Sunday 13 November 2011

It Never Ends: Everybody Loves Just Urbain 7" Shake SM4 (PRS-2815), 1980

Here's another it-never-ends which is guaranteed to send OCD collectors polishing doorknobs in their record cribs over, and over, and over again. Actually we toyed with starting a new tag, it-never-starts, for this one because just finding a copy, let alone one with a sleeve, any sleeve, is a conviction-challenging conundrum facing many an Aussie completist. What we're looking at today is the second record by Briso punks Just Urbain. Released in 1980 as part of the second batch of Savage/Shake 7"s, it appeared in a mind-bending brace with the also amazing second Young Identities 7", New Trends.

This is a great record and one well worth the time and effort to track down. One thing that sets it apart is Rod McLeod's filthy guitar sound running through all three tracks. A feature which has only really hit us recently is John K's belting piano on The End - probably the same set of crazy 88s used on the Fun Things EP, which was recorded at the same North Coast hinterland studio. Singer Peter Miller's lyrics are always interesting - sometimes reflecting on darker topics (here, failed suicide (on Hospital Bed), and capital punishment on the first Just Urbain record), and other times adolescent railing against the trend following Brisbane music scene (Everybody Loves).

What you see up above is how we think the first batch of copies appeared: naked, no band name. The front silk screened picture is glued to the inner bag as is the classic JU symbol rear sleeve (right), thus making a standard, two-sided, pocket picture sleeve inside which the record sits. Remember you can click on any of our pictures for full size versions.

Hand-numbered inserts should appear in all copies. As it says on the insert - 200 copies. The CD reissue says 300 and we've never got a straight answer on the actual amount.

Insert, "Your number" is in pen on originals.

We've had a few copies of this record cross the Wallaby Beat desk over the years and noticed there was a batch of copies with a somewhat differently constructed set up. These ones start by having the EP name (and thus band name) written on the front sleeve in highlighter pen. Highlighter pens had been around since 1963 but got a kick along in 1978 when fluorescent inks were introduced. There's a fluorescent yellow variation to a Victims sleeve, but, uh, we'll get to that. Anyway, we think these are later versions as they answer the question obviously worrying the Savage/Shake executives - how do you sell a record with no band name anywhere?

This time the front part of the sleeve stands alone as a one-piece, single sided print. These copies also have the insert pictured above (albeit with higher numbers), but also have another mini-insert repeating some of the information. Again, this mini-insert helpfully has the name of the EP and the track titles, thus ensuring mega-sales around Brisbane, and the world, or not. Here's how the rest of the sleeve works - the red and black silk screened JU symbol sheet sits inside the die cut inner sleeve so the JU appears through the die cut label hole. Then the little mini-insert slides in horizontally below the hole. Clever! Here's how it should look:

Phew, landed both of those variations. Mission accomplished. Then things like this appear in the mailbox, with penwork (allegedly) by Peter Miller:

The tracks on Everybody Loves can these days be heard in two places. First track down the Shakedown CD released by Dropkick (BEHIND022). This compiles the entire output of Savage/Shake and also features two great sets of liner notes by Rod McLeod and drummer Dave Holliday. A slightly different version of Dave's piece can be found at the essential Break My Face Just Urbain page. Secondly, 540 Records from Austin, TX, is reissuing all the Shake/Savage gear on 7"s, with awesome photos inside the gatefold sleeves and nice, clean mastering from the CD versions. Everybody Loves is available as we speak, late 2011.

Which brings us to today's track. As told to us over the years some kind of mistake was made when the tapes were sent down to EMI Custom in Sydney and an unedited version of Everybody Loves (the song) made it on to the original EP. The wailing guitar goes on for nearly a full four minutes and the song unnecessarily repeats a verse towards the end. The Dropkick and 540 releases have a 2 minute 40 second version which is how the band would have liked it to originally appear. We're not arguing with the band's preference for the shorter version but thought you'd like to hear it all:

Everybody Loves (1980 edit) [Download]

Everybody loves.... hunting thylacines.


Anonymous said...

Excellent, as usual. I haven't got one copy of this single, let alone two or three, but I have got that Shakedown CD. Now that you have given me the prompt I will have to give it another vist.


Clinton said...

I used to have this, gave it away for peanuts. Ah, so stupid.

Unknown said...

get i get hold of peter miller ex band member here