Along with Sham 69, the Cockney Rejects, and the Angelic Upstarts, the Business was one of the prime movers in the post-Pistols British punk sub-genre known as Oi. The movement was marked by strenuously collectivist politics; chanted, football-cheer-like choruses; and an unruly contingent of violent, rightwing hooligan fans. As this definitive 28-cut compilation makes plain, the Business was fully prepared to take up Oi's street-fighting-man mantle in the service of social justice and hard-driving rock & roll.
With its shout-along chorus and bashing rhythms, the group's signature "Harry May"--a rant about a fictionalized shady character--is among the most traditional Oi-sounding tracks in the Business repertoire. But even a cursory listen to some of the other songs shows a band whose roots and abilities extend far beyond punk. The harmonies, relatively sophisticated rhythms, and infectious melodies of "Out in the Cold" and "Streets Where You Live" reveal the influence of roots-rock and power pop and might not sound out of place on an early Dave Edmunds album. Elsewhere, "H-Bomb" sounds remarkably similar to Joe Jackson's earlier "Got the Time." Powerful, outspoken, and rebellious as they may have been, the members of the Business were smarter than your average Oi boys.