Germ Free Adolescents

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Germfree Adolescents
Studio album by X-Ray Spex
Released November 10, 1978
Recorded 1978, Essex Studios
Genre Punk rock, new wave
Length 45:30
Label EMI
Producer Falcon Stuart
X-Ray Spex
X-Ray Spex chronology
Germfree Adolescents
(1978)
Conscious Consumer
(1995)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]

Germfree Adolescents is the debut album of English punk rock band X-Ray Spex. It contained the UK hit singles: "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" (No. 23 in April 1978), "Identity" (No. 24 in July 1978) and "Germ Free Adolescence" which reached No. 18 in November 1978.

The album received wide acclaim upon its release.[2] In his February 1979 Consumer Guide in the Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau bemoaned the fact that Germfree Adolescents had not been released in the US and praised Poly Styrene's "cheerfully moralistic nursery rhymes", strong melodies, and the "irresistible color" of the band's "dubiously tuned one-sax horn section".[3] Trouser Press called it "a masterpiece!"[4] The Rough Guide to Rock calls it a "storming album".[5]

In 1994, The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music named Germfree Adolescents the eighth best punk album of all-time.[6] Seven years later, in May 2001, Spin magazine ranked the album number 5 in its "50 Most Essential Punk Records". In March 2003, Mojo magazine ranked the LP number 19 in its 'Top 50 Punk Albums'.[7]

Covers and cultural references[edit]

  • Long-running California punk band NOFX has performed a cover version of "Germ Free Adolescence" live.[8]
  • British pop act Bis recorded a cover of "Germ Free Adolescence" for the Japanese version of their album Social Dancing.
  • Minneapolis punk band Mall'd to Death references the album in their song "Young Man on a Downloading Spree."[9]
  • In an interview after beings shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, British artist FKA Twigs named Germfree Adolescents her favorite album of all time [10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Poly Styrene.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Art-I-Ficial" - 3:24
  2. "Obsessed with You" - 2:30
  3. "Warrior in Woolworths" - 3:06
  4. "Let's Submerge" - 3:26
  5. "I Can't Do Anything" - 2:58
  6. "Identity" - 2:25

Side two[edit]

  1. "Genetic Engineering" - 2:49
  2. "I Live Off You" - 2:09
  3. "I Am a Poseur" - 2:34
  4. "Germ Free Adolescence" - 3:14
  5. "Plastic Bag" - 4:54
  6. "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" - 2:53

Additional tracks[edit]

The 1991 Caroline release features four additional tracks and a rearranged song order.

  1. The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" - 2:50
  2. "Obsessed with You" - 2:26
  3. "Genetic Engineering" - 2:46
  4. "Identity" - 2:21
  5. "I Live Off You" - 2:06
  6. "Germ Free Adolescence" - 3:10
  7. "Art-I-Ficial" - 3:21
  8. "Let's Submerge" - 3:23
  9. "Warrior in Woolworths" - 3:03
  10. "I Am a Poseur" - 2:30
  11. "I Can't Do Anything" - 2:55
  12. "Highly Inflammable" - 2:32
  13. "Age" - 2:36
  14. "Plastic Bag" - 4:51
  15. "I Am a Cliché" - 1:52
  16. "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" - 2:48
  • Tracks 12, 13, 15 & 16 from original singles.

The 2005 CD reissue includes the original song order and the following bonus tracks not on the original release.

  1. "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" - 2:51
  2. "I Am a Cliché" - 1:55
  3. "Highly Inflammable" - 2:35
  4. "Age" - 2:38
  5. "Genetic Engineering" - 2:49
  6. "Art-I-Ficial" - 3:24
  7. "I Am a Poseur" - 2:34
  8. "Identity" - 2:25
  9. "Germ Free Adolescence" - 3:05
  10. "Warrior in Woolworths" - 3:06
  11. "Age" - 2:38

Personnel[edit]

  • Poly Styrene - vocals
  • Jak Airport - guitar
  • Paul Dean - bass
  • Rudi Thomson - saxophone
  • B.P. Hurding - drums

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Ted Bunting - saxophone on "Identity" & "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo"
  • Lora Logic - saxophone on "Oh Bondage Up Yours!" and "I Am a Cliché"
  • Falcon Stuart - producer, cover concept
  • John Mackenzie Burns - engineer
  • Andy Pearce - assistant engineer
  • Nick Webb - mastering
  • Trevor Key - photography
  • Cooke Key - sleeve

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ For example, critics at the NME ranked the album number 9 in their albums of the year list.
  3. ^ Consumer Guide, Feb. 26, 1979
  4. ^ Trouser Press
  5. ^ The Rough Guide to Rock, p. 1194.
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (1994). All Time Top 1000 Albums. Enfield: Guinness Publishing. p. 236. ISBN 0-85112-786-X. 
  7. ^ Mojo Issue 112 (March 2003) Top 50 Punk Albums.
  8. ^ Germ Free Adolescents Lyric Meaning - NOFX Meanings
  9. ^ Young Man on a Downloading Spree Lyric Meaning - Mall'd to Death Meanings
  10. ^ FKA twigs Q&A - 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize