No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion

If I’m Going To Have to Self-Isolate, I At Least Can Rock Out

If I’m going to have to self-isolate, at least I can rock out!

I purchased this item on May 24, 2005, per the Amazon-borg. There isn’t a song on here that I skip. I usually don’t listen to the whole thing in one sitting, as it is over five hours, but dipping in and out of the 1970s is good enough for me. 

Wikipedia entry  repeats this factoid:

Notably absent from the compilation are the Sex Pistols, whose singer John Lydon refused Rhino Entertainment permission to include any of the band’s tracks, allegedly because Rhino chose not to release the 2002 Sex Pistols boxed set in the United States

The Pistols are mentioned several times in the liner notes however. So add in your favorite Sex Pistols songs in the mix, turn up the volume, and you’ll be ok.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic:


Like all the great rock revolutions, punk was fueled by singles. Sure, there were a lot of tremendous albums, but all the artists that cut great LPs also had great 7″s — and in the case of Television and Patti Smith, they had independent singles released prior to their first albums that never appeared on their debuts. Since rock criticism tends to be album-driven, singles tend to get slightly overlooked, and since punk is a rock critic’s favorite, some revisionist historians paint the era as fueled by albums, not singles. Rhino’s excellent four-disc No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion corrects that error by focusing on the singles, winding up with a one-stop introduction and summary of the era that is as good as Loud, Fast & Out of Control, their similar set on early rock & roll. The compilers have bent the rules of punk slightly, deciding to include proto-punkers like New York Dolls, the Stooges, the Dictators, and Jonathan Richman, and then to not present the cuts in a strictly chronological order.

This benefits the album, since these artists are in the same spirit of the bands they inspired, and the sequencing plays like a great mixtape. Rhino has also evenly balanced the set between American and British punk, including both early hardcore punkers the Dead Kennedys and British pub rock renegades like Nick Lowe and Ian Dury in equal measure. Though there’s a bit of difference between “California Über Alles” and “Heart of the City,” they deserve to be paired on this set because they both were genuinely independent, exciting 45s that crackled with energy and captured the spirit of punk, albeit in different ways. And that’s what makes No Thanks! work so well — it illustrates how diverse punk and new wave were in the late ’70s, but it places a premium on adventure and excitement, which means even artier bands like Pere Ubu and Suicide come across as pure rock & roll.



(click here to continue reading No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion – Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic.)

Eric Carr, Pitchfork:

Fortunately, Rhino’s overwhelmingly comprehensive four-disc love letter to the heart and soul of punk music isn’t particularly conventional. While punk remained a mostly well-kept (and easily documented) secret prior to the Sex Pistols’ spectacular collapse, the aftermath of the punk explosion was a shambles. That the Pistols are conspicuously absent on No Thanks! might be the doing of a petulant Lydon (presumably irked that Rhino pulled a stateside release of a Sex Pistols box a few years back), but fitting nonetheless. Fine. Fuck ’em. Of all the admirable successes of No Thanks!, the finest is surely the deliberateness with which it unearths so many of the also-rans long-since buried in the Pistols’ wake. With barely a track to spare for The Clash, The Ramones, or The Fall, they’re barely an afterthought here. No Thanks! isn’t about “essential”; it’s “scope,” pure magnitude. Deadbeats and dilettantes, glammed progenitors and goth poseurs, the revered and the reviled. This isn’t just “punk,” this is everything that was boiling beneath the surface, the whole of the late-70s underground brought to light.

The Motors will never, ever be spoken of in the same regard as Richard Hell. Or The Damned. Or even Generation X (Billy Idol was the Diamond Dave of punk rock, after all). Ditto for the Glen Matlock’s Rich Kids, 999, The Vibrators, Subway Sect, and half of the other bands that grace this stage, and that’s the collection’s charm; every Englishman or Yankee to ever hold a guitar, let alone learn to play one (how else can you explain The Adverts?) gets at least an act, maybe two. The diversity contained here is staggering, but the disparity of sound is nullified by the unity of motivations; whether out of sincerity or fashionability, everyone’s got a grudge to bear. No matter what form it takes, the underlying theme is simple dissatisfaction; no one was playing because he or she was happy (except maybe Devo– who knows what they wanted?). Something, anything, needed to change, but all any of these people were empowered to do was play music. Punk was fundamentally unfocused rage, a loaded gun aimed at any institution– politics, clothing, loneliness, provinciality, music itself– too societally entrenched to get out of the way. The tactics aren’t always smart, and rarely pretty, but the execution is brilliant, and Rhino has released the ultimate document.


(click here to continue reading Various Artists: No Thanks!: The 70s Punk Rebellion Album Review | Pitchfork.)

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