Sunday, September 06, 2009

ALL SPIT & VINEGAR: THE MEKONS' "NEVER BEEN IN A RIOT"

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)

7 comments:

Karl said...

Great single Jay. You can find all three tracks here:

http://sharebee.com/06f71aa8

J Neo Marvin said...

You may want to check out their first album, The Quality Of Mercy Is Not Strnen (has a picture of a chimp and a typewriter on the cover). It's pretty much in the same vein as the single, only a slight bit more polished. Imagine a really drunk, sloppy and less didactic Gang Of Four. Fun stuff.

Reed said...

Wow, I'm surprised that Steve Turner didn't make you listen to all of the early singles and the first album.

Anonymous said...

Pick up a copy of the "Mutant Pop" LP . . . also includes the first Gang of Four EP.

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Jimmy said...

Yes - Quality Of Mercy, but it's the "Where Were You?" single that's the real diamond.

Anonymous said...

Absolute shite. A rubbish "punk" band.