Hopes and Fears – Art Bears (1978)

“Hopes and Fears is the debut album by the English avant-rock group Art Bears. It comprises tracks by Henry Cow, Art Bears’s predecessor, recorded at Sunrise Studios, Kirchberg in Switzerland in January 1978, and tracks by Art Bears, recorded at Kaleidophon Studios in London in March 1978. Hopes and Fears began as a Henry Cow album, but after the first recording sessions in Switzerland, some of the members of the band were unhappy about the predominance of song-oriented material. As a compromise it was agreed that two albums would be made: the songs would be released by Fred Frith, Chris Cutler and Dagmar Krause as Art Bears, and the instrumental compositions would be released later by Henry Cow. The newly formed Art Bears recorded four more tracks in London to complete Hopes and Fears, which was released in May 1978. …”
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Hopes and Fears 48:32


Hugh Mundell – Africa Must Be Free by 1983 / Africa Must Be Free by 1983 Dub (1976/78)

“The teenaged Hugh Mundell cut Africa Must Be Free by 1983 under the tutelage of the legendary producer Augustus Pablo in the mid-’70s, and had a Jamaican hit with the title track. Mundell‘s artlessly fervent singing is attractive far out of proportion to his technical skill. It’s the sincerity and devotion in his voice that make successes of songs like ‘Let’s All Unite’ and ‘My Mind’ — that and the rock-solid instrumental backing of Pablo‘s studio band, which at this time included bassist and trombonist Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace and guitarists Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith and Jeffrey Chung. The CD issue of this album includes dub versions of six of the original album’s eight tracks, as well as several other miscellaneous dub tracks. Like too many of Jamaica’s best reggae musicians, Mundell died young — in an almost creepy irony (given the title of his hit song), he was shot and killed in 1983 at the age of 21. ”
allmusic (Audio)
W – Hugh Mundell
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Africa Must Be Free (full album)

Going Underground – The Jam (1980)

The Jam topped the UK singles chart in the spring of 1980 with ‘Going Underground.’ Released on the Polydor label on March 10th, 1980, the single entered the charts at number one and stayed there for three weeks. ‘Going Underground’ was The Jam’s first number one single and the official start of the band’s creative and popular zenith, which would eventually establish bandleader and songwriter Paul Weller as the voice of a generation. After three albums of enthusiastic Who/Kinks worship and mod revivalism shot through with punk energy, Weller became an equal to his songwriting influences Ray Davies and Pete Townshend. A brilliant standout in a long line of Jam anthems to come, Weller’s slashing guitar, Rick Buckler’s thunderous drumming, and Bruce Foxton’s melodic bass line provide a tough-as-nails bed for Weller’s caustic, insightful lyrics. He criticizes a voting public that’d place trust in elected leadership who have traded healthcare for military might. Absolutely classic. …”
Song of the Day: The Jam “Going Underground (The Reflex Revision)” (Video)</a>
W – Going Underground
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Going Underground (Top of the Pops 1980)

Ghost Town – The Specials (1981)

“‘Ghost Town’ is a song by the British two-tone band the Specials, released on 12 June 1981. The song spent three weeks at number one and 10 weeks in total in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. Addressing themes of urban decay, deindustrialisation, unemployment and violence in inner cities, the song is remembered for being a hit at the same time as riots were occurring in British cities. Internal tensions within the band were also coming to a head when the single was being recorded, resulting in the song being the last single recorded by the original seven members of the group before splitting up. However, the song was hailed by the contemporary UK music press as a major piece of popular social commentary, and all three of the major UK music magazines of the time awarded ‘Ghost Town’ the accolade of ‘Single of the Year’ for 1981. …”
YouTube: Ghost Town (Official Music Video), Ghost Town (Extended Mix) 6:01, Why?, Friday Night, Saturday Morning, Ghost Dub 91/ Let Us Unite Medley (Rare Mix)

ZE Records

“New York in the mid 1970s was quite possibly the most dynamic and vibrant music scene the world has ever witnessed. In the midst of a broken city, where rising crime, frequent blackouts and piling garbage made up the scenery, artistic spirits from all over found a creative haven to express their own art. The city’s miscellaneous scenes also opened up for a multitude of constellations across different genres, embracing both the nihilistic and the hedonistic. A cultural melting pot thrived in this urban wasteland, stirring up sounds never before heard, setting the bar for forward thinking music for decades to come – not to mention leaving some of the world’s greatest recordings in its wake. In the middle of it all, Michael Zilkha, the affluent heir of a U.K. retail chain, and Michel Esteban, owner of an iconic Parisian concept store, willfully entered the zeitgeist and became crucial parts of it all – absorbing both the filthy no wave and punk rock from CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City, as well as the energetic and rhythmic underground disco from clubs like Paradise Garage and the Loft. …”
Ze New York Groove: Michel Esteban & the Story of ZE Records (Video/Audio)
Guardian – ZE Records: ‘It was like a fairytale’
W – ZE Records

Holidays in the Sun – Sex Pistols (1977)

“‘Holidays in the Sun’ is a song by the English band the Sex Pistols. … The song was inspired by a trip to the Channel Island of Jersey: ‘We tried our holiday in the sun in the isle of Jersey and that didn’t work. They threw us out.’ That trip was followed by a couple of weeks spent in Berlin. Although they described the city as ‘raining and depressing’, they were relieved to get away from London. Said John Lydon, ‘Being in London at the time made us feel like we were trapped in a prison camp environment. There was hatred and constant threat of violence. The best thing we could do was to go set up in a prison camp somewhere else. Berlin and its decadence was a good idea. The song came about from that. I loved Berlin. I loved the wall and the insanity of the place. The communists looked in on the circus atmosphere of West Berlin, which never went to sleep, and that would be their impression of the West.’ …”
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Holidays In The Sun

Jon Gibson – Two Solo Pieces (1977), Arnold Dreyblatt and The Orchestra of Excited Strings – Propellers in Love (1986)

“A founding member of both Steve Reich and Phillip Glass’ ensembles, and an early collaborator with Terry Riley and LaMonte Young, Jon Gibson is a seminal figure in the 20th century American avant-garde. Long dedicated to realizing the work of others, and subsequently lingering in the shadows of his famous peers, during the 1970’s he released two albums on Phillip Glass’ tiny imprint Chatham Square, the second being the stunning Two Solo Pieces – an effort of constrained elegance, featuring single sided works for organ and flute. … Arnold Dreyblatt is one of the great architects of the second wave Minimalism. A student of Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier, and a close friend and collaborator of Ellen Fullman, the bassist and composer was a definitive voice among the early 1980’s New York avant-garde, before relocating to Berlin in 1984. Recording shortly after his arrival and released by the Künstlerhaus Bethanien’s imprint for radical efforts in sound, his second album Propellers In Love stands as one of the most important works of its era – entirely rethinking the meaning and approaches of Minimalism. …”
on jon gibson’s two solo pieces and arnold dreyblatt and the orchestra of excited strings’ …  (Video)
Discogs – Two Solo Pieces (Video)
Discogs – Propellers in Love (Video)

Singles Going Steady – Buzzcocks (1979)

Singles Going Steady is a compilation album by English punk rock band Buzzcocks, first released on I.R.S. Records in the US on 25 September 1979. It was the first Buzzcocks album to be released in North America and intended as an introduction to the band for the American public, coinciding with a US tour. After healthy sales on import in the UK over the next two years, and following the group’s split in early 1981, the album was belatedly released in the band’s home country on United Artists Records on 16 November 1981 as a ‘greatest hits’ album. However, as in the US, the album failed to chart. Side one of the original release of the album featured their eight UK single releases from 1977 up to the time of Singles Going Steady‘s release in 1979 in chronological order, while side two featured their corresponding B-sides, also in chronological order. The album was reissued in expanded form on compact disc in 2001 with an extra eight tracks, featuring the A-sides and B-sides of Buzzcocks’ four singles released between Singles Going Steady and the group’s break-up. …”
Rolling Stone
YouTube: Singles Going Steady (Full Album)