From The Numbers
      2. Siouxsie And The Banshees – Desert Kisses
      3. Golinski Brothers – Bloody
      4. Zounds – Demystification
      5. Liquid Stone – Here Comes The Weekend (Mono)
      6. The Trend – Teenage Crush
      7. The Pleasers – The Kids Are Alright
        Side E
        1. Stiff Little Fingers – Barbed Wire Love
        2. Athletico Spizz 80 – No Room
        3. The Chefs – 24 Hours
        4. Shake – Dream On
        5. Altered Images – Love And Kisses
        6. The Only Ones – Out There In The Night
        Side F
        1. The Cure     – Play For Today
        2. The Disco Zombies – Drums Over London
        3. The Times – Red with Purple Flashes
        4. The Limps – Someone I Can Talk To
        5. The Nervebreakers – My Girlfriend Is A Rock
        6. The Newtown Neurotics – Hypocrite
        7. Dolly Mixture – Side Street Walker
          Side G
          1. XTC – Radios In Motion
          2. The Cigarettes – They’re Back Again,  Here They Come
          3. Gary Valentine  – The First Ones
          4. Generation X – Trying For Kicks (Winstanley Mix)
          5. The Boys – Jimmy Brown
          6. The Boyfriends – I’m In Love Today
          7. The Dils – Sound of the Rain
          Side H
          1. The Rezillos` – Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
          2. Silent Noise – I’ve Been Hurt (So Many Times Before)
          3. The Skunks – Earthquake Shake
          4. Rachel Sweet – New Rose
          5. The Distractions – It Doesn’t Bother Me
          6. The Wardens – Do So Well
          7. Clive Pig And The Hopeful Chinamen – Happy Birthday Sweet 16
  1. LP 5
    Side I
    1. The Stranglers – Tank
    2. Pearl Harbor and the Explosions – Drivin’
    3. Suicide – Ghost Rider
    4. The Raincoats – No Side To Fall In
    5. The City Limits  – Morse Code Messages
    6. Department S – Monte Carlo or Bust (early version)
    Side J
    1. The Psychedelic Furs – We Love You
    2. The Chords – Something’s Missing
    3. Dislocation Dance – Rosemary
    4. The Cosmopolitans – Party Boy
    5. The Barracudas – I Want My Woody Back
    6. The Oral Exciters – It’s Tonight
  2. LP 6
    Side K
    1. Killing Joke – Tension
    2. The Subterraneans – My Flamingo
    3. The Salford Jets – Gina
    4. The Photos – All I Want
    5. Wah! Heat – Better Scream
    6. The Professionals – Just Another Dream
    Side L
    1. Devo – Uncontrollable Urge
    2. Joe Public – Hotel Rooms
    3. Moving England – Moving Back
    4. Bow Wow Wow  – Golly! Golly! Go Buddy!
    5. The Farmers Boys – I Think I Need Help
    6. Basement 5 – Silicone Chip
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