X is a noted punk rock band, formed in Los Angeles in 1977. While they achieved only limited mainstream success, they were widely considered one of the most accessible and tuneful of Los Angeles' many punk bands. Their landmark 1980 record Los Angeles resonated so loudly with the artisans of the city it is named after, that the band received an Official Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles in acknowledgment of their important contributions to Los Angeles music and culture. They were hugely influential on various genres of music, including punk, hardcore, and folk.
Original members were Exene Cervenka (born Christine Cervenka, vocals), John Doe (born John Duchac, bass and vocals), Billy Zoom (born Tyson Kindell, guitar) and DJ Bonebrake (born Donald J. Bonebrake, drums). After Zoom retired from the band, Tony Gilkyson replaced him on guitar. Zoom reunited with X in 1998. The original line-up now tours sporadically.
Their albums had a hard-driving sound that occasionally flirted with country and blues; one critic suggests that X "were not just one of the greatest punk bands, but one of the greatest live rock acts of all time."
In many ways — from songwriting to performances — X were arguably a bit more sophisticated and diverse than many of their punk peers (except Cervenka, all band members had previous musical experience before forming X.) One critic writes that X were "too self-conscious, artsy and ambitious to simply spew" in typical punk fashion.
X's first record deal was with pioneering indepedent label Dangerhouse, for which the band produced two singles, "Los Angeles" and "Adult Books." The Dangerhouse session version of "Los Angeles" was also featured in a Dangerhouse compilation called "Yes LA", a picture disc that featured other early-punk era LA bands like the Weirdos and Black Randy. As the band became the flag bearer for the local scene, a larger independent label, Slash, signed the band to issue its first LP.
The result was their first LP release, the appropriately titled Los Angeles (1980) (produced by The Doors' keyboard player, Ray Manzarek), was a minor hit and well received by the underground press and mainstream media. Much of X's early material had a rockabilly edge. Doe and Cervenka co-wrote most of the group's songs, and their slightly off-kilter harmony vocals remain perhaps the group's most distinctive element. Their lyrics tended to be straight-out poetry, and comparisons to Charles Bukowski and Raymond Chandler were made from the start.
This is the remastered version released in 2001 - includes some cool demos and alternative versions.
Tracks: 1. Your Phone's Off the Hook, But You're Not, 2. Johnny Hit and Run Paulene, 3. Soul Kitchen, 4. Nausea, 5. Sugarlight, 6. Los Angeles, 7. Sex and Dying In High Society, 8. The Unheard Music, 9. The World's a Mess; It's In My Kiss, 10. I'm Coming Over (Demo), 11. Adult Books (Demo), 12. Delta 88 (Demo), 13. Cyrano De Berger's Back (Rehearsal), 14. Los Angeles (Dangerhouse Version).
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