One of thee most right angled compilations of the early eighties was 'the Recommended Records Sampler. Released when Post Punk was turning into that 'New Pop' shite, and the even shite-er Goth nonsense. This handmade double album was unashamedly 'Prog' in its outlook, a dirty word, even amongst the obviously 'Prog' section of the Post-Punk brigade. Post-Punk was basically Progressive music,but with different (better) clothes,artwork,and in short song format. It's amusing to note how many intellectually interesting and/or progressive new records were released in 1977 and1978( doesn't include proggers from before punk broke). Probably only Throbbing Gristle,The Residents and Pere Ubu in '77, and Wire,Cabaret Voltaire,and PiL in '78? A Brain was not a obligatory requirement in Punk Rock,and neither was musicianship.All the big Punk Groups of '76 had prog fans as integral members (including Rotten),and some of them became the key players behind the post-punk-prog groups. The avalanche started from 1979 onwards,and continued to mutate up to 1982,when it began to sound as if the preceding five years hadn't happened.
Unknown to the new generation, the old guard of progressive music had carried on regardless,like the Henry Cow lot, and had evolved into the Rock in Opposition bracket; which is another way of saying 'Prog',but with a 'Post-Punk' edge.Like the NWOBHM,they took Punks urgency,and improved the older model for a modern,thinking,audience.
This set was definitely an eye-opener for me, with its glue and glitter sleeve, DIY artwork, and obvious anti-capitalist politics,and I noticed it had The Residents(with their best song),This Heat, and The Homosexuals on it, so it couldn't be Yes or ELP record; worth a punt.
Played this to death,and it helped me rediscover the Progger within,and still am today.
There's hardly a dull track on the four sides of this classic compilation,even the French bands are good?
Can't Recommend (Geddit?) this enough, even 32 years later.I'll let Chris Cutler the man behind the label explain the reason for releasing this recording:
"In 1982 Recommended was 4 years old, the catalogue had expanded and the label was firmly established; a sampler seemed an obvious and necessary next step. Compiling extracts from existing releases would have been boring, so I asked the most interesting groups under our umbrella to record something new. Most of them did. All the Rio groups appear, except for ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN who had broken up, and the sharp edge of the new generation of British bands is also well represented(THIS HEAT, THE WORK, THE HOMOSEXUALS, AMOS AND SARAH). But Europeans and Americans still predominate; the Japanese had not arrived yet. This record would have sounded very different 3 years later". "Intended on it's release to be a practical compendium, 25 years on this collection reappears as an indispensable document of the range and musical brilliance of a handful of left-field groups struggling to give shape to new musical vocabularies. The breadth of their imaginations is exemplary. And Inspiring." Chris Cutler, May 2008.
Faust: "Extract 5 from Faust Party Three: 'The Voice of the Pumpkin' "
Art Bears: "All Hail!"
Stormy Six: "Reparto Novità"
The Homosexuals: "Walk Before Imitate"
Joseph Racaille & Patrick Portella: "On ne Peut Plus Compter sur ses Doigts"
Feliu Gasul: "*"
The Black Sheep: "Strangelove"
Univers Zero: "Influences"
Aksak Maboul & The Honeymoon Killers: "Boss de Crosses dans le Doulos"
The Work: "Houdini"
Henry Cow: "Slice"
Henry Cow: "Viva Pa Ubu"
Decibel: "Radio Extract"
Art Zoyd: "Simulacres"
The Muffins: "Two Extracts from 'Chronometers' "
Heiner Goebbels: "Berlin Ku-Damm 12 April 1981"
Amos: "Steer Clear of England"
Conventum: "Commerce Nostalgique"
Hector Zazou & ZNR: "Vera C"
This Heat: "Pool"
The Residents: "Walter Westinghouse"
R. Stevie Moore: "Pedestrian Hop" & "Copy Me"
Ron Pate: "Fun in the Fundus"
Picchio Dal Pozzo: "Uccelin del Bosco"
Robert Wyatt: "The Internazionale"
a DOWNLOAD is highly recommended so click HERE!