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The 4 Skins ‎– The Wonderful World Of The 4 Skins (The Best Of The 4 Skins)
Genre: Rock
Stil: Punk, Oi
Jahr: 1987

Trackliste
One Law For Them
Yesterdays Heroes
Clockwork Skinhead
A.C.A.B.
I Don't Wanna Die.
Seems To Me
Low Life
On The Streets
Plastic Gangsters
Evil
1984
Sorry
Five More Years
Jack The Lad
Wonderful World
Chaos

Years later it is hard to discuss a best of album and express the importance this record had on me. From first listen to all these years later. I have heard and collected every compilation, full length, single, and retrospective of the 4 Skins. "The Peel Sessions" are a fucking must if you have not heard them. But my love affair with the 4 Skins is because of this record. Yes, I had heard some of their stuff on some legendary comps, but this was the first record I owned of just 4 Skins material. Living in the States it was hard to get some of those records, add miles a ways from a record store and lack of money it was near imposable to get every record I wanted. So stumbling through Cellophane Square with a few bucks in my pocket and looking for the record that would light my soul on fire (who knew what the fuck that would be), I found this release from Link Records. I grab it like I just got my first dirty magazine and rapidly paid for it, the store before anyone could take it from me!

My sister is waiting for me and we go back home. The whole ride back home I held that record like I was clinging to the secret of life. I half assed my chores, brought the wood in, help my dad for a minute and blow off my home work just to listen to this record. Decades later I have not stopped listening to this record. At this point I had only a fistful of real Skinhead Oi! records. This was a proper Oi! record with songs about violence, being a Skinhead, Oppression, and telling the cops to fuck off. The parts of the record that I have not lived or did not understand sure the fuck excited my imagination and my urge for more. I never fit in and always felt society and it's rules fucking sucked. This record gave me my anthems and my template of what Skinhead is about and should sound like.

Decades of living this life, my perception of Skinhead and Oi! music has grown. But there has to be something said about the records and bands that lit the fire so many years ago. To this day this record sounds so fucking tough! From the siren cry of the guitar on the intro of "One Law For Them" I was fucking hooked. I never been in soccer fight or really understood the violence that can come from civil unrest or gang warfare. But I sure the fuck understood "One law for them and another one for us" Lyric. I understood classism from an early age. What a battle cry this song became for me!

To this very day no song has stayed as true as "A.C.A.B.". I know with all the issues we have in this country with Cops shooting black men and police oppression, what I am about to say may piss some people off. I know that math would tell us not all cops are bad people and I have met a few in my life that are good honest people and even call one my brother. But for what I have seen my whole life this song rings fucking true. In most places in this fucked up world the tip of the spear for oppression is the cops. We have used cops as the line between the rich and the poor. They have been used to oppress freedoms and those who stand outside of society. Look around at your local police force they no longer look like Johnny law in a blue uniform. They no longer look like a representation of the community, but an invading military force.

"Seems to me, there's not much fun anywhere.
Seems to me, no one seems to care.
Originality has died a death.
Goons under the gun & killjoys are left." Second verse from "Seems To Me".

I could not have said it better my self. "Seems To Me" is a brilliant punk song with its cheeky ska beat and dark lyrics delivered in a haunting style. Panther's voice is a perfect fit for this song.

Jangly piano adds the spice to the amazingly fun "Plastic Gangster". it was songs like this that really made the 4 Skins stand out. They were not scared to take risks. They also did not play by the so called rules of Oi!. The reason for this is simple: They were a working class punk band. Yea, I know they are one of the great Oi! heroes and all that jazz. But, I have always felt that they were that and more. Songs like "Plastic Gangster" prove my point.

"I like breaking arms and legs, snapping spines and wringing necks. Now i'll knife you in the back.
Kick your bones until they crack.
I'm Evil, evil, evil, evil
Evil, evil, evil, evil
Jump up and down upon your head. Kick you around 'til your dead. Fill your body full of lead.
See the roads turn to red
I'm Evil, evil, evil, evil
Evil, evil, evil, evil
I don't like trendy cunts who pose. Gonna punch you in the Nose. Stick my Marten in your crotch.
Don't like you, you're too much.
I'm Evil, evil, evil, evil
Evil, evil, evil, evil
I'm Evil, evil, evil, evil
Evil, evil, evil, evil" - Full lyrics of "Evil"

This song turned me on my fucking head. "Evil" was a fucking release for a young angry man. I felt like this band fucking gets it! they understand the feelings that race through my head. They understood them so much they gave em' a tough rough sound and lyrics that spoke for my angst. The 4 Skins were more then just violence and skinhead riots. The band would show you the bleak state of their country on "1984". The fuzz of the guitar and thump from the bottom end gives the song a dark menacing sound. A sound that fits the lyrics perfectly. From a song about the pending dystopia to one of the best songs ever about how the world is not going to stop fucking with you, "Wonderful World". Man, I felt this song when I was young and still today when someone shits in my cheerios this song plays in my head.

This is not a 4 Skins album but this was the record that I still have a love affair with. This is all killer and no filler. You get the best examples of all the singers the 4 skins had in their five short years. The songs cut and bite with reality and sarcasm. The music can be heavy, menacing and loose and cheeky. When you make it the end of the record and then you hear that live version of "Chaos" and over the edge you will go. This band set my world on fire, not just my world but that of many fucked up kids around the world. If you have never heard the 4 Skins or never given them a honest listen, then for me this is the record to start at. It captures the best from all the singers and is simply fucking awesome!

"Do you remember in 1969?
Seeing all the skinheads standing in a line
Foaming at the mouth, Waiting for a fight
High boots, cropped hair, what a fuckin sight

Come back of the skinhead
come back of the boot
People that we don't beat up
We're gonna fucking shoot
We are the new breed, we will have our say
we are the new breed, we ain't gonna die

Trouble east London
Trouble in the street
On the street corners
Where the gang still meets
Talking about the weekend
What they're gonna do?
If you aint careful
They are gonna do you!

Come back of the skinhead
come back of the boot
People that we don't beat up
We're gonna fucking shoot
We are the new breed, we will have our say
we are the new breed, we ain't gonna die

Chaos in the city
Civil war now
Skinheads taking over
Like skinheads know how
Skinhead with his boots on
Nobodys fool
Skinheads taking over
Chaos is the rule!
Chaos, chaos, chaos - dont give a toss
Chaos, chaos, chaos - dont give a toss!

Do you remember in 1969?
Seeing all the skinheads standing in a line
Foaming at the mouth, Waiting for a fight
High boots, cropped hair, what a fuckin sight

Come back of the skinhead
come back of the boot
People that we don't beat up
We're gonna fucking shoot
We are the new breed, we will have our say
we are the new breed, we ain't gonna die

Chaos, chaos, chaos - dont give a toss
Chaos, chaos, chaos - dont give a toss!" - Full lyrics for "Chaos".

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