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North By North West: Liverpool & Manchester from Punk to Post-Punk & Beyond 1976-1983 - Compiled By Paul Morley

North By North West compilation LP

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

BETWEEN 1976 and 1984, both Manchester and Liverpool were home to a host of exciting new bands on independent labels. The 2CD North By North West has been compiled by Paul Morley to encapsulate this period in music history, with a bonus CD featuring rarities and previously unreleased material.

Released on the resurrected Korova label (original home of Echo & The Bunnymen and The Residents, among others), the album shows the marked difference in each cities musical evolution – where Manchester was widely considered to be introverted, angry and political, Liverpool was flamboyant, brash and showy.

No matter what your opinion on either, there’s no doubting some pretty influential bands emerged from that period – many of whom have continued to inspire the nu-wave, post-punk revolution that’s currently sweeping the charts today.

Some names will jump out and need no introduction – the Buzzcocks, for instance, kick off the Manchester CD with Boredom, while Disc 1 further includes offerings from Joy Division (Transmission) and The Smiths’ How Soon Is Now, as well as the early New Order track Ceremony.

While CD2, from Liverpool, contains gems from Frankie Goes To Hollywood (Relax) and Echo & The Bunnymen (Pictures On My Wall and Rescue).

In between, there’s offerings from bands and musicians such as John Cooper Clarke, Blue Orchids, Spitfire Boys and Teardrop Explodes. Some tracks are worth uncovering, others are best left in the era from which they came.

John Cooper Clarke’s I Don’t Want To Be Nice, for instance, is an ageing warhorse that is full of biting social comment and in yer face petulance. It’s a proper punk record – but it’s also instantly forgettable.

Punk connoisseurs are sure to derive the most pleasure from the three CDs, while fans of the current revival should take the time to check out where some of the ‘new’ sounds originated from – but anyone tiring of the whole punk, new wave and post-punk music scene ought to steer well clear.

Track listing:
Disc 1:
1. Boredom – Buzzcocks
2. Repetition – Fall (1)
3. I Don’t Want To Be Nice – Clarke, John Cooper
4. Shot By Both Sides – Magazine
5. What Do I Get – Buzzcocks
6. Sketch For Summer – Durutti Column
7. Transmission – Joy Division
8. Fear – Passage (1)
9. Work – Blue Orchids
10. Time Goes By So Slow – Distractions (1)
11. Shack Up – A Certain Ratio
12. My Cherry Is In Sherry – Ludus
13. Ceremony – New Order (1)
14. How Soon Is Now – Smiths

Disc 2:
1. British Refugee – Spitfire Boys
2. Suffice To Say – Yachts
3. Fuzztronic – Sergeant, Will
4. Electricity – OMD
5. Pictures On My Wall – Echo & The Bunnymen
6. Better Scream – Wah Heat
7. Touch – Lori & The Chameleons
8. Reward – Teardrop Explodes
9. Rescue – Echo & The Bunnymen
10. Flaming Sword – Care (1)
11. There’s Always Something On My Mind – Pale Fountains
12. Holiday In Disneyland – Dalek I Love You
13. First Picture Of You – Lotus Eaters (1)
14. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Disc 3:
1. No Love Lost – Warsaw
2. Cranked Up Really High – Slaughter & The Dogs
3. My Boyfriend’s Back – Bright, Bette & The Illuminations
4. Iggy Pop’s Jacket – Those Naughty Lumps
5. Big In Japan – Big In Japan (1)
6. Happy Ever After – Stockholm Monsters
7. Folklore – James
8. African And White – China Crisis
9. Sweet Tooth – Spherical Objects
10. Don’t Let Go – Pink Industry
11. Deaf – Crispy Ambulance
12. Knew Noise – Section 25
13. Call Me Honey – Swamp Children
14. Valley Of The Lost Women – Clarke, John Cooper
15. Dream – Royal Family & The Poor

  1. My hair seems to have rejected the idea of a mohican these days as it has disappeared from the top and slipped down the sides but my mind, strangely enough, still works. Who could resist after this write up (and I can remember listening to almost all of these on bootlegs as well as vinyl).

    steve burton    Jun 22    #