The Stiffs

The Punk Collection

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AllMusic Review by

Punk rock remains one of the great musical movements since rock and roll reared its ugly head some 50 years ago. While it encouraged young musicians to form bands, it also allowed existing bands with similar ideals to jump headfirst into this new scene. The Stiffs seemed to have straddled the line, forming right before punk exploded, but riding the wave with wide eyes, and the passion and energy of punk's most inspired followers. Musically, they were more in line with the Crack, the Lurkers, the Donkeys, and the Boys, writing catchy pop niblets and pumping them with their unbridled energy. Although the Stiffs gigged incessantly for years, they only released a handful of singles during their heyday (an album was recorded for EMI, it was shelved and didn't see release for 20 years). This collection pulls together all of the band's singles (A- and B-sides) plus some other recorded odds and ends, making it a remarkable intro into one of the great unsung pop bands of the punk era. "Volume Control," "Standard English," "(Bring On The) Chelsea Girls," and "Kids On The Street" are melodic fist-pumpers, with almost everything else here just as solid. Well, OK, "Girls All Over The World" sounds like a semi-tolerable theme to a bad '80s flick, but one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl!

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