Fabric co-founder Keith Reilly selects his top tracks from the early days of the post-punk movement and tells us why they are important to him, ahead of the opening of our new exhibition Dennis Morris: PiL - First Issue to Metal Box. Fabric is media partner for the exhibition.
The Raincoats remains one of my favourite bands through all these years, and after listening to a shedload of music, this track still kills me. This epitomises the raw beauty that punk triggered. It manages to sound awkward and naive, when in fact it is incredibly sophisticated, intelligent, and supremely beautiful, gentle and delicate...Perhaps that's one or two too many adjectives, but for some reason I genuinely want you to know how much this record means to me. It is never away from me. It is on my phone, on my laptop, on my iPod, and most importantly, the original vinyl is still a most cherished part of my collection. This is for me, the moment that all things punk became truly musical.
I couldn't do a list without a bit of dub. There was so much great reggae and dub around at that time, and naturally a lot of cross-pollination and influence. This is Ari Up and the astonishingly talented Adrian Sherwood. Could you wish for a more engaging collaboration? Dub punk fusion at its very best.
I am sure most will be aware of things like A Certain Ratio and 23 Skidoo, but this one may have escaped you. It's a track from an early EP called Tench, and it's a little beauty. I could witter on about this record forever without doing it justice. If you haven't heard it, please please please check it out. If you don't fall in love with it, I owe you five minutes of your life.
Loved it and got lost in it the first moment I heard it, and I still feel exactly the same when I hear it today. I can promise you that that is quite a rare achievement for any record in my world. The amazing Ian Curtis supremely demonstrated that even if your voice wasn't exactly graceful and you couldn't really sing terribly well, it was still possible to make an astonishingly beautiful sound, and sing a truly beautiful song.
This is undoubtedly the rockiest of my selections. Simple but sublime bass, crisp drums and amazing vocals. Everything else in the record sounds peripheral but essential and discrete. It had been a long time since I had listened to this record. This is the wonderful thing about an event like this. It reaquaints you with so many loved, if slightly forgotten, favourite records.
I couldn't do a list like this without a mention of the American contribution. Ans I'm sure it would seem utterly pretentious and arrogant of me if I was to do anything other than include Talking Heads.
A truly amazing band (thank you for My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - I was going to include something from that album but waned to keep this bit strictly yank.) I couldn't choose between these two tracks. I love them both so much!
Dennis Morris: PiL - First Issue to Metal Box runs 23 March - 15 May 2016. ■
Join us on 22 March from 7pm for the Dennis Morris: PiL - First Issue to Metal Box opening party, featuring music from Skinny Girl Diet, Dave Dorrell, Craig Richards and Andrew Weatherall.
Tagged with: Keith Reilly, Punk, Post-Punk, Music, Tracklist, Record, Fabric, The Raincoats, Talking Heads, Joy Division, The New Age Steppers, Shriekback, The Au Pairs, Dennis Morris, Exhibitions, Opening Party, exhibition, PiL, PiL: First Issue to Metal Box