Germfree Adolescents

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 "Germ Free Adolescents" which reached No. 18 in November 1978.

Germfree Adolescents
X-Ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released10 November 1978 (1978-11-10)
Recorded1978
StudioEssex Studios
Genre
Length35:51
LabelEMI
Producer
X-Ray Spex chronology
Germfree Adolescents
(1978)
Conscious Consumer
(1995)

ReceptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [1]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[2]
Mojo     [3]
Pitchfork10/10[4]
Q     [5]
Record Collector     [6]
Record Mirror     [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[9]
Uncut     [10]

Germfree Adolescents received wide acclaim upon its release. NME ranked it the ninth best album of 1978.[11] In his February 1979 "Consumer Guide" column 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", the songs' strong melodies and the "irresistible color" of the band's "dubiously tuned one-sax horn section".[12] He also named the album one of the few import-only records from the 1970s he loved yet omitted from Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).[13]

LegacyEdit

Robert Christgau later deemed Germfree Adolescents "one of British punk's strongest" albums.[14] Trouser Press declared it "a masterpiece!"[15] The Rough Guide to Rock calls it a "storming album".[16]

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 at number five on its "50 Most Essential Punk Records" list.[18] In March 2003, Mojo magazine ranked the record at number 19 on its "Top 50 Punk Albums" list.[19] Germfree Adolescents is listed in the reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[20]

Cover versions and cultural referencesEdit

  • Long-running California punk band NOFX has performed a cover version of Germfree Adolescents live.[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]

Track listingEdit

All tracks 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. "Germ Free 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. "Germ Free Adolescence" – 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. "Germ Free Adolescence" – 3:05
  10. "Warrior in Woolworths" – 3:06
  11. "Age" – 2:38

PersonnelEdit

  • 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

ChartsEdit

Chart (1978/79) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[23] 56
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company) 30

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  2. ^ Robbins, Ira (7 August 1992). "Germfree Adolescents". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 17 November 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  3. ^ "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Mojo. p. 131. The band's entire studio output in just over an hour ...
  4. ^ Pelly, Jenn (15 January 2017). "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Pitchfork. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. ^ "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Q. p. 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' ...
  6. ^ Staunton, Terry (May 2009). "X-Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents: Deluxe Edition". Record Collector. No. 362. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  7. ^ Lott, Tim (18 November 1978). "Maturity is next". Record Mirror. p. 20. Retrieved 23 October 2020 – via Rock's Backpages.
  8. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2004). "X-Ray Spex". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 890. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Sheffield, Rob (1995). "X-Ray Spex". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 441. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  10. ^ "X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Uncut. p. 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. ^ "1978 Best Albums And Tracks Of The Year". NME. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 February 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "The Guide". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved 30 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 April 2011). "Poly Styrene, Punk Pioneer, Dies at 53". NPR. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  15. ^ Young, Jon; King, Wayne; Robbins, Ira. "X-Ray Spex". Trouser Press. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  16. ^ The Rough Guide to Rock, p. 1194.
  17. ^ Larkin, Colin (1994). All Time Top 1000 Albums. Guinness Publishing. p. 236. ISBN 0-85112-786-X.
  18. ^ Dolan, Jon (May 2001). "The 50 Most Essential Punk Records – 5. X-Ray Spex: Germfree Adolescents". Spin. Vol. 17 no. 5. p. 108. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Top 50 Punk Albums". Mojo. No. 112. March 2003.
  20. ^ Dimery, Robert, ed. (2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (revised and updated ed.). Universe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  21. ^ "NOFX - Germ Free Adolescents (X-Ray Spex cover) Lyrics - SongMeanings". SongMeanings. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  22. ^ MercuryPrize (15 September 2014). "FKA twigs Q&A - 2014 Mercury Prize" – via YouTube.
  23. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 344. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.