The Entire History of Punk

Various Artists

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The Entire History of Punk Review

by William Ruhlmann

The Entire History of Punk is not one of those meticulously compiled and annotated box sets that comprehensively survey a portion of musical history. Instead, it is a randomly organized collection of tracks with virtually no annotations beyond song titles, group names, and a brief introduction by former Vice Squad singer Beki Bondage. That may seem appropriate to punk music, a style that incorporated the suggestion of a rip-off as part of its essence, but the result is scattershot. Dressed to Kill has not licensed tracks from any of the major labels, so whenever an important song by a prominent artist turns up, a hit by the Sex Pistols or the Stranglers, for instance, it's a live performance or outtake, not the original recording. And although by this method some of the major names in British punk are included, along with legendary progenitors like Iggy Pop and the MC5, many others are missing. There is nothing here by the Clash or the Ramones, except for remakes of their songs by lesser known performers. So, the set does not live up to its ambitious title. But it does contain fifteen-and-a-half hours of punk music (which could have fit onto 13 CDs instead of being spread across 20), 314 tracks by 127 different artists, three dozen of them successful enough to make the U.K. charts. Most of those performers are second- or third-division punk acts, and many are second or third generation as well, with the recordings stretching from the mid-'70s until well into the 1980s. The real stars of the box are raucous, political British groups like the Angelic Upstarts (who have 12 cuts), the Adicts (nine), and Sham 69 (seven). As long as the listener doesn't expect a complete portrait of punk, there are many discoveries to be made.

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Strike 02:21 Amazon
2 Infa-Riot 03:55 Amazon
3 The Business 03:03 Amazon
4 Splodgenessabounds 01:35 Amazon
5 Cockney Rejects 01:23 Amazon
6 The Partisans 03:44 Amazon
7 Blitz 02:01 Amazon
8 Combat 84 02:48 Amazon
9 Cock Sparrer 03:19 Amazon
10 The 4 Skins 02:18 Amazon
11 The Last Resort 03:00 Amazon
12 Sham 69 02:45 Amazon
13 Infa-Riot 01:39 Amazon
14 Accident 02:04 Amazon
15
The Business 02:31 Amazon
16 Splodgenessabounds 03:13 Amazon
17
Blood 02:16 Amazon
18 Cockney Rejects 02:04 Amazon
19 The Exploited 02:33 Amazon
20
4q
Blitz 01:38 Amazon
21 Combat 84 01:35 Amazon
22 Cock Sparrer 03:14 Amazon
23 The 4 Skins 03:25 Amazon
24 Angelic Upstarts 02:21 Amazon
25
The Last Resort 25:45 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
02:32 Amazon
2
The Crack 03:09 Amazon
3 Angelic Upstarts 02:33 Amazon
4 Criminal Class 02:21 Amazon
5 Sham 69 02:03 Amazon
6 Infa-Riot 01:55 Amazon
7 The Gonads 01:50 Amazon
8 The Partisans 02:52 Amazon
9 The Business 02:58 Amazon
10 Peter & the Test Tube Babies 03:18 Amazon
11 The Exploited 02:33 Amazon
12 The 4 Skins 02:27 Amazon
13
Blood 03:19 Amazon
14 Slaughter & the Dogs 02:13 Amazon
15 Angelic Upstarts 03:46 Amazon
16 The Business 02:09 Amazon
17
Oh!
Case 01:54 Amazon
18
Section-5 03:12 Amazon
19
The Last Resort 02:31 Amazon
20 Lurkers 01:51 Amazon
21 Peter & the Test Tube Babies 02:59 Amazon
22
The Crack 03:27 Amazon
23
Cockney Rejects 03:15 Amazon
24
03:30 Amazon