For our 5/45s feature, we ask musicians to walk us through some of their favorite singles. Whether they be influential, impossible to find, or just a prized possession, we love discovering the 2-3 minute tunes that inspire some of our favorite music.
This week we take a walk through Patrick McEachnie’s five favorite 45s. In addition to playing in Pack Rat and Chain Whip, Patrick is a rabid record collector and sent over some amazing gems from his collection. Dig it!
Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop (Philips Records, 1976, France)
“There’s absolutely nothing that I can say about this song that you don’t already know and/or are sick of hearing. The three most important ways to hear Blitzkrieg Bop are: 1. Your first time, 2. The 40th anniversary mono remix, and 3. Screaming off your turntable in its original 45 RPM glory, which is what we have here. And how about that French picture sleeve? Only issued with a sleeve in France (got it), the UK (got it), and Japan (NEED IT!). This one is a favourite for the band’s seemingly one-and-done photoshoot and the typeface they never dared to use again.”
Black Flag – Nervous Breakdown (SST Records, 1979, America)
“Black Flag pioneered basically every aspect of being in a punk band, but most notably they blazed the trail of getting pissed with their record label, then pulling the rights and releasing it DIY – a story still heard 45 years later. Their debut EP was scheduled to come out on Bomp Records, but they got tired of label delays, yanked it, and formed their own SST Records to put it out. It’s DIY perfection. This is the original pressing with the brick wall sleeve and drums incorrectly credited to Robo.”
The Scabs – Amory Building (Clubland Records, 1979, England)
“The Scabs were four students at Exeter University that released one EP, then promptly broke up and disappeared. There are few things in this world that I love more than obscure DIY punk 45s with hooks and budget keyboards, and the Scabs are at the top of that pile. “Amory Building” is about their university catching on fire and the band doing nothing to stop it. Singer James Young once told me that the Sex Pistols were always going on and on about how much they “don’t care”, so in response the Scabs scoffed “the Amory Building’s on fire, and I don’t mind”. I faithfully reissued this 7” on my now defunct label Hosehead Records back in 2016, including the amazing oversized letter sleeve. This is the second pressing with red and black sleeve – I’m still on the hunt for a proper first.”
The Nerves – The Nerves (Self-released, 1976, America)
“Another one-and-done band, The Nerves self-released this four-song 7” in 1976, went on one ill-fated tour of America and Canada, then unofficially broke up on their return. Their early days in San Francisco saw them grifting everyone that crossed their path, which eventually lead to them relocating to LA. With burning bridges behind them, they repeated the process in LA, but this time in matching band-funded Yves Saint Laurent suits. All three members went on to separate music careers (The Breakaways, The Plimsouls, Paul Collins Beat, Jack Lee solo), but none quite reaching the high-water mark set here. But that’s the way she goes when you release the best American power pop record ever. First self-released with a white back sleeve, the band repressed it once it was picked up for distribution through Bomp with a black back.”
The Bureaucrats – Feel The Pain (MP Records, 1980, Canada)
“Canada’s token entry into the long lost punk 45 list, The Bureaucrats formed in Ottawa in 1979 by the Sidwell brothers, having just moved from Leicester, England (explains the accent). How does a band this good not release the rest of their recorded material? It all finally saw the light of day in 2000 thanks to a compilation LP, so at least we have that. Like so many early Canadian punk records, these are rare as hell. Even more so with the Buzzcocks-esque sleeve. Bureaucrats hit that perfect combination of early UK punk mixed with power pop hooks that just floors me. Bury me with this one. This is the original press on MP Records from 1980.”