X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents [expanded] (Cover Artwork)

X-Ray Spex

X-Ray Spex: Germ Free Adolescents [expanded]Germ Free Adolescents [expanded] (2005)

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: feeeding5000feeeding5000
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X-Ray Spex were definitely one of the best early UK punk bands. Germ Free Adolescents has recently been reissued with bonus tracks, including single tracks and two Peel sessions. Usually the bonus tracks on a CD are not as good as the actual album, but in this case, that's not true. X-Ray Spex's sin.
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X-Ray Spex were definitely one of the best early UK punk bands. Germ Free Adolescents has recently been reissued with bonus tracks, including single tracks and two Peel sessions. Usually the bonus tracks on a CD are not as good as the actual album, but in this case, that's not true. X-Ray Spex's singles, many of which were re-recorded for the album, are just as good as the album tracks. This is especially true of the standout "Oh! Bondage Up Yours!," the most famous X-Ray song. It's a speedy punk anthem with screechy vocals from one of the best female vocalists I've heard, Poly Styrene, and a catchy sax line.

As a whole, the album is really fun, fast, and a little more silly than, say, the Sex Pistols (they were just unintentionally funny). Poly Styrene's vocals vary between pissed-off punk to child-like innocence, and the guitar has a thick, well-produced sound. X-Ray Spex was mostly known for having a saxophone player, which, while not essential to the songs (except "Oh! Bondage‚?¶"), makes them more interesting than a lot of crappy `77 bands.

This is a really good album, but not great. The lyrics aren't clichéd, but they don't have a lot of substance: "Freddie tried to strangle me / With my plastic popper beads / But I hit him back / With my pet rat." Also, the sax can get a little annoying after 14 or 15 songs of barely proficient squeaking.

Still, it's great. For fans of the Ramones, Buzzcocks, and Bikini Kill.


People who liked this also liked:
Minor Threat - Complete DiscographyBad Religion - SufferDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeOperation Ivy - Operation IvyAdolescents - AdolescentsThe Clash - London CallingRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeRichard Hell and The Voidoids - Blank GenerationBlack Flag - DamagedNOFX - Punk In Drublic

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
miakana (June 24, 2015)

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There_are_peas (June 11, 2007)

As a mere teenager who was perfectly happy with crappy mediocore pop-punkish stuff this is quite refreshing and I can tell that this kinda stuff is so ultimately better than much of what is around today. One of my all time favourite albums..."OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS!"

Anonymous (April 3, 2007)

1. x-ray specs
2. adolescents (they would be #1 but they only made one good album)
3. X
4. Germs

tittytwisterbudy (December 24, 2006)

Greeat album great band. ashame poly styrene couldnt get her shit together and write at least another album before they split up but at least they left us with 17 great songs. (all 17 are on their anthology: "Let's Submerge"

totalstranga (July 26, 2006)

great first wave punk. and with a saxaphone to boot. thats what it was all about, trying new things. they are in the Punk Rock movie by Don Letts doing Oh Bondage. people should check that out if they havent seen it. and for whoever asked if Poly was still making music, I read that she gave it up way back in like '79 or so and became religious..go figure.

Anonymous (June 5, 2006)

1. Germs
2. X-Ray Spex
3. Adolescents
4. X

I wish I liked X more, I just find them kind of boring.

Anonymous (December 22, 2005)

How this brilliant record could get as many stars as bloc party is anybodys guess. Perhaps you should reconsider changing the name of this website to www.artfagpussy.com.

Mr_Streetcore (December 22, 2005)

x-ray spex what a fucking awesome band!

Anonymous (December 18, 2005)

angry samoans...what a fucking great band

sallyjesse (December 18, 2005)

AT LEAST an 8.

give it up for the Angry Somoans, while were at it.

rkl (December 17, 2005)

1. adolescents
2. x
3. x ray spex
4. germs

rkl (December 17, 2005)

the curse of the return of the all american reject's ghost broke my keyboard.
also, this album is badass.

Anonymous (December 17, 2005)

1- Germs
2- X Ray Spex
3- Adolescents
4- X (US, I'm imagining)

X were cool, but sorta boring compared the rest of those bands.

darkstarm (December 17, 2005)

This is probably the best short review I've read on this site. Good work.

skankin_in_the_pit (December 17, 2005)

1. adolescents
2. x
3. germs
4. x-ray spex

Anonymous (December 17, 2005)

Brilliant album. Already have an earlier CD reissue on Caroline Blue Plate, I'll have to upgrade. :)

joeg (December 17, 2005)

fun fun!
1. x
2. x-ray spex
3. adolescents
4. germs

FuckYouOiOiOi (December 17, 2005)

1-adolescents 2-germs 3-x 4-xray spex

Anonymous (December 17, 2005)

This was a ground breaking record! You need to read a little deeper into the lyrics to see the commentary. When I was 12, my older cousin gave me this album for Xmas, this album was the soundtrack to my early years into punk, I started playing in bands because of it. I'm in my 30's now, and this album still means the world to me. Matter of fact, I gave this album to my 16 yo niece last Xmas, now she's playing guitar and going to shows..

BrandonSideleau (December 17, 2005)

This is a 10 record without any doubt......one of the best of all time.....but I ouldn't say False Prophets are an 8......they pull an easy 10 as well.

lushj (December 17, 2005)

P.S.- Even though I really like the False Prophets collection, there is NO way that record's better than this one (a 10 versus an 8). Seriously dude.

Okay, I'm done pretending a subjective opinion can be treated as objective fact. Still. An 8?

lushj (December 17, 2005)

How this record isn't a 10 is beyond me. Seriously. It's a stone-cold classic. The weirdest thing about this band is how their hugest song "Oh Bondage Up Yours" isn't on their one album. Other than that, stick with the many many re-presses of the original "Germ Free Adolescents"- there's some beautifully day-glo vinyl ones out there...

the_other_scott (December 16, 2005)

to the dude below here, you're a fucking idiot

p.s. i have a fun game, maybe its not that fun, but i'm really fucking bored right now

so everybody rank the bands from this album title....

x, x-ray spex, germs, and adolescents

i'd go with

1. x
2. the germs
3. x-ray spex
4. adolescents

again, i'm really bored right now

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

i love this site that completely misunderstands the sex pistols (or is just ignorant of punk history) and goes batshit over garbage like against me! and hot water music

children should not be allowed to comment on music

also, x-ray spex were pretty damned good

allison_le_gnome (December 16, 2005)


I paid the equivalent for $30 US for this last year. Totally the best fucking use of $30 ever.

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

If I'm not mistaken, they interview Poly in that new Punk Attitude documentary.

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

this is so unbelievable great

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

ramo you're not talking bout mars bar are you??!! that's the only one in nyc i know that has x-ray spex - or at least used to...

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

lyrics didn't have a lot of substance? what the...

man you need to re-listen cos there's lots o social commentary in there...

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

Great album. I love X-Ray Spex and always play it on the jukebox at one of the local bars I hang out in.


gladimnotemo (December 16, 2005)

Yes, great album. Poly's voice is still so obnoxiously jarring.

adam (December 16, 2005)

The expanded portion of this record don't really add much aside from other versions of the album tracks, but that's ok.

I have this very weird love affair with "Warrior of Woolworth"


Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

The evergreen discography is great. Get it from soulseek.


Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

XrayspeX Drug free motherfuckers!

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

xRAYSPEx oi! oi! oi!

FuckYouOiOiOi (December 16, 2005)

great band. Definitely my favorite hardcore straight-edge band.

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

this is one of the greatest albums of times

joeg (December 16, 2005)

love this band. they were defintiely one of my favorites from the 1st wave of uk punk. good to see it reviewed although i think it should get more than an 8. i wonder if poly is still doing music these days.

Anonymous (December 16, 2005)

This band is awesome, I don't know how they could expand this release even more than the reissue that was out a couple years ago.


the_other_scott (December 16, 2005)

that's cool that bands like this are getting attention again, i just wish that they would stop reissuing this shit, i think albums like this are better in their original form

SalsaShark (December 16, 2005)

X-Ray Spex kick ass.

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