The music world has lost two musicians who were there as punk morphed into post-punk: Paul "Foxy" Fox, who passed on Sunday, and Paul Raven, who left us last Saturday. In an effort to remember some of their most important contributions, here's a bit of background on these two men plus a short playlist for each.
Guitarist Fox was a member of the Ruts, a late-'70s U.K. punk band that was heavily influenced by dub and reggae. The diverse nature of their seminal and beloved debut album The Crack suggested they had a Clash-sized career ahead of them, but everything came to a halt when lead singer Malcolm Owen died of a heroin overdose in 1980. Fox and the remaining members became Ruts DC and enlisted U.K. dub producer Mad Professor for the album Rhythm Collision, an underappreciated gem. In the late '90s, he reappeared in the Dirty Strangers, who recorded their debut album with a little help from Keith Richards and Ron Wood. His last work would be with Foxy's Ruts -- a band that featured Fox's son and a vocalist from the Ruts tribute band Savage Circle -- along with a new reggae project named the Dubcats.
- The Ruts - Babylon's Burning (sample)
The Ruts - Jah War (sample)
The Ruts - Savage Circle (sample)
Ruts DC Vs. Mad Professor - Weak Heart Dub (sample)
Ruts DC Vs. Mad Professor - Push Yourself - Make It Work (sample)
Dirty Strangers - Thrill of the Thrill (sample)
Raven -- and sometimes he went by just Raven -- joined Killing Joke in 1982, when he replaced founding member Youth on bass. He appeared on two of the Joke's most successful albums, 1983's Fire Dances and 1985's Night Time, the latter of which featured the massive single "Eighties." As the Joke were falling apart in the early '90s, he joined Murder Inc. with vocalist Chris Connelly and drummer Martin Atkins. Raven would follow Connelly and Atkins into the wild industrial world of Pigface before joining the band Prong just in time for their high watermark, the 1994 album Cleansing. Remix and production work, plus a short stint in Godflesh kept him busy until 2003, when Killing Joke returned with Nirvana and Foo Fighter man Dave Grohl on the skins. Just this year, he joined Al Jourgensen's Ministry and played an important role in the band's swansong album The Last Sucker.