VARIOUS ARTISTS: Oi! The Album: CD

Ah, yes, good to see you again, old friend…. Much turntable-time has this record gotten from me over the past twenty-odd years, and with good reason: it’s a great fuckin’ record. Unlike so many of the more recent forays into the oi/“streetpunk,” this, the very first of the lot released way back in 1980, is blessed with a track list that is consistently great, if not downright awe-inspiring. A couple of clunkers aside (hello Postmen and Barney & The Rubbles), the bands represented reads like a who’s who of the original “oi” wave—Cockney Rejects (whose “Oi Oi Oi” here gave the style its name), Peter And The Test Tube Babies, 4 Skins, Exploited, Terrible Twins (a collaboration between The Cockney Rejects’ Mick Geggus and Kidz Next Door bassist Grant Fleming), Angelic Upstarts, Cocksparrer (whose blues workout “Sunday Stripper” remains one of the collection’s brightest moments), Max Splodge, and Slaughter & The Dogs—and the songs they contribute are all anthems of the genre. Many a noggin, this once included, has been shaved to this bad boy, and no doubt that will remain the case for some time to come. Glad to see this is available with its original track list intact, and much thanks to the Captain for the format upgrade. Now I can give my vinyl copy a much-deserved rest.

 –jimmy (Captain Oi)