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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Stiff Little Fingers

Stiff Little Fingers were a pretty decent Clash-influenced (quite an understatement) for a little while in the late 1970's..... hailing from Belfast Northern Ireland, the original lineup consisted of Jake Burns on vocals/guitar, bassist Ali McMordie, guitarist Henry Cluney, and drummer Bruce Faloon. Thier first three albums are quite good, in particular 1979's "Inflammable Material", but also 1980's "Nobody's Heroes" and 1981's "Go For It"...... they released a few more time fillers, broke up in 1987, and then reformed (Burns and McMordie were holdovers, interestingly, Jam bassist Bruce Foxton and TRB drummer Dolphin Taylor were alos members at one time....), as you might have guessed, knowing my history, I really haven't heard much of anything released post-breakup, perhaps it's great, but I just don't have the feeling.

Anyway, I was going to just post those three early albums and a live disc, but I was talking to Spider who turned me onto this great 5-disc compilation "The Original Album Series", don't know where he got it from but he turned me onto a copy......WAS going to use my vinyl rips of the three first albums but I think I'll present the whole set in digital format as a comprehenisve effort.

Disc 1 is the great "Inflammable Material", perhaps thier finest, raw, rough and ready Clash knock-offs, somewhat similar, in my opinion, also, to some of the stuff Rancid would later do..... of course "Suspect Device", "Johnny Was a Good Boy", and "Alternative Ulster" are pretty much classics, but there are plenty of other gems here, "State of Emergency", "Breakout", "Law and Order" pretty much a 4-star effort.

The second disc here reprises 1980's "Nobody's Heroes".....not as smokin' as "Inflammable", but still with enough short, snappy punk gems to qualify as a good one....."Gotta Getaway", "Fly the Flag"and a few more wouldn't sound out of place on the debut..... fans of "Inflammable" (or, once again, of the Clash or Rancid) will enjoy this one as much.

The third disc contains the live disc they released in 1982 "Hanx!"..... like a lot of the punk bands at the time, the live performances are far more about "energy" than actual musicianship, most of the highlights of the first two discs are here, the finale, "Suspect Device" gets pretty rowdy..... sound quality COULD BE a bit better, but that of course adds to the small-club punk ambiance of so many live records of the era.

According to the liner notes, disc 4 ("Go For It"), features a lot of remasters, I listened and to be honest they sound pretty much the same as the originals to me, but here they are, (a not remastered) "Roots, Radicals, Rockers, and Reggae" stands out, as does (also not remastered) "Kicking Up a Racket"...... this is pretty much a so-so release, and basically the end of the road as far as I am concerned, however, this set also includes 1982's "Now Then", which I don't think I even have back there, maybe I do, because I DO remember the very good "Bits of Kids"....FYI a lot of this album has been remastered as well, if you are really interested, see the track lists, again, hard to tell the difference to me....
To me that about sums up Stiff Little Fingers......Discs 1,2,and 4 would suffice for the dabbler, but discs 3 and 5 have their moments, break it down however you want, and thanks to my man Spider for shooting me this, I didn't even know it existed in this format..... so, enjoy, a little change of pace from my recent psychedelia binge (Vanilla Fudge-Jefferson Airplane--------Stiff Little Fingers?) but you know I love to torment you with variety, or perhaps, just with my schizophrenic personality.

Know what? I am getting bored with retirement after 8 months......I think I'm gonna start looking for a job really soon....the time off has been eye-opening, I thought days of just doing nothing sounded way cool, but it does wear you down in it's own way, and time just seems to fly past.......look out Working World, BigScott62 may be putting himself back in the ring real soon!

DISC 1 (INFLAMMABLE MATERIAL)-01 Suspect Device/02 State of Emergency/03 Here We are Nowhere/04 Wasted Life/05 No More of That/06 Barbed Wire Love/07 White Noise/08 Breakout/09 Law and Order/10 Rough Trade/11 Johnny Was/12 Alternative Ulster/13 Closed Groove

DISC 2 (NOBODY'S HEROES)-01 Gotta Gettaway/02 Wait and See/03 Fly the Flag/04 At the Edge/05 Nobody's Hero/06 Bloody Dub/07 Doesn't make It Alright/08 I Don't Like You/09 No Change/10 Tin Soldiers

DISC 3 (HANX!)-01 Nobody's Hero/02 Gotta Gettaway/03 Wait and See/04 barbed Wire Love/05 Fly the Flag/06 Alternative ulster/07 Johnny Was/08 At the Edge/09 Wasted Life/10 Tin Soldiers/11 Suspect Device

DISC 4 (GO FOR IT)-01 Roots Radicals Rockers and Reggae/02 Just Fade Away (Remaster)/03 Go For It (Remaster)/04 The Only One/05 Hits and Misses/06 Kicking Up a Racket/07 Safe as Houses (Remaster)/08 Gate 49/09 Silver Lining (Remaster)/10 Picadilly Circus (Remaster)

DISC 5(NOW AND THEN)-01 Falling Down (Remaster)/02 Won't Be Told/03 Love of The Common People (Remaster)/04 The Price of Admission (Remaster)/05 Touch and Go (Remaster)/06 Stands to Reason (Remaster)/07 Bits of Kids (Remaster)/08 Welcome to the Whole Week/09 Big City Nights/10 Talkback (Remaster)/11 Is That What You FOught the War For? (Remaster)

Thanks to Spider for turning me on to this comp! His brain is too baked to ever write a  post on his own, but he has his uses!







  2. They released a PledgeFund CD last year that is pretty good and ranks up there somewhere between their 2nd and 3rd releases. You should check it out.


  3. Thanks for the stiff little fingers me there debut album is one of the top 3 classic punk albums of all time.there new album album is well worth checking out.thanks scott for all u do .i love ur blog .i have heard so much great music that i would never have heard thanks to you.keep it rocking.thanks again

  4. My mate Steve Grantley who I went to school with now drums for them - he also drummed with Jake Burns' Big Wheel. Going to see them in the UK end of March. They keep it pretty real and the first album is a classic.Thanks for the ups.

  5. Awesome thanks
    Any chance of Tom Robinson Band live material?

  6. Yeah ... Stiff Little Fingers released a decent album in 2014.