Germfree Adolescents

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Germfree Adolescents
X-Ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents album cover.jpg
Studio album by X-Ray Spex
Released November 10, 1978
Recorded 1978
Studio Essex Studios
Genre
Length 35:51
Label EMI
Producer
X-Ray Spex chronology
Germfree Adolescents
(1978)
Conscious Consumer
(1995)Conscious Consumer1995

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 Dayglo" (No. 23 in April 1978), "Identity" (No. 24 in July 1978) and "Germfree Adolescents" which reached No. 18 in November 1978.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
Mojo 4/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork 10/10[5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 10/10[9]
Uncut 4/5 stars[10]

Germfree Adolescents received wide acclaim upon its release.[11] 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".[12] He later deemed it "one of British punk's strongest".[13] Trouser Press called it "a masterpiece!"[14] The Rough Guide to Rock calls it a "storming album",[15] and it was ranked at No. 9 among the top "Albums of the Year" for 1978 by NME.[16]

Legacy[edit]

In 1994, The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music named Germfree Adolescents the eighth best punk album of all time.[17] 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'.[18] The album is listed as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[19]

Cover versions and cultural references[edit]

  • Long-running California punk band NOFX has performed a cover version of Germfree Adolescents live.[20]
  • British pop act Bis recorded a cover of Germfree Adolescents for the Japanese version of their album Social Dancing.
  • British indie folk-rockers the Levellers recorded a version of Germfree Adolescents as one of several covers as B-sides for their single What a Beautiful Day.
  • Minneapolis punk band Mall'd to Death references the album in their song Young Man on a Downloading Spree.[21]
  • In an interview after being shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, British artist FKA Twigs named Germfree Adolescents her favourite album of all time[22]
  • The collected anthology of the Blue Monday stories were published under the title Germfree Adolescents.
  • Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks recorded a cover of Germfree Adolescents and Identity on his album Whatcha Want in 2003.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Poly Styrene.

Side A
  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 B
  1. "Genetic Engineering" - 2:49
  2. "I Live Off You" - 2:09
  3. "I Am a Poseur" - 2:34
  4. "Germfree Adolescents" - 3:14
  5. "Plastic Bag" - 4:54
  6. "The Day the World Turned Dayglo" - 2:53
Bonus tracks

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

  1. The Day the World Turned Dayglo" - 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. "Germfree Adolescents" - 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. "Germfree Adolescents" - 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
  • Ted Bunting - saxophone on "Identity" & "The Day the World Turned Dayglo"
  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  3. ^ Robbins, Ira (7 August 1992). "Germfree Adolescents". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Mojo: 131. The band's entire studio output in just over an hour ... 
  5. ^ Pelly, Jenn (January 15, 2017). "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Q: 139. [I]t still comes up trumps, packed with such witty, no-nonsense rants as 'Warrior in Woolworths,' 'Identity' and 'The Day the World Turned Day-Glo' ... 
  7. ^ Staunton, Terry (May 2009). "X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents: Deluxe Edition". Record Collector (362). Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2004). "X-Ray Spex". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 890. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  9. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  10. ^ "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Uncut: 132. [T]he heat and intensity of this debut has never been repeated. Nearly 30 years after it was recorded, Germfree Adolescents is as timely as ever. 
  11. ^ For example, critics at the NME ranked the album number 9 in their albums of the year list.
  12. ^ Consumer Guide, Feb. 26, 1979
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 April 2011). "Poly Styrene, Punk Pioneer, Dies at 53". All Songs Considered. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  14. ^ Trouser Press
  15. ^ The Rough Guide to Rock, p. 1194.
  16. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
  17. ^ Larkin, Colin (1994). All Time Top 1000 Albums. Enfield: Guinness Publishing. p. 236. ISBN 0-85112-786-X. 
  18. ^ Mojo Issue 112 (March 2003) Top 50 Punk Albums.
  19. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 
  20. ^ Germ Free Adolescents Lyric Meaning - NOFX Meanings
  21. ^ Young Man on a Downloading Spree Lyric Meaning - Mall'd to Death Meanings
  22. ^ FKA twigs Q&A - 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize