Rare and Unissued

Rare and Unissued

by The Prisoners
     
 
U.K. garage rock mavens the Prisoners had only recently given up the ghost when kindred spirit Billy Childish assembled a collection of demos, live recordings, and outtakes from their archives for his Hangman Records label in 1988. Fully 20 years on, Big Beat has brought Rare and Unissued to CD in

Overview

U.K. garage rock mavens the Prisoners had only recently given up the ghost when kindred spirit Billy Childish assembled a collection of demos, live recordings, and outtakes from their archives for his Hangman Records label in 1988. Fully 20 years on, Big Beat has brought Rare and Unissued to CD in expanded form, and while two songs have been trimmed from the set list ("Happiness for Once" and "Pop Star Party" having been added as bonus tracks to Big Beat's reissue of In from the Cold), ten more have been added, so the new version of Rare and Unissued weighs in at an impressive 22 tracks. While plenty of garage rock revival acts of the '80s seemed to embrace the notion of "the cruder the better," the Prisoners thankfully were unafraid to be tuneful, and in the grand tradition of British beat they absorbed an eclectic variety of influences (including R&B, psychedelia, and American garage snazziness) and held them all together with tight and powerful guitar interplay. (According to Dean Rudland's liner notes, this makes the Prisoners an important precursor to Brit-pop, but please don't hold that against them.) The live versions of "Coming Home," "Deceiving Eye," and "Come to the Mushroom" confirm that the Prisoners were a dynamite live act, "Joe 90 Theme" and "Revenge of the Cyberman" show they had a witty way with an instrumental, and their version of "Hush" rescues the tune from Deep Purple once and for all. And "Looking for You," "Ain't No Telling," "Love Me Lies," and "Mourn My Health" are simply great tunes that deserve to be heard. Big Beat has cleaned up the sometimes dodgy audio from the original release (though the live recordings from Switzerland are still less than hi-fi), and while Rare and Unissued is a solid set of odds and sods for devoted fans, the broad range of material makes this a better than expected introduction to a fine, underappreciated band.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2008
Label:
Big Beat Uk
UPC:
0029667427623
catalogNumber:
276
Rank:
106050

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