It’s all too common these days that, in a culture where album sales are falling and various compilations offer us all the best loved singles of their particular genre, we find ourselves with an offering of multi-CD compilations, the track listings of which are not too dissimilar from one another. You only have to watch an hour or so of daytime telly to see advertisements for several of the latest Ministry of Sound CDs. Let’s get it straight, how many 1980s variations can they possibly get away with before people stop buying that crap?
Enter No More Heroes. This 3 CD compilation, released by Union Square Music, offers us 60 of the best songs to come from the punk and new wave era and it has to be said that they’ve produced a relatively good spread of songs – both those you know and, possibly, some you don’t.
No More Heroes strikes a great balance for several different demographics. If you, like me, are too young to have witnessed the punk/new wave movement first hand, then it certainly opens your eyes to some of the greatest music of the past 40 or 50 years. If you’re a retired punk, looking to relive the glory days in between school runs and your office job, then it certainly hits the spot too.
While this compilation in particular does include some household names, such as The Jam, Blondie, Ramones, Madness and Iggy Pop, it also does well to include some of the lesser known punk and new wave acts. For instance (and please forgive my age on this one), I’d never heard of Department S or Lene Lovich. It’s nice to see that, while the songs included by the biggest artists are kind of obvious (I would have appreciated a more inspired choice of song than Going Underground by The Jam, for example), at least Union Square Music thought to delve a bit deeper into the history of punk and new wave and give the non-mainstream acts a look in too.
A testament to this compilation’s reach is most definitely the fact that I was excited to get listening to it, but equally so, my step-dad got more excited when he saw it on the kitchen table and thought it was his Fathers’ Day present. “That’s right up my street that is!” Oops. Sorry, Simon. I got you Blur’s new album instead…
On that note, if you’ve forgotten that it’s Fathers’ Day this Sunday, run out and buy this CD now – or order it on Amazon, if you wanna risk it – if your Dad is an old school punk looking for a blast from the past. Or alternatively, if your family aren’t lovers of the physical format like mine are, buy him an iTunes gift card and give him a nudge in this direction. It’s bound to be a hit.
No More Heroes is available to purchase now on Amazon and iTunes.