Vibrators - Pure Mania (Cover Artwork)


Pure Mania (1977)


The Vibrators are an odd band. I'm not talking about the music, which is pretty much straightforward punk, with great hooks, sing-alongs and little dashes of rockabilly thrown in the mix. They are odd because they are often overlooked when looking at the bigger picture, and I can see why.

Their 1977 release wasn't as dangerous as Never Mind the Bollocks, or as political as The Clash, nor was the band as catchy as the Ramones. It wasn't groundbreaking, and it probably didn't make anyone change the way they saw life or music, and it didn't make that big of a dent in pop music.

But I'll be damned if this isn't a fun record.

Almost every song is great for what it is: a song about sex/relationships (and with a name like the Vibrators, you could have seen it coming), sticking to a formula that has been used over and over again. But it works. My personal favorites are "Into the Future," "No Heart," "Wrecked on You," and the sweet-sounding and romantic "Baby Baby" (ironically about a one-night stand).

Another important note is the song "Stiff Little Fingers," which if you are keeping track, has a band named after it. This song and "Keep it Clean" are the ones that break the mold in terms of lyrics, the first one being about someone having to "start from the bottom again," and the other one about addiction (the song specifically mentions heroin and cocaine).

If you ask me, this one is a classic and everyone should have a copy among their collection. But apparently, Columbia didn't invest much money and time on the CD reissue. The booklet is literally two pages long, one of them having a little graphic (the guy from the cover's silouette), the other one with the names of the members and what they played. That is it. No lyrics, no photos, no retrospectives or remarks from the band members. It's a weak packaging for this album.

None of the Vibrators' later albums would be as good as this one was (V2 being a close second). So unless you can find a good "Greatest Hits" deal, this is the album to buy. By the way, the band is still touring with Knox (the lead singer) in his 60s and Eddie the drummer closely behind.