Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Buzzcocks - "Lest We Forget"

Lest We Forget: Live in America '79-'80
(ROIR, 1988)

I can't stop listening to this great "semi-official bootleg" that my GF Amy recently burned for me (thus continuing the spirit of bootlegging!), originally a ROIR (Reach Out International Records) cassette that took its name from a line in Rudyard's Kipling's "Recessional" (a rueful meditation on the British Empire that he composed for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee of 1897).

Thanks to the great Stupid and Contagious blog (www.stupidd.blogspot.com) for its post "Brilliant Buzzcocks Bootlegs!" for all the background info, which I've nicked and reposted below:
Buzzcocks - Lest We Forget: Live in America, ‘79-’80
A great semi-official bootleg culled during the boys tour of the States at the end of the seventies!

While the Buzzcocks were on tour in 1979 and 1980, Joan McNulty, the publisher of their official fan magazine Harmony in My Head (and then-girlfriend of singer Pete Shelley), taped all their shows on cassette the way Judy Garland's husband Mickey recorded her final shows.

Decades after these recordings were made, their value is obvious. After lengthy legal haggling between 1982 and the date of release, 1988, Neil Cooper of Reach Out International records was able to issue this very worthwhile series of 19 songs culled from various live performances on the tour.

Who better to compile the music than the woman who gave attention to the group before anyone else in the U.S.A.? The cassette tapes were brought up to Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle, MA, the place where the Joe Perry Project, Aimee Mann, Phil Collins, and others worked, and the material was transferred from the master cassettes into organized form.

There are tons of Buzzcocks favorites here, energetic versions of "What Do I Get," "Fast Cars," "Airwaves Dream," "Fiction Romance," "Something's Gone Wrong Again," all preserved for the ages, presented with love and care by someone who knew their music as well as the band itself. Boston; Chicago; Minnesota;, New Jersey; Providence, RI; New York; and Birmingham, U.K. are all represented with songs from their respective concerts.

As the Doors release all the live tapes from their archives, and artists from Frank Zappa to the Velvet Underground and Jimi Hendrix have their concert tapes being issued to acclaim and sales, Joan McNulty's efforts can be viewed as pioneering. Decades after it was conceived and released, Lest We Forget is as pure a document as you'll find on the tour of a vital power pop band. The recording quality is not state of the art, but that adds to the charm. (~ Joe Viglione, All Music Guide)

Pete Shelley confirms that these specific tracks were selected by Joan McNulty.

Joan McNulty notes: 'The original cover was done by Malcolm Garrett - that was his contribution to it (not the cover with the badges on it.) It had the triangular picture of Buzzcocks on it circa 1979 & great lettering... but they [ROIR] dumped it.'

01) fiction romance Nov 25, 1980 Boston
02) breakdown 1979 Chicago
03) time's up Nov 25, 1980 Boston
04) autonomy 1979 Minnesota
05) love battery Oct 30, 1980 Birmingham UK
06) ever fallen in love Nov 25, 1980 Boston
07) i don't mind 1979 Chicago
08) what do you know Nov 22, 1980 New Jersey
09) i believe 1979 Chicago
10) noise annoys 1979 Minnesota
11) what do i get Nov 24, 1980 Providence RI
12) something's gone wrong again Nov 25, 1980 Boston
13) harmony in my head Nov 22, 1980 New Jersey
14) you say you don't love me 1979 Chicago
15) i don't know what to do with my life 1979 Chicago
16) fast cars Nov 22, 1980 New Jersey
17) airwaves dream Nov 24, 1980 Providence RI
18) nothing left 1979 Minnesota
19) love you more Sep 01, 1979 New York

Download it: