Like a lot of fortysomethings - as opposed to fiftysomethings - my first exposure to Leeds, England's MEKONS came in the mid-1980s, when they garnered a ton of critical acclaim for their countrified stabs at Americana and released LPs on American labels. People I know who were into The Mekons were really into them. Though I never had a problem with any of that, I'm still waiting to hear the Mekons record that gets me on board - I've just never gotten so much as a tingle from the 80s-90s stuff.
Then there's the 1978 debut 45, "Never Been in a Riot". It is a masterpiece of simple, scattered, clattertrap rock and roll. Right up there with the Desperate Bicycles and their ilk for sheer DIY mastery. I'll cop to only owing this song via mp3, and I've never even heard the two B-sides. Anyone know where I can find them, outside of paying $100 for the original 45?
Play The Mekons, "Never Been in a Riot"
Download THE MEKONS - "Never Been in a Riot" (A-side of 1978 EP)