The 4-Skins were a fairly good London punk/Oi! band, late 70's-early 80's, who, despite constantly shifting
personnel managed to treat us to a couple pretty good albums before dissolving in 1984.......their "original" lineup was totally different from the band that put out the first LP, 1982's "The Good, The Bad, and the 4-Skins....the crew that put out this release was bassist Hoxton Tom McCourt (the only "original" still with the band), vocalist Panther Cummins, guitarist/keyboardist John Jacobs, and drummer Pete Abbott.
The leadoff track "Plastic Gangsters" is a ska-type thing, but the rest of the album is some good Sham 69-styled rowdy working-class punk rock. A lot of the album is live recordings of "older", pre-album singles, they get pretty wild, check the live versions of "Chaos", "I Don't Wanna Die", and "1984", there are also so quite good "new" songs here as well, notably "One Law For Them" and "Justice". I'd say if you want only one album, this is the one you'd likely go for.
Believe it or not, the next album "A Fistful of the 4-Skins" contains another COMPLETELY different lineup (other than McCourt) and if I hadn't told you, you'd have had little problem guessing so as the sound is MUCH different, a "cleaner" more hard-rock/metallic type sound......however, it's NOT a bad album, there are some decent tracks here, "5 More Years", "I'll Stick To My Guns", "New War" and more........not nearly (IMO) as good as "The Good....", but worth a listen.
Their final release (I guess they reformed much later, but I don't care) was "From Chaos to 1984", a live recording which was intended as their "farewell' show, performed in front of an invited guest list of friends of the band members.....not bad, certainly not essential either, worth a listen for fans of the genre.
We also have a "Singles and Rarities" collection which actually does reprise a lot of the same material again, along with some other odds and ends, actually if you want all the singles in one place this might not be a bad one to grab either.
All in all, a fairly minor-league punk/Oi! band, who did put out at least one REALLY good album, the first one, but in my estimation were more of a singles/live band than album artists anyway. Anyway, there stuff turns up fairly often on punk singles comps, just thought some of you who might not have been around back then might want to check them out.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE 4-SKINS-01 Plastic Gangsters/02 Jealousy/03 Yesterday's
Heroes/04 Justice/05 Jack the Lad/06 Rememberance Day/07 Manifesto/08 Wonderful World (live)/09 1984 (Live)/10 Sorry (Live)/11 Evil (Live)/12 I Don't Wanna Die (Live)/13 A.C.A.B. (live)/14 Chaos (live)/15 One Law For Tham/16 Low Life/17 Bread or Blood/18 Get Out of My Life/19 Seems To Me/20 Norman
FROM CHAOS TO 1984-01 Wonderful World/02 Jealousy/03 On the Streets/04 Johnny Go Home/05 1984/06 Bread or Blood/07 Saturday/08 A.C.A.B./09 City Boy/10 Five More Years/11 Evil/12 On File/13 Clockwork Skinhead/14 Chaos
SINGLES AND RARITIES-01 Wonderful World/02 Chaos/03 Clockwork Skinhead/04 Evil/05 A.C.A.B./06 I Don't Wanna Die/07 Yesterday's Heroes/08 1984/09 Sorry/10 Evil/11 One Law For Them/12 Brave New World/13 Merry Christmas Everybody/14 Yestereday's Heros (version)/15 Justice/16 Get Out of My Life/17 Low Life/18 Bread or Blood/19 Plastic Gangsters/20 Norman/21 Seems to Me/22 Chaos (Herbert Version)/23 On the Streets