Cockney Rejects – Flares N’ Slippers

Cockney Rejects – Flares N’ Slippers // Police Car, I Wanna Be A Star (Small Wonder Records) 1979. I haven’t posted any Oi in a while so why not this? A stone cold classic from 1979. I first heard it on Burning Ambitions. Now, this may sound like blasphemy to any old skin, but I actually like The Cockney Rejects more than Sham 69. Don’t get me wrong, Sham 69 had some great songs but they also recorded a lot of dreck. Even from their classic period, songs like If The Kids Are United or Angels With Dirty Faces, just seem too over the top for me. But The Cockney Rejects? Those guys were over the top in a good way. In their early incarnation, they didn’t try to get too serious and both this 45 and the follow-up LP Greatest Hits Volume One are just classics of the genre. And if you still disagree with me that they weren’t as good as Sham, well please note that none other than Jimmy Pursey himself is hanging with the Rejects on the cover. That’s cuz he produced it. So how’s that for having your cake and eating it too?

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12 Responses to Cockney Rejects – Flares N’ Slippers

  1. Brushback says:

    Loved the Rejects — “Bad Man” is one of the greatest songs ever…

  2. dave says:

    i am in full agreement about Sham 69.

  3. Ben Low says:

    The Rejects are just pure fucking idiotic genius. Such a joyous noise, you can tell they’re really having a laugh, not sure how anyone could not at least like them. Great songs too and such a full cutting guitar sound. I think of them as a shade apart from the rest of the Oi bands, more purely punk rock and with less skinhead baggage, and I believe they pre-date many of them as well. I only ever had the version of “Police Car” on one of those Link Records Oi Collections that flooded American in the late 80s. Happy to hear the other tracks. Great post as always.

  4. Adamski says:

    Good shout about Sham. They produced some real dreck. Also on the cover of the Rejects is that buffoon Garry Bushell. I think he managed them at the time.

  5. edu says:

    what a great record!!!
    i remember as if it was yesterday when i bought cockney rejects “greatest hits vol1″ and i went nuts. so catchy riffs and you could feel the energy and agression of those guys. all songs are instant classics!!! but lord, thier first single is also brilliant! it’s fun, one of the reasons i started a band back in the day (that lasted only months XD) was to play “police car” by the rejects one time and another til the eternity.
    and what about sham 69? oh lord, also remember as it was yesterday the day i bought the “tell us the truth” cd when i was 14. that was my favourite record for years!!!!! i mean, the three first songs are SOOO brilliant… and i loved so much their looks. they didn’t need “to dress” like punks… i mean, no leather jackets, no safety pins, no spike hair. just a shirt, jeans, and a pair of sneakers. it was like: ok, we are punks but we don’t need to dress like punks; we don’t care about fashion, we care about attitude!!! and i loved that whole idea at the time [by the way, just as a brief comment: don't forget the huge influence sham 69 played in the incipient early hardcore scene from washington d.c.]
    guess cockney rejects, sham 69 and menace (don’t forget them, a BRILLIANT band as well!!) are the perfect soundtrack for early teens, who are desperate and overdosed with adrenalin. well, at least those were the bands that worked for me:)

  6. Macka P says:

    That’s awesome, I first heard this on that Burning Ambitions comp too. Which for a long time that was the only place you could find that song.

    The album to hear though for the Cockney Rejects is Greatest Hits Volume TWO! That is the one with all the classics on it. I went over to Ireland in around 1985 and bought it and brought it back to St. Louis. At one point I lent it to a friend of mine and didn’t get it back for almost 2 years! It apparently had been borrowed and stolen and somehow made it all around the city and by the time it made it back to me was pretty trashed. The good thing about loud abrasive punk albums though is that they seem to sound the same whether they are trashed or brand new. I held on to the record until around 2006 when I ran into a kid who had Cockney Rejects stenciled on his jacket. He said they were his favorite band so I met up with him later and gave it to him.

    If there are any English readers of this blog they might find it amusing that, as a 15 year old, when I first heard the song ‘War on the Terraces’ I thought that they were talking about armed assult on suburban condos or something!! Ha! I had no idea what they meant by terraces and without this prior knowledge it is damn near impossible to make the connection.

    Funny recalling that story actually reminded of something else. When I was in Ireland in ’85 it seemed that all the punks I saw had Toxic Reasons patches and T Shirts. I thought this was odd at the time. What’s up with the Irish punks being into Toxic Reasons in the ’80s? Interesting.

  7. Joe says:

    Macka P — I did a check on Discogs and both volumes 1 and 2 are worth owning actually:

    I picked up this great Cockney Rejects (CD) box set from Newbury Comics a few years back that had both of these LPs in them.

    What makes me more curious is that you discovered them on Burning Ambitions in St Louis!?! That’s pretty coincidental. I bet however, you didnt pick yours up at the Camelot Records in Jamestown Mall!

    I too thought War on the Terraces was about urban guerillas.

  8. Macka P says:

    Sure I didn’t mean to dis Volume 1 I just wanted to get Vol 2 mentioned. I mean, how often do you get a chance to seriously discuss what are the best Cockney Rejects albums? :)

    I got mine at Record Bar at West County Mall which was an 80s mall record store worthy of any John Hughes movie. They actually had a semi respectable little Punk/New Wave section goin there back in the early 80s. Then one day around 1986 I went in there and all the records were gone…

    I said to the manager “What the hell…” she just looked at me and shrugged and said “I know, it sucks but this is the way the music industry is going and I have to go along with it” – They had gotten rid of all there records and replaced them with…CASSETTES!

    I started singin’ Bye Bye Miss American Pie but what can you say. Cassettes are gone. CDs are making themselves obsolete and records are still around. I just bought some new records last week. Nice.

    As for Burning Ambitions-what a kick as comp. I’ve got it in my hands right now. Back when it came out my friend and I didn’t have a whole lot of money so we bought it together and split it up. He took one record and I took the other. This kind of thing just wouldn’t happen today.

  9. Joe says:

    Did you get the hardcore/oi one or the class of 77 one? wait if it was the one with the Rejects…you got the hardcore/oi one. Great tracks on that one by The Partisians, Cockney Rejects, Killing Joke, Dead Kennedys, The Expolited, Disorder…man what a killer record.

  10. Jason Toon says:

    Chalk up another St. Louisan who first heard the Rejects on Burning Ambitions. I bought the double-LP at Record Exchange on Hampton (old location) circa 1990. If any record can ever change anybody’s life, that one did, for me. I instantly went from knowing maybe five punk bands to knowing 30, or whatever.

    Goddamn it was hard to find pre-thrash punk stuff in those days. After “Identity” blew my mind, I naively called Vintage Vinyl to see if they had the X-Ray Spex LP and was informed that no, they didn’t have it, and if they did, it would cost hundreds of dollars. This was still before the wave of CD reissues started…the Dark Ages for aspiring punks.

    (As for the Rejects, I prefer Vol. 2, but yeah, they’re both great. Definitely one of the very best Oi bands, up there with Blitz and the better 4 Skins stuff.)

  11. Joe says:

    Thats pretty amazing when you think about it. We’re talking about three folks in Saint Louis all being hepped to punk over a ten year period by one comp. I think you nailed it when you said that you instantly went from knowing 5 bands to 30.

    I bought mine in 1983 and a lot of the old punk LPs were readily available and not that popular. I was 13 so my record collection at that point was pretty small. Hardcore and new wave were in full swing. My record collection is in chronological order (of when I bought them) to this day and you can see the affect Burning Ambitions had on it.

    Before BA there’s some Gary Numan, B-52s, Sugarhill 12inches, David Bowie, Talking Heads, DEVO and then Burning Ambitions hits and blammo after that, I’m Stranded by the Saints, Germ Free Adolescents by X Ray Spex, Singles going Steady by the Buzzcocks, Pure Mania by the Vibrators, The Stranglers, 999, Dead Kennedys, Killing Joke, Exploited and most importantly Pink Flag by Wire which just utterly blew my mind and still does to this day.

  12. John says:

    Glad to see so many people on here like the music of the Cockney Rejects, Sham 69, menace etc. It was mentioned above that these bands did not need to dress as extreme punks, and I would say that because of that they appealed to some of us as kids in the late 70s as some of us never had the money to buy the clothes and tee shirts at that time, so this added to their working class appeal to some extent.
    The Rejects are still out there gigging as strong as ever. Fortunately there isn’t the risk of concert violence as there was in the late 70s and early 80s so you just get to enjoy the music. The Rejects were no pushovers though, as football related violence broke out at one of their gigs in 1980 in Birmingham England, and according to Sounds magazine, Stinker Turner and Mickey Geggus who were both boxers tore into the troublemakers though they were outnumbered.

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