25 Songs, 1 Hour, 9 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a reason this 1978 album by Britain’s Adverts is still a great listen decades after its recording (at Abbey Road Studios). The mixed-gender band (female bassist Gaye Advert inspired countless crushes) had the wits and songwriterly chops to transcend punk musicians' limitations, so this set has the staying power of any classic rock 'n' roll album. The topical anthems (“Safety in Numbers,” Bored Teenagers,” “No Time to Be 21”) are deceptively smart, and the melodies have the musical support that isn’t solely based around churning guitars and harmonic distortion. In fact, “New Day Dawns” and “Bombsite Boy” each show a flare for Bob Ezrin/Alice Cooper–like musical left turns (the kind that surprise listeners after a simple sing-along refrain). “Up on the Roof” was one of the first punk-era songs that had real pathos. The jewel here is “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes”: a ’60s-riffed garage-ist dream about gazing through the peeps of the famously executed Utah murderer.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s a reason this 1978 album by Britain’s Adverts is still a great listen decades after its recording (at Abbey Road Studios). The mixed-gender band (female bassist Gaye Advert inspired countless crushes) had the wits and songwriterly chops to transcend punk musicians' limitations, so this set has the staying power of any classic rock 'n' roll album. The topical anthems (“Safety in Numbers,” Bored Teenagers,” “No Time to Be 21”) are deceptively smart, and the melodies have the musical support that isn’t solely based around churning guitars and harmonic distortion. In fact, “New Day Dawns” and “Bombsite Boy” each show a flare for Bob Ezrin/Alice Cooper–like musical left turns (the kind that surprise listeners after a simple sing-along refrain). “Up on the Roof” was one of the first punk-era songs that had real pathos. The jewel here is “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes”: a ’60s-riffed garage-ist dream about gazing through the peeps of the famously executed Utah murderer.

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Ratings and Reviews

A forgotten milestone to punk

Blabber Kid

Though the group was only together for about the same amount of time as The Sex Pistols were, The Adverts managed to go the farthest they could with their music and their meaning. And their first album really gives it all they got. TV Smith's lyrics are just genuis, and Gaye Advert's basslines are too unforgettable. Not to mention, they have some awesome songs. If you come across any punk record, then I'd highly recommend this one.

About The Adverts

With their raw, enthusiastic immaturity, the Adverts were a bright, though short-lived, light of the punk era, distinguished by the fact that their bassist, Gaye Advert, was one of the first female stars of punk rock. After they (barely) mastered one chord, the Adverts began playing at London's Roxy Club in 1976, where they quickly came to the attention of the Damned's guitarist Brian James. James offered the band an opening spot on the Damned's tour and directed them toward Stiff Records. Stiff released their self-deprecating debut single, "One Chord Wonders," in 1977, when the band could still barely play, but when they released their second single, the disturbingly funny "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," the group rocketed into the U.K. Top 20 in a storm of controversy. The Adverts' first album, Crossing the Red Sea With the Adverts, fulfilled the single's promise, but the second, 1979's Cast of Thousands, sounded like they poured all of their musical ideas into their first album; the group broke up the following year. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

GENRE
Punk
FORMED
1976

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