Four More 45s Too Good To Miss!

in 7" Singles, Blog by Mike Warth

After my last blog I couldn’t resist digging into my collection to come up with another four tasty little numbers that have been little heard since their release and have seemingly plummeted unobtrusively into the murky world of the ‘gone and forgotten’. But hey! Be thrilled Sound Machine blogites and see if you can unearth any of these. If you are perfectly familiar with them I would be interested to know if you agree with me that they are worthy of the almighty fuss I am making of them.

So here we go:

Perfect Zebras – Fascination/Why Underestimate (Focus FOS 9) 1983 
Here is a delightful slab of synth pop (never thought I would really say that) with such a catchy little melody that it is impossible not to sing, hum or whistle for hours on end, if not longer, after hearing. Beyond that it’s a decent song although it must be said the vocals are not brilliant. Credit also to the guys at the little known Focus label for their excellent company label artwork. The band who were from North London released a few other singles and a couple of albums but this has to be the best of their work doesn’t it? ‘Fascination’ actually opens their second and final album snappily entitled ‘Zebra’. What a fab band name though.

The Softies – Killing Time/Whiskey Man/Somethings Gonna Change (Charly CYS 1047) 1978
Back to a more punk driven sound here and a gem. It’s delightfully melodic, fast paced, heavy and with great vocals from a certain Mick Smith plus one of those guitar solos that I just love to finish a song. They made one other single before this one (Suicide Pilot) and also released an album which includes both 45s. They supported The Hawklords in 1978 but little more was heard of them. The picture cover is a belter depicting an ice cream with a razor blade instead of a Flake, whilst the reverse shows a photo of the band – four rough looking geezers standing by a wall.


John Spencer’s Louts – Natural Man/My Old Lady (She’s Got The Meanest Face In Town)  (Beggars Banquet 10) 1978
Whilst we’re on the subject of rough looking geezers here’s some more. Spencer was a songwriter and author and with this band released one other single and one album cleverly entitled The Last LP. Sadly he died in 2002. This is yet another great piece from the punk/pub rock period but is actually just a fine ballad with some gruff vocals from Spencer but also a female vocal section. Just a nice song really. The flip is more in the pub rock style as might be guessed from the title.

Urban Disturbance – Wild Boys In Cortinas (ROK VI) 1979
Here’s a tasty bit of post punk mod revival. Great deadpan vocals, amusing lyrics and clanging guitars hidden away on a 45 shared with The VIPs  ‘Just Can’t Let You Go’. With a name such as Urban Disturbance you might expect them to hail from the tension ridden back streets of the city – but no, they are from the sprawling metropolis that is Swindon where the only urban disturbance is caused by drivers trying to make sense of that bloody roundabout. Great name though and a superb record – their only release. Interestingly the ROK label only released ten 45s with each one of them being a split between two bands. The company sleeve has 65p on it to ensure no bounders charged more.

Go get ’em singles fans!

About the Author


Mike Warth – Retired teacher and Education Officer, old rocker, lover of prog, psych and folk – the latter for which I sometimes take some stick. (Why?) Currently having a ball working in The Sound Machine, Reading – independent Record Store par excellence and now working with Vernon Joynson on an update to Dreams, Fantasies And Nightmares.

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