There was something about the British punk scene of the 1970s, with bands like Buzzcocks, the Nips, Sex Aids, Sex Pistols, the Slits, the Vibrators…yeah, you get the idea.
The latter of those bands, the Vibrators, came together in 1976 when Ian “Knox” Carnochan (vocals, guitar, keyboards); John Ellis (guitar, vocals); Pat Collier (bass, vocals); and John “Eddie” Edwards (drums) were gigging at the famed 100 Club with iconic English musician Chris Spedding. Spedding recommended the band to Mickie Most, who signed the Vibrators to RAK Records. The band’s debut was the single “We Vibrate.” The song led to a trio of recording sessions with the legendary John Peel at BBC Radio 1. Early in 1977, the major label Epic Records signed the Vibrators to a deal, releasing their monumental debut album ‘Pure Mania’ in June of 1977. The album went on to be the band’s biggest seller and eventually one of the most influential punk albums of the decade.
The Vibrators went on to release three more albums through Epic Records and those releases are now in one package with Anagram and Cherry Red Records’ box set ‘The Epic Years 1976-1978.’
Released to coincide with the Vibrators’ 40th anniversary, the expertly packaged 4-CD box set contains their debut album ‘Pure Mania;’ the sophomore follow up ‘V2;’ the John Peel ‘BBC Sessions,’ including four songs from their “Old Grey Whistle Test” television appearance; and the 19-track live album ‘In Concert’ from the London Marquee. In addition, ‘The Epic Years 1976-1978’ features Record Collector Magazine’s Shane Baldwin’s liner notes with contributions from the band and pictures of all the band’s releases from the period.
Behind such hit singles as “Baby Baby,” “Automatic Lover,” and “Judy Says,” the Vibrators are one the UK’s longest running punk bands and continue to tour today. They have survived many lineup changes over their four decades of punk and have influenced such bands as the Misfits; the Exploited; U.K. Subs; Stiff Little Fingers; and Vader among others.
‘The Epic Years 1976-1978’ is just a snippet of the band’s work over their 40-year career, but it contains all of their best work. This is a true treasure for punk fans and historians.