Cockney Rejects

The Punk Singles Collection

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AllMusic Review by

Alongside Sham 69 and the Angelic Upstarts, the Cockney Rejects are the quintessential Oi! band -- and this, a 22-track roundup of their entire 1979-1982 singles output, is the quintessential Oi! album. Everything you need to hear by the Cockney Rejects is here, from the ferocious opening shot of "Flares and Slippers" through to 1982's Kinks' cover "Till the End of the Day" -- yes, the band did keep going thereafter, but a name change (to the Rejects alone) and a stylistic bodyswerve (they turned to rubbish) render their last few years academic. Punk Singles Collection reflects their key period, and these are the killer tracks. The A- and B-sides of ten singles tell the tale -- the chartbusting roar of "The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off" and "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" remind us of a time when the band flirted with mainstream disrepute; "East End," "War on the Terraces" and a screaming live cover of Motörhead's "Motorhead" delve into their cultural roots, and "We Can Do Anything" stands as one of the most potent mission statements of the age. Forget reputations, forget labels, forget trying to subdivide rock & roll into whichever genres you think you like. The Cockney Rejects bestride them all like the ferocious colossus they were. This collection is essential listening.

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