The REZILLOS – ” Can’t Stand The Rezillos ” Released July 21st in 1978

Posted: July 22, 2021 in MUSIC
Pictish Trail live

On this day (July 21st) in 1978: The brilliant Edinburgh, Scotland comic-book dayglo band The Rezillos released their debut album ‘Can’t Stand The Rezillos’, one of the most insanely fun records of this or any other period; it included their previous single “I Can’t Stand My Baby” as well as future classics “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures” & “Top of the Pops”; recorded at the Power Station in New York City, it reached #16 on the UK albums chart.

Towards the end of 1977 the band’s energetic live shows were gaining the attention of the music press and several major record labels. The group eventually signed with New York-based Sire Records which at that point was regarded as the major label most sympathetic to the emerging punk and New Wave music scene, having already signed the Ramones and Talking Heads. The band’s second single, “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures”, which was originally also scheduled to be released on Sensible Records, was released in December on Sire instead.

Sire suggested to the Rezillos that they record the album in New York City, to which the band readily agreed, eager to travel outside the UK. The album was recorded during February 1978 at producer Bongiovi’s studio The Power Station), with Bongiovi and his assistant Lance Quinn originally scheduled to handle production duties. However, due to illness Bongiovi was unable to attend the majority of the recording sessions, and in his absence his engineer Bob Clearmountain ended up overseeing most of the album: the band recognised Clearmountain’s contribution to the record and pressed for his name to be included on the production credits.

A third single, “Top of the Pops” was released to coincide with the album and became the band’s biggest hit. 

In 2003, ‘Mojo’ magazine included the LP among its ‘Top 50 Punk Albums of All Time’…(This photo shows the back cover of the album signed by vocalists Eugene Reynolds & Faye Fife.

Released on Sire Records and including the top twenty UK hit “Top of the Pops”, part of which was used as a jingle on BBC Radio One. Unusually for a punk/new wave band group, the album The album featured several sixties covers, “Glad All Over” (originally a hit for The Dave Clark Five), and “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight” (originally by Fleetwood Mac) and “I Like It” a Gerry and the Pacemakers hit song. 

The reviews from the UK music press upon the album’s release were very favourable. Rock critic Paul Morley described the album as “13 quick cuts lustily shot through with cheap culture combinations, The group’s inventiveness does things with noise that are a little too clever for hippy-happy exhilaration; there’s no chance of any calculated innocence here … But it’s all very clever: the parodied dissatisfaction of punk; the lashings of beat and controlled chaos; the frenzied passion of the production, and, above all else, lots of cosmic vibes, Melody Maker said, “There’s no need for worried glances: the band have pulled the proverbial cat out of the bag. They have always been about wraparound, cartoon strip enjoyment and that’s exactly what you get. Both sides seethe with great pop bluster which has been captured (as it should have been) in all its rough-edged immediacy.” Sounds magazine stated that the album was “a definitive slice of the Scottish beat combo’s past and present in full unabridged glory… No flabby excesses, the Rezillos stick ‘wisely’ to their ultra confident and rigid style, a format which sweeps through both sides with little hesitation or respite.”

The press enthused over the “hyperactive tempos, raging guitar, abbreviated pop melodies, goofy and slightly off-kilter lyrics that display a fascination with junk culture and ’60s pop… the real key to this album is its simple, good-hearted joie de vivre; funny-punk was rarely executed with the degree of skill, finesse, and pure delirious glee as the Rezillos summoned up on Can’t Stand the Rezillos. It makes me smile more than any U.K. punk album ever made me, and it has the greatest Dave Clark Five cover ever committed to tape – what greater recommendation could you ask for? A triumph

In 1993 the album was reissued on CD in a remastered and expanded version titled Can’t Stand the Rezillos: The (Almost) Complete Rezillos. This 28-track version comprised the original thirteen-track album, the group’s November 1978 single “Destination Venus” and its B-side “Mystery Action”, and the 1979 live album Mission Accomplished… But the Beat Goes On. The final track of Mission Accomplished…, a live version of “Destination Venus”, had to be dropped due to time constraints on the CD.

  1. Brilliant. I love The Rezillos.

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