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Ptooff!'s significance lies as much in the manner of its making as in its music. Mick Farren, anarchist, hustler, underground writer and sometime doorman at London's groovy UFO club, puts together a shambolic R&B band called the Social Deviants. By dint of persistence and massive drug ingestion the band overcomes opposition from those among the cognoscenti who like their freakouts on the mellow side, and becomes something of a fixture on the London scene. Eschewing the standard music-biz route to getting a record out, Farren persuades a whacked-out hippie son of a millionaire to put up the cash for an album. Mercifully free of any record company pressure to make "product", and fuelled by even more drugs and the will to attempt radical sonic experiments, the band parlay their technical limitations and studio naïvete into a flawed masterpiece of Zappaesque garage psychedelia.Read more ›
The material on their three albums was variable. The first included harsh punk (I'm Coming Home), percussion dominated progressivism (Nothing Man) as well as long gimmicky diatribes interspersed with none too imaginative music. Child Of The Sky and Bun were evidence of a softer side, but Deviation Street summarized their intent with a series of political slogans, sound effects and a variety of musical approaches which have not stood the test of time well.
Disposable had its moments, notably with good rock songs like Slum Lord, Jamie's Song, You've Got To Hold On, Fire In The City and Guaranteed. The remainder of the album was eminently disposable, however.
The Deviants also issued a single, which is now a rare collectors' item. After a disappointing third album the band disintegrated during an American tour. The remaining members plus Twink formed Pink Fairies. Rudolph also had a spell with Hawkwind.
In 1977 Farren reformed the band with a new line-up including Andy Colquhoun on bass/vcls and issued an EP for Stiff, entitled Stiff EP. In the same year their first album was reissued on Logo. Readers may also be interested in Human Garbage (Psycho 25), another 1984 reunion album, with a line-up of Farren (vcls), Sanderson (bs), Larry Wallis (gtr), Wayne Kramer (gtr) ex-MC5, and George Butler (drms).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
perfectly well done like original and great audio quality!Published on July 27, 2014 by The Magic Stranger
Although Mick Farren had quite a high profile in the sixties, his involvement in counter-culture activities, especially his work for the International Times and other alternative... Read morePublished on March 20, 2008 by Lozarithm
Zappa-esque? Sure, if Zappa was a weak player and couldn't do anything as a composer but recycle standard riffs for satirical effect. Read morePublished on August 19, 2007 by Eb