ARTIST: The Ruts
TITLE: You’ve Gotta Get Out of It
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: In a Rut, Bablyon’s Burning (#7 UK), Something That I Said (#29 UK), Jah Wars, Staring at the Rude Boys (#22 UK), West One (Shine on Me) (#43 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not
LINEUP: Malcolm Owen, Paul Fox, John Jennings, Dave Ruffy
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Compilation featuring singles and the first album from an exciting UK punk band snuffed out too early due to the untimely death of Malcolm Owen.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With their first single (“In a Rut”), the Ruts got noticed by John Peel and others in the industry, and with “Babylon’s Burning”, the UK took notice of the group that combined punk energy with some reggae flashes.
Malcolm Owen wasn’t the most tuneful singer, but his lyrical smarts, passion and energy carried the band far. The band has a lot of versatility, able to play reggae and dub along with standard punk rock, with bassist “Segs” Jennings doing yeoman’s work. It’s a shame that Owen struggled with addiction and health issues, and died of a heroin overdose soon after sessions were completed for their second batch of singles. Ironically, the b-side of their first single was “H-Eyes”, which Owen told of the effects of heroin use. (“H-Eyes gonna fuck your brain…”)
This compilation contains singles, and their entire first album The Crack, as well as the singles that were compiled in a second record soon after Owen’s death.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The band carried on, in a different direction, as The Ruts DC (as in Da Capo –from the beginning)
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There is a version with three additional B-sides.
GRADE: A: Gone too early, the Ruts could have carried the punk / reggae crossover further into the 80’s.