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Stiff Little Fingers

Nobody's Heroes [Bonus Tracks] [Remastered]

Release Date: 04/05/2005
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Price: $13.99

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Issued only a year after Inflammable Material, if it weren't for Jake Burns' trademark singing voice, punters would swear Nobody's Heroes was the work of a different band. Issued by Chrysalis in the U.K., Stiff Little Fingers sounded like a band who had gone through their own metamorphosis. The songs -- still written by Burns and journalist Gordon Ogilvie -- were tighter, there was a bit more space, and the hooks were solid, cutting razor sharp. While many of the band's original fans cried "sellout" many more new ones came on-board and more temperate critical heads posited that the album was actually light years beyond its predecessor musically and lyrically. History bears this out. While it may sound like a slicker version of "punk," it also came across as an urgent, deeply personal recording that identified the Fingers confronting everything and everyone under Thatcherism -- unemployment, poverty, personal alienation, the hollow promise of a "great" Britain -- and Burns and Ogilvie wrote in such a personal, immediate way that it is impossible, 25-years after the fact, not to be utterly engaged. Production style notwithstanding -- amazingly unobtrusive for 1980 -- with songs like "Fly the Flag," the title track, "Wait and See," "Tin Soldiers" and "Gotta Gettaway" (all of them with plenty of the Burns' snarl and spit in the vocal) -- Stiff Little Fingers had become a mature ock roll entity who had lost none of their anger or their immediacy but moved from the cliché's of later-'70s punk into the new decade. The bonus tracks include another version of "Bloody Sunday," "Straw Dogs," "You Can't Say Crap on the Radio," as well as the second part of an interview with Burns -- the other two parts are on Inflammable Material and Hanx. Fans that purchased the British reissues in 2001 will not need these, since they are identical. Those coming to the band for the first time will be well-served by Inflammable Material first, but this one is also essential. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

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