Dirty Water: The Birth Of Punk Attitude


There have been many punk collections over the years, and former ZigZag fanzine editor Kris Needs possesses most of them; so, when it came to compiling his own, he decided to avoid the predictable, except where totally warranted. Although featuring names without whom such a compilation should never be, the set also highlights less-likely candidates through their influence, attitude or sheer courage in the face of adversity. After starting with two quintessential garage-punk bands, The Standells and The Seeds, the album approaches the punk spirit as a way of making music or conveying a message by any means necessary, which makes Harlem's Last Poets prime candidates for laying a hip-hop template in 1970 with their first album. Around the same time, downtown in Washington Square Park, David Peel & The Lower East Side were delivering stoner street anthems which could only be captured by a live recording. Kris' lifelong New York obsession continues with the untouchable New York Dolls, senses-shattering electronic punks Suicide, plus two of their influences in Silver Apples and vocal group The Silhouettes. The Dictators show how their degenerate raunch influenced The Ramones. The Deviants were at the forefront of the UK's 1967 countercultural revolution, like the UK's answer to America's Fugs, MC5 or Mothers Of Invention when it came to forging a new society and playing free concerts, before handing the baton to Pink Fairies. 1970s UK proto-punk is represented by Jook, Third World War and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band's sinister, cinematic missives, while the rarest tune (on CD for the first time) is the Hollywood Brats' storming treatment of The Kinks' "I Need You." The oldest track has to be "Blue Jean Bop" by Gene Vincent, the original black leather man. Other artists include: Mott The Hoople, Dr. Feelgood, Peter Hammill, Can, T. Rex, The Stooges, The Up, Death, Sun Ra, Red Krayola, Rocket From The Tombs, The Saints, Flamin' Groovies, Zolar X, The Monks, and Culture. The set is accompanied by extensive liner notes from Needs in a 76-page book.