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Singles and Rarities

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Album Review

The jewel in the crown of Captain Oi's 4-Skins reissue program, Singles & Rarities scoops up no less than 23 tracks drawn from throughout the band's brutally brief career, including a handful that rank among the 4-Skins' most incendiary offerings. The set opens with "Wonderful World" and "Chaos," the two songs they contributed to the Oi! The Album compilation shortly after they formed, and just before the Decca major offered them a deal on the condition that they changed their name to Skins 4. "1984" and "Sorry," later in the set, first appeared on another comp, Strength Thru Oi!, while the "One Law for Them" single still burns your ears like a sonic forest fire. On and on, then, through the backwaters of the 4-Skins' career, including a jolly romp through Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody" (from the Bollocks to Christmas collection) and Son of Oi!'s "On the Streets" and, from start to finish, the Skins don't put a boot out of place. All anthologies should be this astonishing.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active:

As their name suggests, this London, England band comprised four skinheads, who specialized in vitriolic three-chord ‘yob-rock’. Their membership was fluid, including no less than four lead singers, with only Hoxton Tom (bass) still resident between their first and second albums. Taking their musical brief from outfits such as Sham 69, the Angelic Upstarts and the Cockney Rejects, they were a third generation punk band heavily associated with the Oi! Movement, alongside fellow travellers the Business....
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Singles and Rarities, 4 Skins
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