999 – 999

999_(999_album_-_cover_art) ARTIST: 999
TITLE: 999
SINGLES: I’m Alive, Emergency (#75 UK), Me and My Desire
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only yobs from London in 1978 know all of ‘em.
LINEUP: Nick Cash, Guy Days, Pablo Labritain, Jon Watson
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: British punkers release first album after a DIY single got them signed, and released a decent punk album in the waning days of the first wave.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Any UK punk collection worth its salt has the cut “Emergency” by this group. It’s an urgent, exciting ride with a guitar intro blaring like a siren and an atypical song construction.. It’s definitely considered one of the hallmarks of the first wave of UK punk.

The album that surrounds it is hit and miss. “I’m Alive” is their first and also has that urgency and spirit of the time. Most of the album though isn’t as urgent or immediate as those two tracks, which dilutes the whole thing. Some of it seems a bit recycled from other bands, others are just low energy and slower tempo.

It’s definitely worth keeping especially if you’re a punk rock guy (or girl). But after hearing “Emergency” for years it’s kind of a downer the rest of the album is just OK.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: As you may or may not know, 999 is the number the Brits call for emergency (like our 911).

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with a non-album single and two album sides.

GRADE: B: “Emergency” is well worth it, but you may want to test drive the others before plunging in whole heartedly.


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