Here's another in the four-album collection celebrating the 60th birthday of Warner Bros. Records. This double vinyl set features tracks from the late '70's to early 2000's, key cuts from punk, new wave and alternative groups and artists. It's especially strong on the early days of those movements, with Ramones, Dead Boys, Flamin' Groovies, Talking Heads, Richard Hell & the Voidoids and Johnny Thunders here. That's because of the foresight of Sire Records boss, the recently-retired Seymour Stein, who signed all those groups, and understood the art behind punk.
Warner picked up the ball when the Sire boutique label sold so much, it became a big deal. More bright signings followed, and their major tracks are here. That includes Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes, The Pretenders and Talk Of The Town, the B-52's with Roam, and The Rezillos charming Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight. They got to release major British post-punk groups as well, including New Order (Love Vigilantes), The Jesus and Mary Chain (April Skies) and Echo & the Bunnymen (The Killing Moon).
With such strong results, the company stayed brave, signing less-than-safe bets The Replacements, Jane's Addiction, Ministry, and Husker Du, while deep pockets let them grab prizes such as Elvis Costello and Wilco. It's all good, and even if you already have some or most of these cuts, it's pretty hard to pass up an album with a Side Two like this:
- 1. Blister In The Sun - Violent Femmes
- 2. You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory - Johnny Thunders
- 3. Alex Chilton - The Replacements
- 4. Jane Says - Jane's Addiction
- 5. Jesus Built My Hot Rod - Ministry