The first volume of Punk rock classics compiled by UK DJ Kris Needs under the title ‘Dirty Water’ had critics drooling uncontrollably and enough punters pogoing their butts off to bring Needs back out for a second round. Here’s ‘Dirty Water 2′, just as eye openingly filthy and rocking as part one aided by input from Suicide’s Martin Rev and Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie.
As on volume one, Kris’ draws his circle of what’s Punk and what’s not wider than most Johnny-come-latelies would. Times and styles swirl past at dizzying speed as Needs dips into recordings made between 1950 and 1980 - All well endowed with that elusive Punk spirit. You won’t find any of the more familiar names here that are usually associated with Punk rock. Instead, Needs shines his flashlight on three historic scenes: 60’s US Garage Punk, mid-70’s UK Pub Rock and the hugely influential early to mid-70’s Lower Eastside/CBGB’s scene.
Of the bands playing at New York’s legendary Bowery bar CBGB’s you get to hear an Early Blondie track, ‘X Offender’, as well as tracks by CBGB’s regulars Jayne (formerly Wayne) County (pictured left), Suicide (main picture) and Patti Smith, the B-side of whose debut single, the seething ‘Piss Factory’, is included here in all its glory. Bear in mind, it’s Punk attitude that Needs is after and not the guitars-on-stun sound that eventually became associated with the genre.
Transport yourself back into New York circa 1975 and watch a pre-fame Blondie play CBGBs for a chance to find out what the hoopla was all about. Just don’t expect any of the band’s later sharp styling, this is trashy rock ‘n’ roll at its best.
Blondie ‘A Girl Should Know Better’ (1975)
Punk’s cache is also once more bestowed on UK bands Kilburn and the High Roads (which gave the world a certain Ian Dury), Doctors Of Madness, Stack Waddy, and the Hammersmith Gorillas (pictured below) - All of whom suffered from hitting the scene just a few years too early and in trousers only a few inches too wide.
Turning back the wheel of time to the Sixties, Needs trawls through the garages of US suburbia which spawned a 1,000 mutant proto Punks like the Zakary Thaks and the Unrelated Segments. Meanwhile, Blue Cheer and the MC5 turned up the volume to 11 and preached the power of the primitive guitar riff. In darker corners of cities around the USA, the 60’s saw some truly deranged geniuses bidding musical convention bye bye altogether - Check out The Godz and United States Of America if you want proof that Punk was alive and well during the age of Flower Power.
Needs doesn’t forget to pepper ‘Dirty Water 2′ with its fair share of Punk icons who left their mark on hard-to-impress Punk rockers through the ages.The list includes primeval beat-meister Bo Diddley, glamorous David Bowie, hard-living Jazz dude Dizzy Gillespie, freaked-out Free Jazz extremist Albert Ayler and weed-toting dread Tapper Zukie. Needs reserves a special place for West Coast artist Captain Beefheart, who sadly passed away during the preparation for ‘Dirty Water 2′. The Captain had lived it all and done it all on record by 1974: A true Punk spirit who never bowed to musical convention.
‘Dirty Water 2′ is out now on the independent Year Zero label and sports 39 sizzling tracks you need to own. The CD also comes with a 76-page booklet of various nuggets of background information that’ll put you in good standing at the next pub quiz.