Release Date: 06 October 2017
Format: LP Vinyl
|Basement 5 1965-1980 Limited 180gram Heavyweight Vinyl LP
In an unparalleled age of crate-digging and reissue programs, Basement 5 is one of the few remaining great untold stories of its time. Arriving at a musical / creative highpoint in the immediate aftermath of punk, with a prevailing sense that the regular rules no longer applied, Basement 5 welded punk rage, dub-wise rhythms & scorching industrial riffs together with themes of alienation, inner-city life and the immigrant experience. Early line-ups of the band featured Don Letts on vocals but it was the Dennis Morris-fronted Basement 5 that found the critical spark & momentum to record the epochal '1965-1980' - the title a reference from Morris who arrived in the UK from Jamaica in 1965. After establishing himself as one of the most vital music photographers in London via his work with Bob Marley, Sex Pistols & Public Image Ltd, Dennis Morris accepted an offer from Island Records' Chris Blackwell to become Creative Director of Island Records - it was during this tenure that Morris was able to bring Basement 5 to the attention of Blackwell. Having felt he'd 'missed the boat' on punk and that his rival Richard Branson had monopolised the punk scene, Blackwell sanctioned Morris' signing of The Slits and Basement 5. Preceded by self-produced debut single 'Silicon Chip' (May 1980, Island Records) , the band entered Basing St studios with Factory Records & Joy Division über producer Martin Hannett . Initial signs weren't good; the original drummer walked-out on the first day of recording after a disagreement over Hannett's working techniques. Remembering a conversation from when they toured with Ian Dury ("If you ever need a drummer Dennis...."), Morris called Blockheads sticksman Charlie Charles who arrived at the studio the same day - its Charles' who completes the recording sessions. In the spirit of the times things were not destined to last, underlying tensions in the band saw the group split whilst on tour in Europe & within 18 months it was all over. And that was that, the band never re-formed , the legacy remains intact - even an offer from Tony Wilson to re-form for a TV appearance couldn't persuade them otherwise. Other than a long out of print cd issue in the mid-90's the music has remained in the vaults at Island Records, until now. '1965-1980' is pressed onto heavyweight vinyl and comes with a 12 page booklet featuring rare and unseen photographs from the Dennis Morris archive.
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