Monday, May 24, 2021

Various: D.I.Y - (1993 Compilation Series) (US & UK Power Pop & Punk Scene 1975 - 1983) - Original Release 9 CD (CD7 - CD8 - CD9)


The D.I.Y. series is a set of compilation albums put out by Rhino Records in 1993. Each CD either has a geographical theme or is from the Power Pop sub genre of Rock music. In other words, each spotlights an epicenter of the Punk era — London, New York, etc- or the music that led to it, Power Pop and Pub Rock.

The complete collection consists of:

CD1 - Anarchy in the UK - UK Punk I (1976-77) [VBR V1 ~240 JSt]
CD2 - The Modern World - UK Punk II (1977-78) [VBR V1 ~240 JSt]
CD3 - Teenage Kicks - UK Pop I (1976-79) [VBR V1 ~240 JSt]
CD4 - Starry Eyes - UK Pop II (1978-79) [VBR V1 ~240 JSt]
CD5 - Blank Generation - The New York Scene (1975-78) [VBR V1 ~240 JSt]
CD6 - We’re Desperate - The L.A. Scene (1976-79) [ABR ~190 St]
CD7 - Come Out and Play – American Power Pop I (1975-78) [CBR 320 JSt]
CD8 - Shake It Up! – American Power Pop II (1978-80) [ABR ~250 JSt]
CD9 - Mass. Ave. - The Boston Scene (1975-83) [CBR 192 St]


D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) is Punk in attitude and musical fact and these artists possibly saved Rock & Roll from cultural oblivion. It was, at least, a third rebirth for the genre and its style and bootstrap approach still produces the best Rock & Roll music today. But don’t take my word for it, you can still listen and understand.

Yes, the Groovies are present on Disc 7, as is Cheap Trick but the real D.I.Y. gem is The Wayside by Artful Dodger. A Washington DC suburban band (Fairfax, VA), they dreamt big: a big descending guitar riff, big backing vocals, big named producer (Jack Douglas of Aerosmith fame). True, the production is not really D.I.Y. but the Dodger had been paying its dues for years by building a substantial following that got them noticed by people like producer Douglas.

Disc 8, Shake It Up!, on the other hand, has the classic D.I.Y. story via Illinois based band Shoes and their Byrd’s like contribution, Too Late . The Shoes debut album was cut in a parental living room where everything but the record pressing was done by the band with family and friend support.  The Nerves, also on disc 8, represent the merging of distinct and distant locations as the Punk movement began to form out of Power Pop. Their Southern California Power Pop gem Hanging On The Telephone would be covered by New York’s Blondie which neatly segues to that scene via Disc 5 in the series: Blank Generation. And try and top the cover photo there of The Ramones in full flight/fight, visually defining their scene.

For those only vaguely familiar with the Punk Rock era, Blank Generation would be the one disc in the series where most of the artists will be vaguely familiar: Blondie, Ramones, Patti Smith, etc. As such, no need to mention their specific songs but there is a quintessential D.I.Y. story to tell here.
Rather, similar to the situation in the US, Pub Rock — the British equivalent of Power Pop — was changing into something else in the musical hands of restless British musicians and their equally restless audiences. That largely London based crowd was disappointed by the failure of Glam to change they world and they were troubled by the inflation, unemployment and race riots sweeping across their city.

The actual tipping point from Pub to Puck was not the 1976 Ramones tour but the earlier New York Dolls tour of the UK. The same UK tour that sadly saw the overdose death of original Dolls drummer Billy Murcia.
The later Groovies/Ramones tour just confirmed to the budding UK artists that they were on the right track. Moreover, cagy Pub Rocker Nick Lowe could sense something was coming and he hooked up with model D.I.Y. independent record label Stiff to be house producer at about this same time.

He and Stiff didn’t have to wait long for a revolution. Neither did New York’s Sire Records, the US version of Stiff. Both companies would be the original source of much of the music of the era and should be commended for their foresight.

In October of 1976, the Lowe produced New Rose by the Damned broke across England and all hell cut loose. Just listen to D.I.Y. Discs 1 (Anarchy In The UK 1976–1977), Disc 2 (The Modern World 1977–1978) Disc 3 (Teenage Kicks 1976–1979) and Disc 4 (Starry Eyes 1978–1979) to see what I mean. It is all there, from UK Pub Rock pioneers Eddie and Hot Rods’ Teenage Depression, to New Rose to The Sex Pistols’, God Save The Queen and on through the early years of British New Wave with bands like XTC and Squeeze.

In the wake of these songs so much would change. Taboo social barriers were smashed by these UK artists. They dared to publicly engage with their true selves, something the previous Rock generations were reluctant to do. For example, Tom Robinson was openly gay (2–4–6–8 Motorway) and

Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelly (Orgasm Addict, Ever Fallen In Love) was openly bi-sexual. Perhaps most memorably, several of the UK bands were flirting with political anarchy. In fact, the entire scene was discussing political issues as had never been discussed before. Given the social realities on the streets of London at the time, is it any wonder included tracks by Sham 69, The Sex Pistols and Stiff Little Fingers sound less like songs and more like dispatches from the front lines of youthful disappointment and resentment?

All that aside, the UK scene — together with the New York one — had its most important and lasting contribution to Rock music in it’s smashing of the genre’s glass gender ceiling. Female led bands and artists were accepted and supported as equals as never before…Blondie and Pattie Smith are, of course, here as are X-Ray Spec’s, The Rezillos and Siouxsie & The Banshees. And we haven’t even gotten to Los Angeles yet.

Bridging the Atlantic ocean and the entire US continent is one mean feat but Disc 6 (We’re Desperate 1976 -1979) gets us there to focus on the LA Punk scene. Here history cooperates with a simplified narrative in that the August 1976 Groovies/Ramones stand at The Roxy played a seminal part in transforming Southern California Power Pop to Punk.

Moreover, the LA scene blended all the features of both New York and London while adding its own unique duel spin: Hardcore and New Wave pop. Toward that end, a scene maker like the female led Motels extended their reach into the 1980’s as a softer New Wave act, while bands like The Zeros, The Germs, The Alley Cats and the female led X were politically charged bomb throwers that continue to inspire a legion of Hardcore bands to this day.

Oh, and this set includes both Los Angels and We’re Desperate by X, so no need to favor one seminal anthem over the other. Just blast them both. The last disc in the series is reserved for Boston (Disc 9: Mass. Ave. 1975–1979). Boston had always been ahead of the curve when it came to appreciating burgeoning Rock music trends. For example, at a time when many in the Rock audience rejected The Velvet Underground, Bostonians embraced them.

In fact, a fired up native of a Boston suburb journeyed to New York in 1969 to follow in the Velvets footsteps. That would be one, Johnathan Richman and his seminal band, The Modern Lovers, would go on to release the greatest Proto-Punk/New Wave album just short of the actual era itself. All of which means, Boston deserves its place in the series on tangential matters alone. Nevertheless, its music is an inspired addition to the collection, especially since these tunes are probably the most obscure of the set. But what tunes!

Do The Boob by the Real Kids is Ramones like in it cartoonish, head bopping arrangement and When Things Go Wrong by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters is an east coast doppelgänger for the west coast’s Motels. An included demo of the Cars’ You’re All I Got Tonight points in the direction Boston, and the entire scene, would take in the new decade, thus, ending, the D.I.Y. era…except that it didn’t.
The era lives on in Alternative Rock music and in the D.I.Y. spirit of every artist who uses a laptop to capture their muse. More importantly, the themes and trends from that era are still present in today’s best Rock music and there is even more then what has already been covered here.

Take a band like The Jam, for example, which was able to bridge the gap between different Rock eras and generations by channeling early Who and Kinks on Disc 1 (In The City) and Disc 2 (The Modern World). Compare them to, say, a band such as Greta Van Fleet, The Jam could pay homage to their inspirations without being a slavish exact copy.

Then you have the anything goes arrangement from Disc 6, Survive by The Bags. That one segues from a Sharks vs Jets, West Side Story intro into a. blast of Hardcore. That kind of approach puts the lie to the notion that these bands were simple three cord wonders with little musical knowledge. Nor are all these artists a distant memory either. Some of the bands and artists here are still around and I am not referring to just the bigger acts like Joe Jackson, X and Squeeze. Take, for example, the female led Rezillos from Discs 2, 3 and 4 who are still going strong, as are Eddie and the Hot Rods from the Pub Rock years of the early 1970’s.

Finally, there is Lexicon Doll by The Germs a hardcore gem with a tiny bit of Pop bounce from Disc 6. Lorna Doom was the groups pioneer female bassist and when the band collapsed under the weight of so much media, cultural and internal pressures, including the eventual suicide of frontman Darby Crash, Lorna just assumed a quiet life in the “regular” world. But when the occasional reunion was arranged, she joined with relish and joy by all accounts. A sort of valedictory lap where all the negativity and sorrow can be forgotten for at least one night.
Unfortunately, Lorna now joins the inevitably growing list of names of those from that generation that have gone on ahead to scout the unknown. They were pioneers here on earth, so who better to check it out for us.

At the very least they contributed to our lives by leaving not just a legacy of great music but of attitude and drive, determination and, yes, style. This isn’t music to relax too but to inspire and to agitate. Quite a legacy was captured in these now out of print CDs. That said, the CD’s ain’t impossible to find and most importantly of all, the music is not yet out of reach, just endless mortality. Still, don’t tell the 5 year olds in the next room. Let them dream.


I want to be Jackie Onassis
I want to wear a pair of dark sunglasses
I want to be Jackie Onassis, oh yeah

I want bodyguards all around
I'm anxious to avoid an autograph hound
Just let me be Jackie Onassis, oh yeah

I'm ready for the world to take a good look at me
Photographers can snap my picture, I'll pose for free
Tabloids can make my name a household word
I'll belong to millions but be free as a bird

I want my portrait done by Andy Warhol
I'll let them market a Jackie O doll
Just let me be Jackie Onassis, oh yeah...

First the world will call me Bouvier, hey
Then I'll change to Jackie K
After my date with tragedy
I'll let Aristotle take care of me

I want to be Jackie Onassis, oh yeah
I said, I'd be happy to be Jackie

Oh yeah, oh yeah...
I'd be so happy, then I'd be pleased!
I'd make Harry go down on his knees!



01 - Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action 00:04:32
02 - Pezband - Baby It's Cold Outside 00:02:50
03 - The Nerves - Hanging On The Telephone 00:02:03
04 - Artful Dodger - Wayside 00:04:23
05 - Earthquake - Hit The Floor 00:03:45
06 - Piper - Can't Wait 00:03:23
07 - The Nerves - When You Find Out 00:01:58
08 - Chris Stamey - The Summer Sun 00:03:06
09 - Tommy Hoehn - Blow Yourself Up 00:02:53
10 - The Scruffs - My Mind 00:02:14
11 - The Names - Why Can't It Be 00:04:01
12 - Cheap Trick - Southern Girls 00:03:43
13 - The Real Kids - All Kindsa Girls 00:04:04
14 - The Paley Brothers - Come Out And Play 00:02:33
15 - Fotomaker - Where Have You Been All My Life 00:03:22
16 - Pezband - Stop! Wait A Minute 00:02:42
17 - The Flash Cubes - Christi Girl 00:03:49
18 - The Diodes - Tired Of Waking Up Tired 00:02:55
19 - Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos 00:03:39

MP3 @ 320 Size: 147 MB
Flac  Size: 419 MB



01 - The Cryers - Shake It Up (Ain't It Time) 00:03:59
02 - The Rubinoos - I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend 00:03:33
03 - Chris Stamey & The Db's - (I Thought) You Wanted To Know 00:03:37
04 - Gary Valentine - The First One 00:02:49
05 - Prix - Love You Tonight (Saturday's Gone) 00:03:20
06 - 20-20 - Giving It All 00:02:57
07 - The Romantics - Tell It To Carrie 00:03:41
08 - Shoes - Tomorrow Night 00:03:21
09 - 20-20 - Yellow Pills 00:04:42
10 - The Beat - Walking Out On Love 00:01:56
11 - Shoes - Too Late 00:02:59
12 - The Beat - Work-A-Day World 00:03:16
13 - The Pop - Waiting For The Night 00:04:01
14 - Pearl Harbor & The Explosions - You Got It (Release It) 00:02:47
15 - Off Broadway USA - Stay In Time 00:03:16
16 - The Romantics - What I Like About You 00:03:00
17 - The Plimsouls - Zero Hour 00:02:49
18 - The Know - I Like Girls 00:02:24
19 - Holly & The Italians - Tell That Girl To Shut Up 00:03:08

MP3 @ 320 Size: 132 MB
Flac  Size: 391 MB

CD9 - MASS. AVE. - THE BOSTON SCENE (1975-83) [CBR 192 St]


01 - Willie Alexander - Mass. Ave 00:02:45
02 - The Real Kids - Do The Boob 00:02:19
03 - Nervous Eaters - Loretta 00:02:17
04 - Unnatural Axe - They Saved Hitlers Brain 00:02:49
05 - La Peste - Better Off Dead 00:03:10
06 - The Cars - You're All I've Got Tonight (Demo) 00:04:13
07 - The Neighborhoods - No Place Like Home 00:02:18
08 - Human Sexual Response - Jackie Onassis 00:03:52
09 - The Maps - I'm Talking To You 00:03:04
10 - Mission Of Burma - That's When I Reach For My Revolver 00:03:57
11 - Classic Ruins - 1+1_2 00:03:29
12 - The Lyres - I Want To Help You Ann 00:02:31
13 - Neats - 6 00:02:47
14 - Thrills - Hey! (Not Another Face In The Crowd) 00:02:45
15 - Robin Lane & The Chartbusters - When Things Go Wrong 00:03:18
16 - The Atlantics - Lonelyhearts 00:04:23
17 - Dangerous Birds - Alpha Romeo 00:02:57
18 - Del Fuegos - I Always Call Her Back 00:03:28
19 - The Outlets - Knock Me Down 00:02:47

MP3 @ 320 Size: 138 MB
Flac  Size: 381 MB


  1. Thank you for this great DIY series!

  2. Thank you for sharing this series. I've been looking for them for a long time!