Is this a classic of the post-punk era or a cartoon joke that all too quickly wears thin?
The one album released by The Rezillos back in 1978 divided opinion then and even today, it took me a while to determine which side of the fence I come down on. Visually, there were few like them at the time (although plenty since have stolen some of the ideas). Musically, they were like lots of other acts as they raced through their songs at a blistering pace with spiky guitars to the fore. There’s an awful lot of the guitar work that sounds very like the debut LP of The Clash while the tunes are as poppy as many of those performed by Buzzcocks – the big difference being that when co-vocalist Fay Fife comes to the mic there’s no mistaking that this is a band from Scotland.
It contains 13 tracks all told and clocks in at a mere 31 and a bit minutes. There are ten band compositions (most of which were written entirely by Jo Callis (who would find huge fame and fortune a few years later with Human League) and three covers. The covers are truly bizarre – one is of a huge hit for the Dave Clark Five, another a huge hit for Gerry & The Pacemakers and one of an obscure b-side on a Fleetwood Mac single. And until I was doing the research for this piece, I had assumed the last of these covers was actually a Rezillos original!!
It was August 1977 that saw the band release their debut 45 on a small indie label and although it wasn’t a hit, it showed enough promise for Sire Records to offer a deal. Three more singles and the LP followed between November 1977 and July 1978 followed by a further single in November 1978 when the band called it a day – of sorts.
What happened was i splintered in two out of which came The Revillos…who were active up until early 1984 without ever achieving much success.
Going back to the debut LP. This was one I owned for years and played a fair bit. To my late teenage ears it was as thrilling as anything ever put out on vinyl. But as my tastes matured so my fondness for this record diminished and I probably didn’t listen to it again after maybe 1982. In fact I must have at some point given my copy away to someone around this time but I honestly can’t remember. No matter though as I saw a copy in a shop a few months back and handed over £5 for it.
It’s not as great as I remember – the cover versions of the 60s hits are pretty awful – but at the same time I found myself really enjoying at least six of their own songs and thinking they were great tunes that have aged well. And while it’s not an album that I could play in its entirety over and over and over again the way I did all those years ago I do very much regard it more of a classic than a cartoon joke.
mp3 : The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack
mp3 : The Rezillos – No
mp3 : The Rezillos – Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
mp3 : The Rezillos – Top Of The Pops
mp3 : The Rezillos – 2000 A.D.
mp3 : The Rezillos – It Gets Me
mp3 : The Rezillos – Can’t Stand My Baby
mp3 : The Rezillos – Glad All Over
mp3 : The Rezillos – (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures
mp3 : The Rezillos – I Like It
mp3 : The Rezillos – Getting Me Down
mp3 : The Rezillos – Cold Wars
mp3 : The Rezillos – Bad Guy Reaction
I’m more than happy to have the LP back in the cupboard again. And knowing that some of their stuff will now be popping up occasionally on random play on the i-pod is a good feeling too.