THE BARGAIN BUY: Stiff Little Fingers: Original Album Series

 |   |  1 min read

Stiff Little Fingers: Johnny Was
THE BARGAIN BUY: Stiff Little Fingers: Original Album Series

A few years ago while we were in Belfast one of the local identities, a well-known taxi driver Billy Scott who was taking us around, stopped to point to a door down an alleyway where he said the Undertones first recorded.

But he moved on too fast for me to snap a picture (got Van Morrison's doorway at his childhood home though) but it wasn't much of a door anyway.

At the time of the punk era bands like the Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers were the most audible sound out Northern Ireland. 

Stiff Little Fingers were an extraordinary band for their era (a version still tours) because of the fury of their sound and political dissent at the height of what is euphemistically called The Troubles. If the Undertones offered some hope amidst the violence, SLF were relentless in addressing it in songs like Suspect Device (their first single), State of Emergency, Here We Are Nowhere, Wasted Life, Breakout ("and leave this life behind") and Alternative Ulster.

All of those and more (including an eight minute martial and machine-gun version of Bob Marley's Johnny Was) were on their incendiary debut album Inflammable Material.

They were mad as hell and wanted people to know it. If any band epitomised the "no future" ethic of punk it was them and singer-songwriter Jake Burns was blunt in addressing a sense of angry hopelessness, and then later matters such as domestic violence, football hooliganism and entropy among youth.

To be honest, SLF were never an easy proposition and this five CD collection -- their first four studio albums and the live Hanx -- would not be to most people's taste.

JB_HZ_CHEAP_longBut they were an important voice in a pivotal period in Irish (and British) history and so treating these albums more as an aural artefacts might be the best approach.

But at just $20 from JB HiFi stores here, they certainly pack a wallop -- without hurting your wallet -- which you won't easily forget. A Bargain Buy that proves again that UK punk was political at birth.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Rod Stewart; Storyteller

THE BARGAIN BUY: Rod Stewart; Storyteller

It would be a churlish and narrow-mided rock writer who would deny that Rod Stewart was one of the greatest voices in rock, and perhaps that he would often squander it on lesser material. And... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed

THE BARGAIN BUY: David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed

With David Bowie's passing there has been a landslide of merchandising – all the vinyl reissues, compilations and picture discs – but if you just want an interesting and sometimes... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Maria McKee: Late December (Cooking Vinyl)

Maria McKee: Late December (Cooking Vinyl)

The former singer for Lone Justice has long given up any sense of being a country-rock or alt.country singer, she is out there on her own and her many solo albums have been wayward affairs which... > Read more

SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

Like millions of others, says classical musician Howard Goodall at the start of this hour-long doco, he was spellbound when hearing the Beatles' Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967.... > Read more