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Album Review

Inner City Unit's third album was, in fact, a collection of odds and ends that rounded up some of the more intriguing one-offs the band had perpetrated over the past couple of years. Many of these are demos for material issued elsewhere, including the first ever run-through of "Watching the Grass Grow" and the terrific versions of "Space Invaders" and "Polyethylene" that landed the band the offer of a deal with Polydor in late 1979. They chose not to take it — apparently, the major label didn't actually offer them any money in return for their signatures! Also included are a couple of disco numbers hatched by bandmembers Dead Fred and Trev Thomas alone that never went any further than the versions you hear here (a shame), and "Blue Rinse Haggard Robot," an ode to Margaret Thatcher that, up there with Iron Maiden's Eddie mascot, sums up many folks' feelings toward her with matter-of-fact lucidity: "Little girls are pretty; robot, you're not — you're a c**t!" Should one wish to make comparisons, the "regular" versions of such classics as "Watching the Grass Grow," "Cars Eat with Auto Face," and "Solitary Ashtray" (all of which appeared on their debut album) are more complete than those included here. But the nature of the band was such that any version — live, demo, or studio — can be considered "definitive" by some standard or another, and this set is just as enjoyable as anything else the band released. [Cherry Red's 2007 reissue of Punkadelic also includes six tracks from the Blood and Bone EP plus two additional bonus tracks from the Hawkwind collection Friends & Relations.]


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

The weird and wonderful Inner City Unit were formed by ex-Hawkwind member and Oxford-born English eccentric Nik Turner (saxophone, vocals) in 1979, along with Trev Thoms (guitar), Dead Fred Reeves (keyboards), Baz Magneto (bass) and Mick Stupp (drums). Turner’s first non- Hawkwind album was with Steve Hillage in 1977, entitled Sphynx (Xitintoday) - a set far removed from the punk sound then prevalent, which became a major influence on Inner City Unit. A debut album, Pass Out, and two singles, ‘Solitary...
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Punkadelic, Inner City Unit
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