Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alternative Chartbusters ... The Story of The Boys & Show # 387

The UK Punk act The Boys had their beginnings generate from the combination of several factors, one being from the influential group Hollywood Brats, a band that was the UK equivalent to the New York Dolls. The Hollywood Brats featured keyboardist/vocalist Casino Steel after making some recordings the band split (although they continued with a different line up) who would join forces with Matt Dangerfield (guitar/vocals), who converted his flat into a recording studio. The two joined up with Honest John Plain (guitar/vocals), Duncan “Kid” Ried (bass/vocals) and Jack Black (drums) all of whom met at a T-shirt factory where Plain worked as a foreman, they like Dangerfield and Steel had known each other from going to school together. In addition to this Steel and Dangerfield also played in the infamous London SS group, a group that featured a revolving cast of UK musicians that would later form groups of their own. Some of the members that would be in the group at one point in time were Mick Jones (later of The Clash), Tony James and Billy Idol (later of Generation X), Rat Scabies and Brian James who would later form The Damned and a few others. The Boys, who began around 1976, decided that Reid and Dangerfield would share the vocal duties and began playing concerts that September. After several concerts, in January 1977 The Boys signed a contract with NEMS. Technically The Boys were the first UK Punk act to sign an album recording deal, The Damned were the first UK band to have a recording deal, but it was for a one off single for Stiff Records not an album.

The Boys would release two full length albums and three singles for NEMS before switching over to Safari in 1979 where they recorded two additional albums. The first single to be released by The Boys was the “I Don’t Care” single which was backed with the song “Soda Pressing, the single was released in April of 1977. To support the release of this single, The Boys went on a national tour with John Cale, previously of The Velvet Underground. In May of 1977, The boys began recording their debut full length album laying down sixteen tracks. Produced by Pete Gage the band felt that the album sounded too polished and after some adjustments, the album was ready to be released. Despite being completed, The Boys was delayed commercial release by NEMS and released on September 9th, 1977. This delay caused several other UK Punk acts to release albums denying The Boys the status of releasing the first UK Punk album but, regardless of this fact the album went to number fifty on the UK album charts. The Boys displayed their Power Pop and Punk Rock dynamics, a sound that began its embryonic stages on their 1977 “I Don’t Care” single, it was a sound that was both catchy and raw sounding.

The Boys second single was the now classic Punk anthem “First Time” a song also written by John Plain, it was released in July of 1977 and quickly became the “Single of the Week” in Sounds magazine. The single received a good amount of air play on John Peel’s radio program and went to number 77 on the UK singles charts. The single would have most likely climbed even higher on the charts, but in August of 1977 when Elvis Presley passed away. RCA Records, who distributed The Boys and many other bands releases stopped releasing all other bands associated with RCA in order to press and release Elvis' music posthumously to satisfy the insatiable demand for Elvis Presley’s records. In 1978, The Boys released their second full length album Alternative Chartbusters. An album that despite its name featured many catchy Power Pop/Punk Rock gems, the album sessions also produced the bands next single “Brickfield Nights”, a song that is often regarded as the band at their finest hour. The album was once again met with distribution complications via NEMS, which had a negative impact on the albums potential. The band toured to support this album with New York Punk act The Ramones. In 1979, the group moved to Safari, where they released two full length albums, as stated previously. The band subsequently split up in 1981.

Throughout The Boys initial status as a band from 1977 to 1981, The Boys released Christmas themed singles and one full length Christmas album as The Yobs. The one and only released as The Yobs was The Yob’s Christmas Album in 1979. While the band seemed to have hard luck in terms of label promotion in the UK, they quickly built up a European following, where they had a higher success rate. The band reformed in the summer of 1999 with five of the original band members. The band reformed with the complete original line up in 2000, for the Holidays In the Sun festival and in 2006 began playing shows again. In 2008, The Boys released an early recording of the song “Jimmy Brown” as a single. Currently The Boys have become involved with a side project of Matt Dangerfield titled The Mattress Boys.

This week's play list:

1. Guided By Voices – The Head
2. The Revolvers – Cadillac 21
3. The Haunted – Mona
4. The Plimsouls – Magic Touch
5. The Prabes – 30 Minute Meal
6. The Oblivians – You Better Behave
7. The Micronite Filters - The Rise of the Machines
8. The Lost Satellites – You Turn Me On
9. The Vaccines – If You Wanna
10. Zona 84 – Dispara
11. The Stomach Mouths – Cry
12. Thee Midniters – Jump, Jive & Harmonize
13. The Hysterics – Everything’s there
14. Superhumanoids – Mikelah
15. Queens of the Stone Age – You’ve Got A Killer Scene There Man
16. The Boys – I Don’t Care
17. The Boys – First Time
18. The Boys – Brickfield Nights
19. New York Dolls – Pills
20. Ardels – Piece of Jewellery
21. Mike Jones Group – Funny Feeling
22. King Khan & The Shrines – Bite My Tongue
23. Young Rival – Authentic
24. The Black Lips – Notown Blues

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for January 17. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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