Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Which album should go?

Poll ended at 25 May 2021, 8:04am

The Clash, "London Calling"
2
11%
Elvis Costello and the Attractions, "Armed Forces"
8
42%
The Jam, "Setting Sons”
6
32%
The Specials, "The Specials"
1
5%
Stiff Little Fingers, "Inflammable Material"
2
11%
 
Total votes: 19

Marky Dread
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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Marky Dread »

revbob wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:27pm
Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:18pm
I don't think Inflammable Material has any average songs, it just sounds so rough. I find it hard to listen to These days with ears that are spoiled by top end production.
Closed Groove is probably the only song I would skip.
I like it. Found it out of place on the album but I like the idea of it.

“Speak whenever you hear this tone, Scream whenever you hear this tone” definitely a dig at indoctrination regarding the clash of religion in Ireland.
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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by revbob »

Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:33pm
revbob wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:27pm
Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:18pm
I don't think Inflammable Material has any average songs, it just sounds so rough. I find it hard to listen to These days with ears that are spoiled by top end production.
Closed Groove is probably the only song I would skip.
I like it. Found it out of place on the album but I like the idea of it.

“Speak whenever you hear this tone, Scream whenever you hear this tone” definitely a dig at indoctrination regarding the clash of religion in Ireland.
Yeah no doubt a message and I listen when Im feeling it depends on my mood when it comes on.

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Marky Dread »

Silent Majority wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:29pm
I'm not downplaying the artistry of the first wave of ska music: as much as I adore the genre as a whole, I think each successive decade has been worse for it since the stuff came out of Jamaica. I just think that, cover versions and all, the Specials' first titled created a cutting edge sound which resounded way beyond novelty and nostalgia.
Sure but novelty and nostalgia don't go hand in hand with something sounding retro. I never accused the album of either of those and they sure pushed up the energy levels but that also comes through the use of a better studio and equipment.

Take the covers away and there's only half an album. Did they make those songs their own? In a way I suppose so to those that knew nothing of the originals. A lot of rude boys (2nd wave) strived hard to obtain those original records. All the Specials did was speed those songs up a bit. Listen to the Coventry Automatics versions of some of those tracks and they are not so fast.

The Clash had already recorded Pressure Drop long before the Specials album. The Specials supported The Clash and then they knew they had to up the tempo.

The first single "Gangsters" is also basically a cover version. Even sampling the originals opening car sound.
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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Low Down Low »

Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:23pm
FarawayTowns wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:01pm
My point here isn't that the cover versions detract from it being great in any way but that this is all about 1979 and the albums that will most likely be 1-2-3 The Clash/The Specials/The Jam all rely heavily on the past.
These are 3 of my favourite albums. I was listening to them upon release in 79 and wasn't aware that they would be considered anyway retro sounding.
At the time I didn't realise that a lot of the 2 Tone tracks were covers or based on other songs. I wasn't even aware of Ska prior to 2 Tone. It was all very educational for me and left a life long impression.
[/quote]

As many others I dare say. But just because you hadn't realised that all three albums contain cover version(s) it doesn't mean the originals never existed. ;)

My point being that punk was about forming new music and ideas and post punk expanding on those ideas and stretching things even further musically speaking. But the best albums from that year at least in this poll are the ones that take from the most from the past.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing they are indeed 3 great albums. But not so forward thinking.
[/quote]

I definitely see this in relation to LC at least. My idea of LC is of the band finally, definitively throwing off the very last remnants of all that year zero mythology and fully acknowledging the debt they owed to their forebears while cementing their place for all time in the canon. And then forging ahead from that point. It's still their greatest record though because it was the right album to make at the right time.

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Heston »

Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:24pm
Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:18pm
I don't think Inflammable Material has any average songs, it just sounds so rough. I find it hard to listen to These days with ears that are spoiled by top end production.
White Noise is shit. Much maligned and misunderstood but none the less crap.
I don't like it and never have. I kind of blanked it out. I know where their intentions lay but the use of such hateful language spat out gleefully never sat right with me.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by revbob »

Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:55pm
Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:24pm
Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:18pm
I don't think Inflammable Material has any average songs, it just sounds so rough. I find it hard to listen to These days with ears that are spoiled by top end production.
White Noise is shit. Much maligned and misunderstood but none the less crap.
I don't like it and never have. I kind of blanked it out. I know where their intentions lay but the use of such hateful language spat out gleefully never sat right with me.
I don't think it's done gleefully. Its perhaps a bit ham fisted though.

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Silent Majority »

Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:46pm
Silent Majority wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:29pm
I'm not downplaying the artistry of the first wave of ska music: as much as I adore the genre as a whole, I think each successive decade has been worse for it since the stuff came out of Jamaica. I just think that, cover versions and all, the Specials' first titled created a cutting edge sound which resounded way beyond novelty and nostalgia.
Sure but novelty and nostalgia don't go hand in hand with something sounding retro. I never accused the album of either of those and they sure pushed up the energy levels but that also comes through the use of a better studio and equipment.

Take the covers away and there's only half an album. Did they make those songs their own? In a way I suppose so to those that knew nothing of the originals. A lot of rude boys (2nd wave) strived hard to obtain those original records. All the Specials did was speed those songs up a bit. Listen to the Coventry Automatics versions of some of those tracks and they are not so fast.

The Clash had already recorded Pressure Drop long before the Specials album. The Specials supported The Clash and then they knew they had to up the tempo.

The first single "Gangsters" is also basically a cover version. Even sampling the originals opening car sound.
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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Marky Dread »

Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:55pm
Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:24pm
Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:18pm
I don't think Inflammable Material has any average songs, it just sounds so rough. I find it hard to listen to These days with ears that are spoiled by top end production.
White Noise is shit. Much maligned and misunderstood but none the less crap.
I don't like it and never have. I kind of blanked it out. I know where their intentions lay but the use of such hateful language spat out gleefully never sat right with me.
Same here. I once defended it to a black friend of mine. He said it was completely racist. I argued it was anti-racist and that it contained the term "green wogs" which showed that they were using all the derogatory terms aimed at those deemed to be outsiders. He understood the stance but said the song being a rant with hate filled language was helping no one. I had to agree. I think it was their attempt at addressing the mixed message argument that people had with "White Riot" and then deliberately using all the offensive terms they could squeeze into the lyrics. I think it is just a failed song marred to a crap tune.
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Forces have been looting
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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Marky Dread »

Silent Majority wrote:
24 May 2021, 5:07pm
Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:46pm
Silent Majority wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:29pm
I'm not downplaying the artistry of the first wave of ska music: as much as I adore the genre as a whole, I think each successive decade has been worse for it since the stuff came out of Jamaica. I just think that, cover versions and all, the Specials' first titled created a cutting edge sound which resounded way beyond novelty and nostalgia.
Sure but novelty and nostalgia don't go hand in hand with something sounding retro. I never accused the album of either of those and they sure pushed up the energy levels but that also comes through the use of a better studio and equipment.

Take the covers away and there's only half an album. Did they make those songs their own? In a way I suppose so to those that knew nothing of the originals. A lot of rude boys (2nd wave) strived hard to obtain those original records. All the Specials did was speed those songs up a bit. Listen to the Coventry Automatics versions of some of those tracks and they are not so fast.

The Clash had already recorded Pressure Drop long before the Specials album. The Specials supported The Clash and then they knew they had to up the tempo.

The first single "Gangsters" is also basically a cover version. Even sampling the originals opening car sound.
Well, we understand one another's position.
I look at things from over here. You look at things from over there. I love you none the less. ;)
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Forces have been looting
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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Marky Dread »

Low Down Low wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:50pm
Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:23pm
FarawayTowns wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:01pm
My point here isn't that the cover versions detract from it being great in any way but that this is all about 1979 and the albums that will most likely be 1-2-3 The Clash/The Specials/The Jam all rely heavily on the past.
These are 3 of my favourite albums. I was listening to them upon release in 79 and wasn't aware that they would be considered anyway retro sounding.
At the time I didn't realise that a lot of the 2 Tone tracks were covers or based on other songs. I wasn't even aware of Ska prior to 2 Tone. It was all very educational for me and left a life long impression.
As many others I dare say. But just because you hadn't realised that all three albums contain cover version(s) it doesn't mean the originals never existed. ;)

My point being that punk was about forming new music and ideas and post punk expanding on those ideas and stretching things even further musically speaking. But the best albums from that year at least in this poll are the ones that take from the most from the past.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing they are indeed 3 great albums. But not so forward thinking.
[/quote]

I definitely see this in relation to LC at least. My idea of LC is of the band finally, definitively throwing off the very last remnants of all that year zero mythology and fully acknowledging the debt they owed to their forebears while cementing their place for all time in the canon. And then forging ahead from that point. It's still their greatest record though because it was the right album to make at the right time.
[/quote]

By 1979 punk was painting itself into a corner. The Clash simply realised they had been there and done that. That punk was just one style of music to be used and there were loads of other stuff they loved and could play. London Calling has more in common with the 101ers than it does to the debut album or even GEER. I think the only song on GEER that hints at LC maybe "Juile".
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Forces have been looting
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No fuchsias for you.

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by FarawayTowns »

Marky Dread wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:23pm
FarawayTowns wrote:
24 May 2021, 4:01pm
My point here isn't that the cover versions detract from it being great in any way but that this is all about 1979 and the albums that will most likely be 1-2-3 The Clash/The Specials/The Jam all rely heavily on the past.
These are 3 of my favourite albums. I was listening to them upon release in 79 and wasn't aware that they would be considered anyway retro sounding.
At the time I didn't realise that a lot of the 2 Tone tracks were covers or based on other songs. I wasn't even aware of Ska prior to 2 Tone. It was all very educational for me and left a life long impression.
[/quote]

As many others I dare say. But just because you hadn't realised that all three albums contain cover version(s) it doesn't mean the originals never existed. ;)

My point being that punk was about forming new music and ideas and post punk expanding on those ideas and stretching things even further musically speaking. But the best albums from that year at least in this poll are the ones that take from the most from the past.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing they are indeed 3 great albums. But not so forward thinking.
[/quote]
I agree with what you say. However the poll is for the greatest album of 1979 which I would equate with favourite. If the poll was most original album of 79 then I guess Joy Division, Gang of Four or Magazine would be frontrunners. I'm happy to be corrected if they are also heavily influenced by the past.
It could be argued that Inflammable Material is the most contemporary sounding album left on the list as it's only 2 years to late.

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Heston »

Who the fuck is voting out London Calling over Armed Forces? Seriously.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by gkbill »

Hello,

I have sat back and appreciated many of the intelligent points made here. Low Down Low's point about not knowing many of these track's were covers is valid and crucial to understanding and appreciating the greatness of the Specials - and Marky's knowledge of these songs and their original artists is equally impressive. We are all looking at the albums much later. If you are considering how these albums have stood up over time, that's a valid perspective to take. I'd like to think how these albums impacted people (myself) in 1979 rather than how they are impacting the world in 2021. London Calling established a punk band as something that wasn't just a one-off; punk bands were worth your time. Many of my friends in 1979 had viewed punk as some goofy, whining, angry bunch of bands that weren't worth spending time - nor money - on via vinyl nor concerts. London Calling changed that. The Specials brought so many people together as it was viewed as disarming - bringing black and white kids together to go crazy dancing to rock (okay, ska) music. In my small limited circle, viewing television, or listening to the radio changed dramatically due to these artists. Elvis opened up that punk (Elvis was considered punk early on) could be great music as well as lyrically potent.

I guess I look at this whole affair as what album made the most impact in 1979 (again, not 2021 - how well has it held up). That's my perspective - valid for me, perhaps not for you. Yours is yours, valid for you - congrats to us both!

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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Marky Dread »

gkbill wrote:
24 May 2021, 5:49pm
Hello,

I have sat back and appreciated many of the intelligent points made here. Low Down Low's point about not knowing many of these track's were covers is valid and crucial to understanding and appreciating the greatness of the Specials - and Marky's knowledge of these songs and their original artists is equally impressive. We are all looking at the albums much later. If you are considering how these albums have stood up over time, that's a valid perspective to take. I'd like to think how these albums impacted people (myself) in 1979 rather than how they are impacting the world in 2021. London Calling established a punk band as something that wasn't just a one-off; punk bands were worth your time. Many of my friends in 1979 had viewed punk as some goofy, whining, angry bunch of bands that weren't worth spending time - nor money - on via vinyl nor concerts. London Calling changed that. The Specials brought so many people together as it was viewed as disarming - bringing black and white kids together to go crazy dancing to rock (okay, ska) music. In my small limited circle, viewing television, or listening to the radio changed dramatically due to these artists. Elvis opened up that punk (Elvis was considered punk early on) could be great music as well as lyrically potent.

I guess I look at this whole affair as what album made the most impact in 1979 (again, not 2021 - how well has it held up). That's my perspective - valid for me, perhaps not for you. Yours is yours, valid for you - congrats to us both!
Yeah 2 Tone was a positive in bringing kids of all races together. But here in the UK it was way more complicated. I know of racist skinheads who would play Madness/Specials/The Beat etc. I would have endless arguments/fights with fascist NF supporters who would wear a Madness badge and then scrawl NF on a wall.

This stuff was way beyond pop music. But hey at least certain bands stood up to be heard.

I also wanna give a huge shout out to The Equals for really being the first big multi cultural band here. It came as no surprise that The Specials opened their comeback album with "Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys".
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Re: Greatest Album of 1979 - Elimination Round 6

Post by Olaf »

Heston wrote:
24 May 2021, 8:22am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 May 2021, 8:04am
The idea that IMCT would long tolerate the mixture of hectoring leftist politics and punk-funk was always farcical, and so Gang of Four have predictably been shown the door. What’s next, ya bunch of Tories?
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