With the Spiky Dread comp looming on the horizon like a big punky reggae Godzilla, Mr. Wrong is absolutely right about it being time to give you folks a few mouthfuls of what’s in store before it hits the shops on 17th December.
And as I’ve recently been enjoying the fruits of Bristol’s rich contribution to the codex of modern music, I felt that Glaxo Babies would be an appropriate entry with which to begin our countdown.
The stylistic arc of the Babies’ career was an eclectic one – frustrated by the limitations of punk they quickly branched out into the realms of reggae, funk, disco and jazz, often reworking old songs into the new styles they embraced.
Thus their jagged ‘homage’ to Bruce Lee quickly morphed into the dislocated dub wonder you will hear below, and remained in this format until the troupe’s demise (its first incarnation anyway) in late 1980.
First, let’s get one thing straight: Who Killed Bruce Lee from the Glaxos’ debut e.p. ranks among the best post-punk songs ever recorded. Jittery, paranoid, insistent, brilliant; so much so that I found it almost impossible to believe it could be matched… until I heard the dub version which secured the band a place on Spiky Dread: Issue 1.
Who Killed Bruce Lee (Version), from GB’s ’77 to ‘80 demos compilation, Put Me on the Guest List, is roughly the sonic equivalent of being dragged slowly through the apartment building of Roland Topor’s The Tenant; a claustrophobic dream from which guitars and saxophones intermittently leap like gleefully malevolent neighbours.
Today it is our proud duty to present this splendid record to you as a taste of the Spiky Dread to come. Ladies and gentlemen – it’s on another wavelength…
And the original single version: