Ear-Piercing Punk

Ear-Piercing Punk  is a compilation album issued in both LP and CD formats of obscure 1960’s garage rock that was originally released on AIP Records in the late 1970’s.  As discussed on the AIP Records website and in reviews of the album during its initial release, the album was given the name “Ear-Piercing Punk” to try to market or turn this music, now often referred to as proto punk, on to kids just getting into punk rock for the first time as a result of the 1970’s punk explosion.  The purpose of the album was to show that punk had existed for quite a number of years prior to the generally accepted mainstream use of the term to define bands such as the Ramones, Sex Pistols and The Clash.   (More from Wikipedia)
The folks at Bomp! Records had begun having some success in marketing garage rock and psychedelic rock compilation albums in the Pebbles series and others, so when punk rock came to the fore in the late 1970’s, they decided to have some fun and try to clandestinely introduce young punk rock fans to the glory days of 1960’s punk.  They packaged an album that would have been a great addition to Pebbles, put a picture of a punk rock girl on the cover (complete with piercings and safety pins), and chose a suitable double entendre as the album title, Ear-Piercing Punk.  The album cover was in day-glo pink, and the song titles and band names were typed on strips of paper in the manner of many genuine 1970’s punk rock compilation albums of that period.  The album gave no clue as to its origin except for a “Made in U.S.A.” label; it was released by the fictitious Trash Records, and the only credit on the album was “Ripov Design–Ida No”.  There was one clue for 1960’s rock fans though:  The second track was “Ubangi Stomp” by the Trashmenwho were responsible for a delightfully peculiar surf rock hit in 1963 called Surfin’ Bird.
Well, I was totally fooled and was not a bit disappointed when I discovered what was really on the record.  The songs include one of Bomp! Records founder Greg Shaw’s personal favorites, “Bottle up and Go” by the Mile Ends (that factoid was included in the liner notes for a compilation album of the Pebbles compilation albums, Essential Pebbles, Volume One).  There was also a song called “She Ain’t No Use to Me” by one of the best 1960’s Canadian rock bands, the Ugly Ducklings.  I just picked up a reissue of their original 1967 album last year, Somewhere Outside, though I have thoroughly enjoyed their late 1970’s reunion album that I have had for years, Off the Wall.  Another is my favorite version of the absolute best anti-prejudice protest song, “Mister You’re a Better Man than I” by a band called the Herde.  (First verse:  “Can you judge a man, / by the way he wears his hair? / Can you read his mind, / by the clothes that he wears? / Can you see a bad man, / by the pattern on his tie? / Well then, mister, you’re a better man than I . . .”)  Mister You’re a Better Man than I was written by two of the guys in Manfred Mannthough the better known version is by the Yardbirds, so that is high praise indeed.  A wacky version of “Jailhouse Rock” is included by Dean Carter, who also performs the scorching “Rebel Woman”.  The album opens with a great version of “I’m a Hog for You Baby” by the Groupies; that might be the coolest Leiber/Stoller (i.e., Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) song of them all – “Jailhouse Rock” (a big hit song for Elvis Presley, not to mention a movie, Jailhouse Rock) is another of their many, many classics.  And there was another song that still stood out, though it was almost tame by comparison to a lot of these other great songs:  Enough by a band called Bohemian Vendetta
(April 2011)
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Items:     Ear-Piercing Punk 
Last edited: March 22, 2021