Review of Kris Needs presents Dirty Water II: The Birth of Punk Attitude Album by Various Artists

Dirty Water II: The Birth of Punk Attitude is the follow-up to last year's Dirty Water compiled by renowned music author and journalist Kris Needs. Volume 1 received an excellent review on this very website and Dirty Water II takes up right where Dirty Water 1 left off.

Various Artists Kris Needs presents Dirty Water II: The Birth of Punk Attitude Album

For those of you who have yet to hear the first volume you should be aware that Punk Attitude is not a 'punk' album per se, that is to say it is punk, but not as you know it. Punk Attitude is not so much about punk itself but about true punk attitude. This album has been made not necessarily for the celebrated (although they do make an occasional appearance eg David Bowie, Blondie) but for the innovators and the instigators. It's about the pioneering free spirits who walked it like they talked it, stuck to their guns and changed the course of popular music forever, and whilst doing so, paved the way and lit the path for any musician worth their salt today.

The album kicks off with Don Van Vliet's alter ego Captain Beefheart who sadly died towards the close of last year. An innovator in the true sense of the word. The album is dedicated to him and rightly so. This is followed up with album highlight, The Human Expression's 'Love at Psychedelic Velocity' a wonderful piece of psychedelia straight from Nuggets. Death make a welcome return with 'Freakin' Out.' Patti Smith's 'Piss Factory' could be a precursor to rap. The Velvet Undergrounds perform a live rather laid back version of I'm Waiting for The Man taken from a show in Texas. Bo Diddley is a welcome inclusion here as is Eddie Cochran's 'C'mon Everybody' - a truly revolutionary piece of music for the time. So much so, it still sounds out of this world over 50 years on.

Overall this is a well thought through record introducing you to new acts and providing alternative versions of the classics we all know and love. The detailed liner notes provide a fascinating insight into the stories behind the musicians and the music itself provides an ideal template for new bands starting out today. Essential!

Scott Causer