THE MEMBERS – “The Sound Of The Suburbs” / “Handling The Big Jets” (Virgin VS 242) January 1979

The Members ‘Sound Of The Suburbs’ – Here’s a rip-roaring attack of teen punk angst with playful lyrics about outsider kids sitting in their darkened bedrooms playing punk rock electric guitars and mothers downstairs in the kitchen making Sunday dinner.

A quite brilliant observation, this happened so many times when I was a kid. Only swap noisy guitars for action packed Subbuteo matches. “Sound Of The Suburbs” is the New Wave answer to The Monkees’ “Pleasant Valley Sunday”

The single was a success and reached the Top 10 with appearances on Top Of The Pops and local TV Stations. It was also released on clear vinyl with a different sleeve. I also have a copy of the regular release. Both covers scanned and presented here.

“Handling The Big Jets” is a guitar heavy instro climaxing in rolling drums and percussion. (YPS)

disaffected urban youth

Portrayed as the voice of disaffected urban youth, punk was just as influential and more shocking in the semi-detached arcadia of Middle England. The Members, from Surrey, got in their shout for the ‘burbs with their second single, their opening salvo for Virgin.

After an early gig, guitarist J.M. Carroll had declared, “We need a fucking anthem”, and this was the result. Like it’s Stiff predecessor ‘Solitary Confinement’, the single had a bawl-along chorus led by cheery frontman Nicky Tesco, and a serious point – the soul-lessness of suburbia, where Johnny sits upstairs in the dark of his bedroom playing punk rock electric guitar. (Mojo)

Worthy follow-up to the magnificent ‘Solitary Confinement’ (the best thing Stiff have ever put out). Another change of scenery and they’re still not happy and it suits them perfectly.

Gruff, misunderstood, lost, neglected, sardonic . . . . . like Graham Fellows jilted by life itself, laughing through gritted molars, very much the angry  young modern man. (NME)

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