Sort of hard, actually, to, in 2014 take much of an objective look at the career of the UK Subs for a
few reasons.....for one, they were formed in 1976 by singer Charlie Harper, bassist Paul Slack, guitarist Nicky Garratt, and a bunch of drummers, the steadiest of the early ones was Steven J Jones......in the close to 40 (!) years since, Harper is the only constant, they have had (well) over a hundred other members (a complete list appears on their Wikipedia page if you don't beleive me).....I don't really take bands seriously that go through that kind of personnel numbers, nor, in general, do I generally garner much enjoyment out of ANY band that still thinks they have creative ideas remaining after they have been recording for 38 years. They tredge on even today, honestly, I honestly don't want to hear any of the stuff from this century, perhaps my loss, but I'll deal with it.....
I could just skip them altogether, save for one factor.....back in the mid-late 1970's they did release a truly great series of singles, I don't think (I may be forgetting) that they ever did release a great "album", but the collected singles comps and live albums work quite well, so that is the focus of what I have, I'll have to check to see if I even HAVE any of the early "proper" albums, I may have one or two.
"Live Kicks" is a fairly smoldering live recording from a show at the Roxy, recorded I think in 1977 (released in 1980), evidently they were a fabulous live act.....would have enjoyed seeing them. I also came up with thier very first album, 1979's "Another Kind of Blues" which reprises alot of the early singles that I enjoy so much in the company of their fellow singles on "The Complete Punk Singles"......there is some filler here, it's a rare call for me, but I do recommend the comp, the first disc of it anyway, over the debut.
I've got a few other compilations here, there is a BUNCH of overlap with the great singles I have
referenced before....it's a tough band to anthologize.......read through the track lists below, start with the first disc of "The Complete Punk Singles" and "Live Kicks" and see if any of the other comps sounds appealing to you.......you could probably, depending on your tastes, pare this down to about four discs worth of stuff you like. Sorry, it's a hard band to sort out, DEFINITELY NOT "album" oriented artists, their place was the single and they managed it well, there is a lot of overlap here, granted, but take your time and cherry pick and you'll have as fine a UK punk singles anthology as you could hope for!
THE COMPLETE PUNK SINGLES DISC 1-01 CID/02 Stranglehold/03 Tomorrow's Girls/04 She's Not Their/05 Warhead/06 Teenage/07 Party In paris/08 Keep On Runnin' (Til You Burn)/09 Countdown/10 Self Destruct/11 Another Typical City/12 Private Army/13 This Gun Says/14 New Barbarians (Live)/15 Hey! Santa
THE COMPLETE PUNK SINGLES DISC 2-01 Motivator/02 Sabre Dance (Extended Version)/03 Jodie Foster/04 Post Card From LA/05 Betrayal/06 War on the Pentagon/07 Day of the Dead/08 Cyberjunk/09 Riot '98/10 Reclaim the Street/11 Drunken Sailor/12 666 Yeah/13 Warhead 2008
ANOTHER KIND OF BLUES-01 CID/02 I Couldn't Be You/03 I Live In a Car/04 Tomorrow's Girls/05 Killer/06 World War/07 Rockers/08 IOD/09 TV Blues/10 Blues/11 Lady Esquire/12 All I Wanna Know/13 Crash Course/14 Young Criminals/15 BIC/16 Disease/17 Stranglehold
THE PUNK IS BACK (1995)-01 ORganized Crime/02 Bomb Factory/03 Dirty Girls/04 Waiting For The man/05 Rat Race/06 Teenage/07 Warhead/08 Sensitive Boys/09 CID (Live)/10 Tomorrow's Girls/Left For Dead (Live)/11 She's Not There/12 Kicks/13 I Don't Need Your Love/14 Limo Life/15 Cocaine
THE VERY BEST OF (BEFORE YOU WERE A PUNK)-01 CID/02 Tomorrow's Girls/03 Stranglehold/04 Teenage/05 Emotional Blackmail/06 Warhead/07 New York State Police/08 Party In Paris/09 Endangered Species/10 Down on the Farm/11 Shoot You Down/12 Count You Down/13 Apocalypse Now/14 Police State/15 Self Destruct/16 War of the Roses/17 Holy Land/18 Motivator/19 Postcard From LA/20 Nobody Move/21 Riot/22 Rebel Radio/23 Preacher/24 House Of Cards/25 Lost Not Found/26 Music For the Deaf/27 Stay Away (Nirvana Tribute)/28 I Need a Life (UK Subs vs Damned)
ORIGINAL PUNKS, ORIGINAL HITS DISC 1-01 CID/02 Barbie's Dead/03 All I Want To
Know/04 Tomorrow's Girls/05 Rat Race/06 TV Blues/07 Brand New Age/08 She's Not There/09 Fall of the Empire/10 I Couldn't Be You/11 Lady ESquire/12 Scum of the Earth/13 Warhead/14 Young Criminals/15 Telephone Numbers/16 New York State Police/17 Stranglehold/18 500cc/19 Face the Machine/20 Kicks/21 Party In paris/22 I Live In a Car/23 Teenage
ORIGINAL PUNKS, ORIGINAL HITS DISC 2-01 You Don't Belong/02 Rockers/03 The Same Thing/04 Violent City/05 World War/06 BIC/07 Blues/08 Crash Course/09 Emotional Blackmail/10 Emotional Blackmail (2)/11 Dirty Girls/12 Left For Dead/13 Organized Crime/14 Victim/15 You Can't Take It Anymore/16 Public Servant/17 Time & Matter/18 The Harper/19 So What/20 New Order/21 Perfect Girl/22 Gangster/23 Disease
Mull these over, sorry for so much overlap, but the live album smokes, and between the rest, you can probably make a comp you will really enjoy......btw the single "Down on the Farm" was covered to fine effect (IMO) on Guns N Roses "The Spaghetti Incident?".......as always, comments and requests are always appreciated, let me know how I'm doing with this stuff......hope everyone is enjoying the attempt at variety!