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Live In Chicago

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Album Review

A strong live show recorded at Chicago's Metro club in 1985 finds the band loose, funny, and ready to rumble. There's a funny pisstake of "Like a Virgin" and a messy, fun-filled cover of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy." For the most part, this functions, almost, as a Three Johns "greatest hits" collection: "AWOL," "The Devil's Music," "Death of the European," and many others from Atom Drum Bop and The World By Storm are given the total rock workout in a way that only the Three Johns could. This means it's part parody of a rock concert and part honest-to-God rock concert. You have to decide which is which. Originally available on a mail-order only basis, I have no idea of its availability in the compact disc era.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

A side group started in 1982 by Mekons co-founder Jon Langford, the Three Johns, originally made up of Langford, John Hyatt, Phillip "John" Brennan, and a drum machine, specialized in abrasive, politically charged, danceable rock. Sounding almost nothing like Langford's main band, the Johns were a silly-serious bunch of political and cultural provocateurs. Recording during the height of Margaret Thatcher's ill-conceived Tory rebellion, the Johns were openly antagonistic to this new, conservative...
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Live In Chicago, The Three Johns
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