Do you have a say on what goes on? I don’t think so

One really good thing about the recent upswing in vinyl sales* is that lots of great hard-to-find older stuff has been re-released.  Back To Black don’t seem to have quite got around to re-releasing Poison Idea Record Collector’s Are Pretentious Assholes, but I’m 98.5% sure it’s on their urgent to-do list.

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This is the best, and probably most aptly, titled LP in my collection, it’s a joke at the expense of guitarist Pig Champion (he was still called plain old, ‘Tom Roberts’ at this point though) whose extensive, and at today’s prices, expensive vinyl collection is featured strewn all over the front cover.  I’m pretty sure it was this title that sealed the deal for my mate Faz when he bought it and introduced me to it back in university; well that and the pic of Elvis on the back cover.

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The version I’ve got is a 1989 German reissue of the original 1984 12″ with a bunch of extra tracks.  Well that’s the technical definition at least.  A more accurate one might be that  Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes is a Molotov cocktail of snarling heaviness, more snarling heaviness and then a bit more snarling heaviness on the side.  Poison Idea have had a good look at the world around them and it’s made them a little bit ticked off, I think it’s fair to say.

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The lyrics are great, dealing intelligently with alcoholism (AA), suicide (Cold Comfort), political corruption and civil liberties (Legalize Freedom, Die On Your Knees) and, umm performing unspeakable acts with your own mother (Don’t Like It Here) and being sexually dominated by a dominatrix (Rubber Husband)** – All the usual universal themes then.  It’s a joke they recycled again a bit later but for the song ‘Typical’ the lyric sheet just reads, ‘Words unknown, 100 marks to anyone who can work out what Jerry is saying!‘.  There’s irreverence and humour here but this is serious music, played by a bunch of guys with serious chops.

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Love these lyrics
Love these lyrics

The aural kicking administered during the likes of ‘Rich Get Richer’ and ‘Time To Go’ is a truly wonderful thing.  This is bludgeoning hardcore at its very best, the point being that Poison Idea really could play well, the music doesn’t quite have the precision they gained later on when they cut the incredible metal crossover LP, Feel The Darkness – that seemed to come with recruiting a new rhythm section, not that there’s any fucking thing wrong with Dean Johnson and Chris Tense here.  Their cover of The Stooges ‘I Got A Right’ was the first time I ever heard the song and is still possibly my fave version, even compared to the original.

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This is music I throw on when I’m either very angry, or very happy, definitely the latter tonight.  I’ve just been amusing myself with doing a serious amount of air-lead vocalist-ising and head banging.  Once upon a time Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes would have been way too unruly, too heavy and too unkempt for me to bear – nowadays I just let myself be borne along by it, why fight the rapids? just let ’em carry you downstream and dump you into the shallows, exhilarated and spent.

593 Down.


PS – I’m cheating here, but here’s my fave track from their next LP, I just love this one.

PPS: Sammy Davis Jr and the Church of Satan? I never knew.

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*in general, vinyl sales around me have always, sadly, been pretty healthy.

**see also Punish Me, a spine-cracking record!

50 thoughts on “Guilty As Charged!

  1. I’m amazed at your punk knowledge. Particulary the American punk. I’ve never heard of Poison Idea. Why is that?

    Oh, because I lived in a hole filled with Bibles, guns, and Big Macs my whole childhood. That’s why.

    1. Thank you but I claim no real knowledge of my own. It’s almost always been through cooler friends.

      Poison Idea were great back in the day, I’ve always been a sucker for bands who do fire-eating on stage. Clever guys too, who chose not to play it too clever. If you ever see any second-hand definitely worth nabbing.

  2. I read this twice and I’m still not sure if it’s real. Is it my fever dream or yours or, stranger still, is this really real? Are you too pretentious to condescend to reality? Are you really Andy Kaufman or do you know who the Residents really are? Come on, don’t make me do my own Google searches! I’ve got bloggers to annoy!

    1. You can’t just come waltzing back into my life and start questioning me! You’ve got a lot of catching up to do first !!

      PS – this is a real LP. One of the very realest in fact.

      1. That is awfully rude of me. I shan’t annoy you until I’ve done my homework.

        Honestly, I can’t remember hearing about an album that sounded so fictional. That may be saying something about my memory, too.


    1. I always think of those LP frames you can buy as a kind of solitary confinement for albums that don’t toe the line, but this is the first LP I’ve ever wanted to put in one to display in my hallway.

      1. There are few albums I have bought a second (cheaper and often hoofed) copy of just for that purpose. Just cause they deserve it. This definitely looks like it deserves a frame.

      1. He’s aiming for a Paul Rudd thing there, as I’m hair-jealous that would cost him my vote (regardless of what he was standing for).

      2. Hooboy yup, we’ve got a lot of space here. Doesn’t mean we’re up to anything insidious, though. We’re more likely to be gravel runnin’ or playing road hockey.

  3. HAHAHAHAH this is the best! From the lyrics to the art to the liner notes…this is great. I don’t think I’d care for what it sounds like, but I sure like like what it looks like. Very cool!

    1. I know! It’s that title, it just wins all the way for me! I did briefly consider trying to recreate the cover with my own vinyls, but being a pretentious asshole myself, I decided that it might hurt them!

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