X Ray Spex
The album reunited the iconic X-Ray Spex vocalist - Poly Styrene with original X-Ray Spex saxophonist - Lora Logic and bassist - Paul Dean, as well as guitar from Kula Shaker frontman Crispian Mills under his then pseudonym Red Spectre.
This release has been remastered from the original master tapes and is available on LP for the first time ever! Including the original and expanded artwork, including previously unpublished lyrics and original sleeve notes from Poly.
Pop culture is full of classic albums that slip between the cracks. In recent years the late Poly Styrene and X-Ray Spex have achieved iconic status with their 1978 debut Germfree Adolescents album but the group’s follow up album Conscious Consumer released 17 years later has been lost to the sands of time.
These days most people don’t even realise that X-Ray Spex had a follow up to what is now embraced as one of the classics of the punk rock period. This lovingly compiled revisit puts the spotlight on a lost gem that has many of the hallmarks of the debut but is sieved through a different lens. Conscious Consumer was an upgrade of the classic debut with a same punk rock urgency and themes of consumerism but with a poppier edge and a more considered wisdom gleamed from the ups and downs of life from the perspective of an older, wiser, Krishna devotee.
In 1995 the album was an unexpected comeback and a lost classic. It was the first new material recorded by the band for years despite many of the songs being written a decade before. On release, though, the album disappeared into a void being out of sync with the times and before Poly got her deserved iconic status.
The band who also re-formed in 1991, 1995 and 2008 are now revered worldwide for sparking a new kind of attitude in music. The late Poly is now a pop culture pin-up for an originality and feminism that barely existed at the time. Her acerbic, witty and brilliant lyrics and distinctive voice have stood the test of time, and along with the band’s original sax player Lora Logic, she has become part of the punk rock narrative. The fuzzy snapshots of the brief early lineup see the sassy and sharp dressed teenager core oozing talent, originality and style in a freeze frame of pop culture punk rock perfection.
Listening to the album again after a long break, Paul Dean is surprised.
“Conscious Consumer now sounds so much better than I remember. It wasn’t properly released at the time and so no one knows about it. If you love Germfree Adolescents you will love Conscious Consumer they are linked together. X-Ray Spex didn’t have just one great album it was two!”
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