16 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Delta 5’s spiky feminist anthems loom over post-punk and riot grrrl. This vital set collects the politically defiant Leed band’s key singles, including 1979’s “Mind Your Own Business”, a mutant disco track shot through with hypnotically chanted slogans and guitars as pleasant as fingernails on chalkboard, and “Try”, nervy avant-funk showing off their love of sinewy basslines. You’ll also encounter a clutch of blistering live cuts: “Make Up”, recorded with radio host John Peel, is a blast of art-school R&B that slashes like razor blades.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Delta 5’s spiky feminist anthems loom over post-punk and riot grrrl. This vital set collects the politically defiant Leed band’s key singles, including 1979’s “Mind Your Own Business”, a mutant disco track shot through with hypnotically chanted slogans and guitars as pleasant as fingernails on chalkboard, and “Try”, nervy avant-funk showing off their love of sinewy basslines. You’ll also encounter a clutch of blistering live cuts: “Make Up”, recorded with radio host John Peel, is a blast of art-school R&B that slashes like razor blades.

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2:59
2:40
1:57
2:59

About Delta 5

Initially inspired by the success of local heroes the Mekons and Gang of Four, Leeds, England's Delta 5 later emerged as one of the key figures of the feminist new wave. Formed in 1979 by vocalist/guitarist Julz Sale, fretless bassist Ros Allen, and bassist Bethan Peters, the group was begun on a lark, but following the additions of guitarist Alan Riggs and drummer Kelvin Knight, Delta 5 issued their debut single, "Mind Your Own Business," and found themselves thrust to the forefront of the Leeds post-punk community.

Frequently linked to Gang of Four -- in addition to a similarly abrasive funk sound, Delta 5 was also at the vanguard of the Rock Against Racism movement, and Knight even once sat in for Gang drummer Hugo Burnham -- the group's role as political leaders increased in the wake of a notorious street attack on its members by right-wing thugs, culminating in the rise of the Rock Against Communism groundswell. Their unique two-bass rhythm section set them clearly apart from their peers, and with the success of their second single, "You," they mounted a successful U.S. tour.

Upon leaving Rough Trade to sign with the Charisma subsidiary Pre, in 1981 Delta 5 issued their debut LP, See the Whirl. Despite the inclusion of some of their early single sides, much of the record fell prey to over-production, and was a critical and commercial failure. The group split shortly after its release. Much of the group's output remained hard to come by until the Singles & Sessions compilation was released by Kill Rock Stars in 2006. ~ Jason Ankeny

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