ARTIST: Sham 69
TITLE: If the Kids Are United – the Best Of
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Charting: Angels with Dirty Faces (#19 UK), If the Kids Are United (#9 UK), Hurry Up Harry (#10 UK), Tell the Children (#45 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Borstal Breakout
LINEUP: Jimmy Pursey, Dave Parsons, Dave Tregunna, Mark Cain. A few tracks had other people.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Working class punks capture the populism of the unemployed class in late 70’s UK.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Dave Pursey found the right combo of backing musicians to make timeless late 70’s punk rock, and that quartet sped through some of the most poignant of hits for the underclass youth in the UK as they were leading to Thatcher-ism.
“Borstal Breakout” and “If the Kids Are United” are their classics, but they also had other solid tracks and brought the energy of the football pitch to their music. The issue, though, was that their message to the unemployed and the frustrations of youth led to an unwanted fandom – the National Front and their skinhead legions. They stopped playing live due to this and that slowed their career way down.
They’ve broken up, and reformed a couple times, and have put out some decent songs here and there since the late 70’s (a couple are included here), but they’ll be known for their late 70’s punk anthems.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Due to licensing (no doubt) there are some live tracks replacing some of their singles. Those can be found on another compilation The Very Best of the Hersham Boys.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: Only because it’s not really complete with the live tracks as a sub. Putting those two comps together would make it an A- for sure.