Monday, September 29, 2014

the crack

The Ruts sussed out a reggae redemption from smoldering anxiety and savage human punk truth.  Malcolm Owen and Paul Fox were friends in school and played with Paul Mattocks before joining up with Post Office telephone engineer John "Segs" Jennings and record shop manager Dave Ruffy, who were in a funk band called Hit and Run.  They performed their first gig in September of 1977 and seven months later released their first single 'In a Rut' on the People Unite label.  They played in benefit concerts for Rock Against Racism with reggae band Misty in Roots.  

Malcolm Owen would relate:   "I was really delighted when punk happened...I was into a lot of jazz...George Duke, Weather Report, Stanley Clarke...I never play them at all now. I was a regular at The Vortex. I used to be tied up in all sorts of...(bondage gear). I just totally went along with it. And it turned me on so much 'cause it was so energetic...We gigged solidly in the RAR clubs with bands like Misty...We played gigs like that for a year with virtually nothing else...they were giving us gigs when no one else was."

 Ruffy remembers:    "Malcolm and Paul lived in the Hayes/Southall which is very multicultural, and I think Malcolm got to know Chris Bolton who was one of Misty's managers. We did a few gigs together and quite a few Rock Against Racism gigs. It was hard times in England then and we (The Ruts) were not particularly political, but Misty were our mates, and music really does break down barriers. It was great to play gigs together and present a united front.   I feel it was a good thing to present to the crowd. as there was a lot of hatred about what with the rise of the National Front, and the seemingly very racist SPG (Special Patrol Group)... a kind of riot police."

Jennings adds:    "Malcolm used to live in a very strange row of squat cottages in Hayes, later to be dubbed Rut Row... a good friend of ours, Lizzie Cook, introduced us to Clarence Baker, who managed Misty with Chris Bolton, and we ended up doing a few gigs at first which at the time were very weird. This then progressed into the Rock Against Racism gigs, and from there we just became kinda like fellow warriors as it were. Finally, we did away with any banners and let the music and event speak for itself..."

The band was signed to Virgin Records and set to work on their debut album.  'The Crack' was produced by The Ruts with Mick Glossop and Bob Sargeant.  The sessions featured Malcolm Owen on vocals;  Paul Fox on guitar and organ;  John "Segs" Jennings on bass guitar, and piano on "Jah War";  and Dave Ruffy on drums;  with Richard Mannah on backing vocals on "S.U.S" & "Criminal Mind";  Mick Glossop on synthesizer on "It Was Cold";  Gary Barnacle on saxophone;  and Luke Tunney on trumpet.   The album cover was done by artist John H Howard. 

'Babylon's Burning' went to number seven on the UK singles chart.

'Something That I Said' made it to number twenty-nine in the UK.

'Jah War'

 'The Crack'
full album:

All tracks written by The Ruts (Paul Fox, Malcolm Owen, Dave Ruffy, John Jennings).

1. Babylon's Burning 00:00
2. Dope for Guns 02:35
3. S.U.S. 04:45
4. Something That I Said 08:35
5. You're Just A...12:30
6. It Was Cold 15:25
7. Savage Circle 22:16
8. Jah War 25:23
9. Criminal Mind 32:15
10. Backbiter 33:50
11. Out of Order 36:55
12. Human Punk 38:46
13. Give Youth a Chance 43:17
14. I Ain't Sofisticated 46:25
15. The Crack 48:40

'In A Rut'

No comments:

Post a Comment