PUNKNET 77 - Sham 69


Text taken from the bookelt of BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert CD

Though the so-called "serious music press" loved to deride Sham 69 as "nothing but a working class ramalama dole queue band" with "simple minded anthems for simple minded people" thereīs no doubting that almost the people who really counted, those that bought records, Sham 69 were the only band to provide a realistic backdrop to their lives and they bought the bands records in droves giving them a total of seven top 50 singles and three Top Thirty albums, making Sham, chartwise, one of the most successful Punk band ever.
Formed by vocalist Jimmy Pursey in his native Hersham in 1976 the first real incarnation of Sham 69 came about in early 1977 with the recruiting of guitarist Dave Parsons, bassist Dave īKermitī Tregenna and drummer Mark īDodieī Caine. Following numerous appearances at legendary Punk venueslike The Roxy and The Vortex the band signed to Step Forward Records and released the "I Donīt Wanna" single in October 1977 and promptly saw their band of fans,dubbed The Sham Army, put the record at the top of the Independent charts. Polydor Records then signed the group and released the stage favourite "Brostal Breakout" as a singke in January 1978. This was quickly followed by their half live half studio debut LP "Tell Us The Truth" which climbed to no.25 and spent 8 weeks in the charts.Their first foray into the singles charts came courtesy of the "Angels With Dirty Faces" 45 which shot to no.19 and saw Sham on Top Of The Pops for the first time. BBC 2īs "serious" arts programme "Arena" based a whole show around the group and their īconceptī second album "Thatīs Life", a U.K. no.27 which also spawned the hit singles "If The Kids Are United"(no.9) and "Hurry Up Harry"(no.10), which showed the bond between the band and their fans who saw Jimmy Pursey as their spokesman. However quite often the over enthusiasm of the Sham Army resulted in violence which marred many of the bandīs gigs forcing many venues to refuse to book the group.
The influence and impact of Sham 69 cannot be under estimated for not only did they act as a catalyst for hundreds of īReal Punkībands like The Angelic Upstarts,The Cockney Rejects and The Business to breakthrough but they also provided a voice and an outlet for the thousands of kids who could really identify with the bandīs attitude of īnever surrender never give in never let the enemy winī. And for for me as a fullypaidup member of The Sham Army there was only one band that really mattered, only one band that really gave a damn, and only one band that sung about what I felt growing up against the odds. There was only ever one Sham 69.

Mark Brennan


I Don't Wanna // Ulster Boy / Red London (Step Forward SF-4; also as 12") -77
Borstal Breakout / Hey Little Rich Boy (Polydor 2058.966) -78
** LP ** Tell Us the Truth (A-side live, B-side studio; Polydor 2383.491) -78
Angels with Dirty Faces / Cockney Kids Are Inocent (Polydor 2059.023) -78
If the Kids Are United / Sunday Morning Nightmare (Polydor 2059.050) -78
** LP ** That's Life (Polydor POLD-5010) -78
Harry Up Harry / No Entry (Polydor POSP-7) -78
Questions & Answers // I Gotta Survive (live) / With a Little Help from My Friends (live) (Polydor POSP-27) -79
Hersham Boys // I Don't Wanna (live) / Tell Us the Truth (live) (Polydor POSP-64; also as 12", with bonus tracks Rip Off (live) and I'm a Man, I'm a Boy (live) POSPX-64) -79
** LP ** Hersham Boys (Polydor POLD-5025) -79
You're a Better Man Than I / Give a Dog a Bone (Polydor POSP-82) -79
Tell the Children / Jack (Polydor POSP-136) -80
** LP * The Game (Polydor POLD-5033) -80
Unite And Win / I'm a Man (Polydor 2059.259) -80
** LP ** The First, the Best and the Last (compilation; first presiing with 4 track live-EP; Polydor 2383.596) -80
Angels with Dirty Faces / Borstal Breakout // Harry Up Harry / If the Kids Are United (12"; Polydor POSPX-602) -82
** CD ** Windsong - Live in Concert (1979) (Windsong WIN-CD-049)
** CD ** The A Files (Cleopatra Cd 70) -97

Most important tracks on compilations:

DiY 2: The Modern World - UK Punk II (1977-78): (There's Gonna Be a) Borstal Breakout (Rhino Records R2 71172) -93
DiY 2: The Modern World - UK Punk II (1977-78): If the Kids Are United (Rhino Records R2 71172) -93
The Number One Punk Album: 47 Punk Rock Classics: If the Kids Are United (Polygram TV 535 658-2) -96

Sham 69 links:

Sham 69 - official
Sham 69 - The Rough Guide to Rock
Sham 69 - Castle
Sham 69 - Trouser Press
Sham 69 - All-Music Guide
Sham 69 - Putte
Sham 69 - Tabs

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Created by JJu: February 6, 1996        hersham Boys Are Inocent

Last Updated: May 26, 1999