The Boys - 'The Boys' & 'Alternative Chartbusters' Deluxe Editions (Fire Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 03:00

Theboyss5 zpsa7f209f4Long overdue a re-issue and a long time coming, deluxe packaged double disc heaven is here! Where to start? How about before we get to the music we take a peak at the lovingly packaged gatefolds I have in my sticky mitts. Fire have done a wonderful job on the packaging as they come in CD size replica gatefolds. Firstly 'The Boys' album, which has a twenty four page booklet with some superb pictures from the band's archive as well as a great write up by Mojo magazine's Dave Henderson, also has a comprehensive track by track account from Matt Dangerfield: This really is the dog's danglies boys and girls and an amazing treat for fans and an exercise in just how to do a re-issue properly. Every detail has been lovingly covered from the generous number of tracks to the sleeve notes, the packaging and great pictures chosen.  

 

As for the music, well, the original album is here in its entirety having been digitally remastered to the highest quality by Dangerfield and it'll take about the first notes that fly out of the speakers for the listener to realise the sound is clean and much fatter than the originals as 'Sick On You' is given another lease of life. However, the real treat for fans will be with the bonus disc which feature tracks from the  archive that includes home demos like Honest John Plain's first vocal on 'It Only Hurts When I Cry'. Amongst the nine bonus songs there are some real gems like the previously mentioned which is worth the price of a CD alone. I love the way 'First Time' is described on the sleeve as the long version when it weighs in at a prog bustin' 2:58! Classic!

 

You also get Duncan 'Kid' Reid's debut as a songwriter on 'Watcha Gonna Do', which was the B-side of 'First Time', and a sped up punk rockin' tour de force it is too.

 

The sound on these demos and singles is excellent as is the job done on the original studio album. I thought Captain Oi! did a great job when they re-issued the 'To Hell With The Boys' and 'Boys Only' but these two Fire reissues are in another league for the quality of the packaging and bonus content, as well as the sound of the two discs.

 

Alternative chartbusterss15I'm torn as to which album is my favourite and find I'm leaning towards the follow up, 'Alternative Chartbusters' - with the bit between their teeth the band managed to pen some of their most memorable tunes for this album and the bonus materials on this are simply magical.

 

'Lonely Schooldays' sounds like the blueprint for every pre-CBS Hanoi Rocks song with a great loose beat and melodies to die for on the vocals; how this never made it onto record until now is baffling.

 

An early demo recording of the B-side 'Lucy' is up next and with a completely different type of song the harmonies on this demo are superb, as is the awkward rhythm guitars that slash and stab at the heart of the song...and to think these were the cast offs!

 

The sleeve notes from Matt Dangerfield are such an insight into the music and make a welcome addition to the recordings and, again, like the self-titled album the packaging is exceptional and simply makes these two the must have re-issues of the year. Not for a long time has it felt like many years ago when you'd buy a record then rush home and put it on the turntable and, whilst the sweet rock and roll floated out of the speakers, you'd sit there engrossed in the album sleeve and lyrics or blurb written on the inside bag: well, consider this a time machine piece because that's exactly what I did - every picture and every word was devoured like a schoolkid.

 

I always loved these two albums but the new versions elevate them a notch or two and show that, as a body of work, the five men who made these should feel unbelievably proud of what they achieved, from the more popular and well known tunes like 'Brickfield Nights' and 'First Time' to the hidden gems on the bonus discs. How they were never a huge stadium band God only knows. Maybe the band knew what was going down and wrote about it on the first album in the lyrics for 'I Don't Care' - "Never had a hope. Never had a chance, but it’s alright!" At least they stayed true to themselves and are still around, more popular than ever.  

 

If you're looking for something new to add to your collection and are curious then dive in and buy both, it might just be the best decision you'll make all year. Old fans don't feel excluded, these albums are simply essential purchases. Never really bogged down with the hype of the Pistols and the Clash, The Boys had a wider appeal (or they should have) and certainly had the suss and ability to outlive the lot! Long live The Boys!

 

Oh and before I forget The Boys will also perform a special one-time-only set comprising exclusively of songs from their first two albums - 'The Boys' and 'Alternative Chartbusters' - at The Borderline, London on June 22, to mark the definitive deluxe re-releases of those albums. This will also be their only UK performance for the foreseeable future.
 
Tickets are available now from http://alturl.com/xndi5

approved image lrg 2013 

Simply stunning!

 

http://www.theboys.co.uk/
http://www.theboys.co.uk/FIRE.htm

 

To pick up your copy of 'The Boys' - CLICK HERE

 

To pick up your copy of 'Alternative Chartbusters' - CLICK HERE