Various Artists

60 Classic Punk Tracks

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"No Spitting!" the sign on the front of 60 Classic Punk Tracks warns. It's the centerpiece to a predictable cover art concept featuring a brick wall with the names of the three-disc set's participants "spray painted" upon it. As it turns out, the music is almost as predictable as the collection's artwork. You won't find anything from generally accepted frontline types like the Clash or the Sex Pistols on this budget-line comp from Disky. Instead, it defines its "classic" status with a clutch of arty, jagged, and sometimes brilliant singles from acts like the Ruts, the Skids, and Penetration (the latter's "Don't Dictate" is the standout track here). The Saints kick off disc one with the 1977 classic "I'm Stranded," while relative star power is provided with "Orgasm Addict" from the Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life," and a good, if not particularly unique live version of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer." There's also a few Blondie tracks thrown in and the Vapors' ubiquitous "Turning Japanese" for good measure. What you end up having with 60 Classic Punk Tracks is yet another collection of second-wave punk and early post-punk and new wave, recycling the same three minutes from each group. They're evocative blasts, to be sure. But Disky hasn't done much more with this set than license what it can and slap it together behind artwork that says "Punk!" with a huge bullhorn. The set can serve as a functional foundation for anyone wondering about punk and what came next, but it doesn't include the liner notes and essays of Rhino's series of retrospectives, and certainly doesn't offer anything that longtime fans of the genre haven't already heard.

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