4-Skins were pretty good London punk/Oi! band, late 1970s-early 1980s, which is consistently moving despite
staff managed to offer us a couple of nice albums before they disbanded in 1984. Their “original” line-up was completely different from the band that released their first LP, 1982’s “The Good, The Bad, and therefore the 4-Skins….the crew that put out this release was Hoxton bassist Tom McCourt (the only “original” still with the band), singer Panther Cummins, guitarist/keyboardist John Jacobs and drummer Pete Abbott.
The opening track “Plastic Gangsters” may be a ska type of thing, but the remainder of the album is some good noisy working-class punk rock in the style of Sham 69. plenty of the album is live recordings of “older”, pre-album singles, they’re pretty wild, take a look at the live versions of “Chaos “, “I Don’t Want to Die” and “1984”, there are some pretty good “new” songs here too, especially “One Law for Them” and “Justice”. I’d say if you simply want one album, this is often the one you’d probably go for.
Believe it or not, the subsequent album “A Fistful of the 4-Skins” features another COMPLETELY different line-up (other than McCourt) and if I didn’t tell you, you’d have a touch trouble guessing because the sound is MUCH different, “cleaner” more hard- rock/metal sound. However, NOT a nasty album, there are some decent tracks, “5 More Years”, “I’ll stick with My Guns”, “New War” and more. Not nearly as good (IMO) as “The Good” but worth a listen.
Their final release (I think they reformed much later, but I do not care) was “From Chaos to 1984”, a live recording that was intended to be their “farewell” show, performed ahead of invited guests of friends. band members. not bad, definitely not essential either, worth a listen for fans of the genre.
We’ve also got a ‘Singles and Rarities’ collection which actually rehashes plenty of the same material, together with some other odds and ends, after all if you want all the singles in one place it can’t be a bad thing to grab.
All in all, the punk/Oi! a band that released a minimum of one REALLY good album, the primary one, but in my estimation, they were more of a singles/live band than album artists. Anyway, things come up very often on punk singles conspiracies, I just thought a number of you who might not have been here might want to check them out.
THE GOOD, THE BAD and therefore the 4-SKINS-01 Plastic Gangsters/02 Jealousy/03 Yesterday’s
Heroes/04 Justice/05 Jack the Lad/06 Remembrance Day/07 Manifesto/08 Wonderful World (Live)/09 1984 (Live)/10 Sorry (Live)/11 Evil (Live)/12 I do not Want to Die (Live)/13 A.C.A.B. (live)/14 Chaos (live)/15 One Law for Them/16 Low Life/17 Bread or Blood/18 Get Out of My Life/19 It Seems to Me/20 Norman.
A FISTFUL OF THE 4-SKINS-01 5 More Years/02 expecting a Friend/03 Johnny Go Home/04 The Gambler/05 I’ll Stick to My Guns/06 On File/07 Forgotten Hero/08 The Spy from Alaska /09 H.M.P./10 No Excuse/11 Betrayed/12 City Boy/13 New War/14 On the Streets/15 Saturday (demo)
FROM CHAOS TO 1984-01 Wonderful World/02 Jealousy/03 On the Streets/04 Johnny Go Home/05 1984/06 Bread or Blood/07 Saturday/8 A.C.A.B./09 City Boy/10 Five More Years/11 Evil/12 On the File /13 Clockwork Skinhead/14 Chaos
SINGLES AND RARITIES-01 Wonderful World/02 Chaos/03 Clockwork Skinhead/04 Evil/05 A.C.A.B./06 I do not Want to Die/07 Yesterday’s Heroes/08 1984/09 Sorry/10 Evil/11 One Law for Them/12 Brave New World/13 Merry Christmas Everybody/14 Yesterday’s Hero’s (version)/15 Justice/16 Get Out of My Life/17 Low Life/18 Bread or Blood/19 Plastic Gangsters/20 Norman/21 Seems to Me/22 Chaos (Herbert Version)/23 On the streets
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