Reviews

Glaxo Babies Dreams Interrupted: The Bewilderbeat Years 1978–1980 2xLP

Upstart Italian reissue label Lantern brings Cherry Red’s 2006 CD-only GLAXO BABIES compendium to vinyl for the first time, taking it from a dead format to a format that 2021 is trying very hard to kill. Almost all of the content touched upon here has been reissued elsewhere within the last decade and/or the OG pressings are still relatively inexpensive and easy to come by, so a straight vinyl redux of what was already an incomplete anthology is a little odd, but that said, GLAXO BABIES were responsible for some of the finest dub-conscious, acute-angled post-punk in a late ’70s/early ’80s UK scene that never lacked in that area, so however their legacy is upheld is fine with me. What you get: all of the tracks from 1979’s “Christine Keeler” single and This Is Your Life 12” (both essential) as well as the mutant funk “Shake!” 7” from 1980 (less so), cherry-picked (no pun intended) selections from 1980’s Put Me on the Guest List (viciously dry and minimal early demos to rival WIRE) and Nine Months to the Disco (the band’s descent into freeform avant jazz-funk) LPs, one comp offering, and a few orphaned tracks—Y Records’ 1980 Limited Entertainment EP is conspicuously absent. If it leads to even a handful of people being exposed to the scratchy, EX-like ranting repetition of “Police State” or the sax-skronked GANG OF FOUR-worthy groove of “Christine Keeler” for the first time, this collection will have more than justified its existence on wax.