Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
return to discographies page
TV Violence // Rock and Roll Hangover
1000? copies on black vinyl
Limp Records 032, 1979
Lineup: Joe Schmidt - vocals / Jim Barnett - guitar / Robert Potts - drums / Steve Potts - bass
Recording Info: Recorded at Recording Services, Washington, DC. Produced by the Killer Bees.
Notes: Friends of the Razz from DC (not Richmond, as I'd stated earlier). They just used the label name.
Skip's Comments: They were friends of Ted's and they were hangers-on in the Razz camp. Two guys, basically, and they produced the record themselves. I had nothing to do with it.
It wasn't really a Limp release, I just let Ted use the name. I never saw any copies of the record other than carrying a few that he brought into the store. I didn't press it up or put it out, and again that one has acquired, like the Shirkers, a kind of unbelievable market--
Not quite like the Shirkers.
Well, I'm not saying that it's a record like the Shirkers. My recollection of Buzz'n the Town is that it sucked. I haven't heard it in twenty years or whatever, so... (shrugs)
The cover was goofy looking too--(laughs) Well, a lot of the other covers we put out were as goofy looking. The Reind Dears comes to mind.
Reviews: Okay record. Steals equally from UK punk and Chuck Berry, but doesn't offer anything beyond that. If you don't mind that, this isn't bad by any stretch. If you're looking for something original and vital (and free of references to the "tube", and "tube-box"), this probably ain't for you.
Can't Wait Forever / Killing Time // James / the End
5? test pressings on black vinyl
1000 copies on black vinyl w/insert
Limp Records 033, 1981
Lineup: Sarah Burke - guitar and vocals / Meredith Hardy - guitar and vocals / Chris Koerner - drums / Bob Young - bass guitar
Recording Info: Recorded at Don Zientara Studios, April 1980. Produced by Skip Groff.
Notes: Didn't sell well. Meredith Hardy married Mike Colburn of Nightman (and an early version of the Razz).
Skip's Comments: The Dark were one of my favorite bands that I worked with. The Dark EP was like the Nightman EP--in a very short period of time the situation changed with them.
I originally got involved with the Dark because Thomas--no, I'm getting ahead of myself here. I think they opened up for the Slickee Boys. When I recorded the EP with them the bass player and the drummer were not the same two that ended up playing on the two album cuts I did with them, Late Show and Breakdown, that were on Connected.
Meredith Reynolds is, in my opinion, without exception, the finest female songwriter ever to come out of DC. I mean, she could kick Tori Amos' butt any day of the week. I have dozens and dozens of demos by her that I begged her to release, but she would never let me do it. These were home demos that she did.
She was just an incredible songwriter. Sarah was a good songwriter, but she wasn't like Meredith. Meredith was one of a kind.
She ended up marrying Mike Colburn and they got divorced later on, but they did a cut or two together.
I produced both the EP--could have done a better job on it--and the album cuts. I think we did a better job on getting down the way the band sounded at the time on Connected. They were trying to get new wave Heart, at that point in time and the two cuts on album convey that more than the EP. The EP comes off as more of a home-spun, home studio type recording, but a little too overambitious in the guitars and drum playing area.
Reviews: The sad truth is that pop music sucks. I mean REALLY sucks, more than the 98% shitrate that plagues other forms of music. Maybe it's because pop itself is a useless descriptor, since by definition it's more of a distillation of whatever musical trends are prevalent than a genuine musical style. Collecting whatever cliches are hot at the moment almost never leads to worthwhile music (As supporting witnesses I would like to call Bruce Springsteen, John "Cougar" Mellencamp, and Tom "suck" Petty. I submit that those three artists will be able to explain the dumbing down and homogenization process far better than I. Take "Born to Run" or "Free Falling," for example.).
Inoffensive is the operative word to describe most pop music. Bland. Uninteresting. Lifeless. Bob Dylan's other side (actually, it's safe to say most of Bob Dylan's sides at this point). I was leery of the Dark because they did two inoffensive, bland, uninteresting, and lifeless cuts on the Connected LP, and then I saw Skip selling the Dark EP on ebay with the "pop" tag. Gah. Really, gah.
Thank god for my neurotic collector genes and spur of the moment decision to collect every Limp Record, because otherwise I never would have bought the damned record. This is worthy. It's almost pop rock (pop as a genre is undefinable--pop as a modifier is not), but not quite. It's got a little jangle, some touches of vocal harmony, but it avoids the lyrical and musical cliches that make pop such a drag. Even the End, which starts off as a Carol King/Barbara Streisand/Janis Ian (pining for my lost) love song veers quickly into "This is the end end end / so put it out of your head."
Meredith or Sarah, whoever does most of the singing, has a limited range, but a really compelling delivery. She reminds me a lot of Henry Rollins, actually, but minus the musclehead lyrics.
Hearts // Cardiac Arrest
1000 on black vinyl
Round Raoul 7-45-05, 1980
?? test pressings
Limp Records 034, 1981
Lineup: Howard SM Wuelfing - vocals, bass, finger poppin' / Harry Raab - drums, finger poppin' / Marc Halpern - guitar, finger poppin' / James Testa - finger poppin' (guest)
Notes: There were new test pressings done in the summer of '81 for a reissue, but it never happened. 50 test pressings were made from the new master for the Extant 5x7" boxed set.
Mark Hoback (label): The Nurses sold most of what remained of their printing--we had a lot of warpage because they insisted on a European style small hole, something the pressing plant had a lot of trouble with. I really wasn't much involved with this record, so I don't have a lot to say about it.
Reviews: The Nurses get a record of their own! They don't waste the opportunity, but they certainly don't make the stunning debut they should have. Marc Halpern's guitar is a mean sounding mess of almost sixties folked-up (or should that be fucked up?) rock guitar, Howard's bass is a flailing monster throughout, and Harry Raaaaaaaab holds the two of them in check. Recommended.
I don't have the test pressings of this record. Email me if you have one for sale or trade--especially the Limp test pressing (yellow label with NR-12722 etched into the dead wax).
Potential Suicide // Youth Crimes
?? test pressings on black vinyl
1000 copies on black vinyl
Limp Records 035, 1981
25 test pressings
1000 numbered copies on white vinyl
Yesterday and Today YAT1, 1990
Lineup: Boyd Farrell - vocals / Keith Campbell - guitar / Myk Dulfi - bass / Tommy Carr - drums / Paul Cleary - bass
Recording Info: Recorded at Inner Ear. Produced by Skip Groff. Paul Cleary plays bass, though Mike was in the band when it was released (he's the one facing away from the camera).
Notes: Both Limp test pressings that I know of come with the commercial sleeve. Mine was unglued, but taped at the top. I've heard of a pre-release sleeve similiar to the Nurses 7" (which makes sense given that they were done at the same time). Anyone have some info?
Skip's Comments: I was not the first person to produce Black Market Baby. They did demos with Steve Carr and the famous aborted single session with Ted Niceley at Track Studios. It just was too cold and dry for them, that was my impression as to why they didn't release it. Everyone else seems to think it's fine. You've got the bootleg 45.
Well, Boyd really hates the song Crimes of Passion.
Well...it's not structured very well, but as far as the recording goes, it's okay. When I went in with them and did the single they wanted me to basically produce them like a punk band, like I'd done with the Teen Idles and Minor Threat, and that's what I did. I took them into Don's and we recorded Potential Suicide and Youth Crimes, and I think we worked on one other song that didn't get released.
Did you approach them about doing the single?
No, they approached me. I'm pretty sure they approached me. I wouldn't have...I knew Ted, he was working at the store at that time, and I wouldn't have gone onto his territory like that without them wanting me to do it.
They had been unhappy with what they'd done previously, both with Steve Carr and Ted, and they wanted to try to see if I could get them to sound like they should sound as punks. They presented the songs to me, and that's what they wanted to do.
Potential Suicide I probably did in a little more of a power pop medium than they wanted, but it was chosen by Rhino Records as one of the great punk records of the eighties, so it couldn't have been too bad.
Youth Crimes, I think, is more of a punk song in keeping with what they were all about at that point in time. But there's no question that Potential Suicide's a classic record.
Reviews: This is the best Limp record. Those who claim otherwise are a motley rabble of saucy boys, Irish teagues, and outlandish jack tarrs. And you can fuckin' quote me on it.
Elsewhere on this site and in the pages of Dementlieu fanzine I've credited Black Market Baby with everything from introducing me to the other side of DC punk to destroying the DC rock scene (after all, why should anyone form a band when the inevitable comparison is to the very Gods of DC rock themselves?) to starting me down the path to record collectordom. I'd like to add the transmutation of lead to gold, curing my leprosy, and making one of the best records ever to their list of accomplishments.
This is the first DC punk record that is absolutely, unequivocably ESSENTIAL. Both sides are rippin' punk rock monsters with big, mean-sounding guitars and more words than you can shake a stick at. Really, only Chris D could cram more words into a song than Boyd Farrell (but Boyd's words actually make sense!).
This is the only DC record that can stand up to the first two Minor Threat 7"s (Bad Brains 7"? The B side is...well, crap. Bad Brains cassette? It's not a record. Teen Idles? Slickee Boys? United Mutation? Hah. No chance.).
The A, Potential Suicide is one of the greatest suicide songs ever written--mebbe tied with Final Solution by Pere Ubu. The B is along the same lines as Streetfighting Man, but only Black Market Baby could rouse the rabble and moralise at the same time. Boyd even said, "I was always concious to have that message there, talking about suicide and troubled youth, all of that. I was mostly talking about myself, but I guess they could relate."
This is powerful rocknroll, a phrase which has almost lost all meaning in an age where louder is often blander and the punk rock aesthetic is a mainstream commodity. Keith Campbell, DC's gee-ee-ee-ee-tar god should have won the nobel prize for monster riffs and Boyd's got something to say. Worthy.
I've heard of (but not seen) a pre-release sleeve for some test pressings of the Limp issue--anyone have a copy they want to trade or sell (or at least scan in?). Email me!
In My Eyes / Out of Step // Guilty of Being White / Steppin' Stone
?? test pressings
1000 copies on translucent red vinyl w/insert (125 or 150 in xeroxed sleeve, rest in printed sleeve)
1000 copies on black vinyl w/insert and yellow labels
2000 copies on black vinyl w/insert and blue labels
Limp Records 041/Dischord 5, 1981
Lineup: Brian Baker - bass / Ian MacKaye - vocals / Lyle Preslar - guitar / Jeff Nelson - drums
Recording Info: Recorded at Inner Ear, engineered by Don Zientara, produced by Minor Threat. Mixed by Minor Threat and Don.
Notes: Dischord did a lot of test pressings of their early hardcore records (bar the SOA and Teen Idles 7"). I've seen tests of this one with and without sleeves. Were inserts for all three presses the same? There are two different numbers flaoting around for the xeroxed sleeve. Amy Pickering's discography says 125, but an advertisement reprinted in the 20 Years of Dischord box says 150. Either way it's a stoopidrare variation.
Skip's Comments: I think that In My Eyes is probably one of the greatest punk records of all time, from start to finish. The changes in that...there's just no way that you could envision that these guys would go from the Teen Idles to a thing like that in a two year period. It just blew me away the first time I heard that song. I said, none of these people need me any more, they've got it all together.
How much were you really involved with this record?
Just money. That's why it's a split Limp release. That record marked the defining moment for me when I knew that none of these people needed me any more in terms of producing in the studio because they did that themselves.
Reviews: This would be the best Minor Threat record if it only had another song or two. The writing's better than their first record, but not by much--that's is one case where quantity definitely triumphed over quality. That said, this record packs one hell of a wallop. I don't know about you, but Ian MacKaye's scream of "at least I'm fucking trying...what the fuck have you done?" is THE defining Minor Threat moment. These songs are the tightest, meanest, and best thing Minor Threat would ever record.
I'm looking for the xeroxed Cousins sleeve, the test pressing, and the second pressing of this record. Email me if you can hook me up.
Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
return to discographies page