Gone But Not Forgotten! The Fabulous POLY STERENE And X-RAY SPEX

Great bands from the past

5 March 2022

One of the most genuine Brit punk bands of
the late ’70s was, unquestionably, X-RAY SPEX.

School friends Marianne Joan Elliott-Saidn, loudmouth Poly Styrene, and
Susan Whitby, saxophonist Lora Logic, started the group in 1976 and made
an instant intense impact on London’s punk scene with loud and clear feminist
punk manifestos, but they also ranted about our consumer society, environment
issues and other essential daily life problems.

They sounded amazing, they looked amazing and they
made an amazing debut LP with Germ Free Adolescents.

By 1979 Styrene left the band an ddid some solo work and
later X-Ray Spex had some reunion shows, but in 2011 Poly
was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn’t survive the
cruel attack on her body. She was only 53. R.I.P.

Three great X-Ray moments…



(Saxy live version. ACE!)

Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard
But I think “oh bondage, up yours!”
Bind me, tie me, chain me to the wall
I wanna be a slave to you all
Oh bondage, up yours
Oh bondage, no more


X-RAY SPEX Released Their Explosive Debut Longplayer ‘GERMFREE ADOLESCENTS’ 40 Years Ago…

Going back in sonic history looking for memorable albums…

9 November 2018


Album: GERMFREE ADOLESCENTS – the band’s debut LP

Released: 10 November 1978 – 40 years ago

ALL MUSIC review: “Perhaps the most utopian aspect of the U.K. punk scene was that it offered creative, articulate young people the opportunity to express themselves, and to kick
up an exuberantly noisy racket in the process. X-Ray Spex certainly came from this wing of the movement, the brainchild of two female schoolmates who re-christened themselves Poly Styrene and Lora Logic. X-Ray Spex was far from the only female-centered British punk act, but they were arguably the best, combining exuberant energy with a cohesive worldview courtesy of singer and songwriter Poly Styrene. As her nom de punk hinted, Styrene was obsessed with the artificiality she saw permeating Britain’s consumer society, linking synthetic goods with a sort of processed, manufactured humanity. Styrene’s frantic claustrophobia permeates the record, as she rails in her distinctively quavering yowl against the alienation she feels preventing her from discovering her true self.”
– Full review here – Score: 4/5

TURN UP THE VOLUME! says: To my ears and eyes frontwoman Poly Styrene – born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said – was one of the most genuine, outspoken, creative and honest DIY artists of the era. Not like the many media punks stars we all know/knew, but a great individual with a unique talent and style. May she rest in peace.

TOP TRACKS: The Day The World Turned Day-Glo / Identity / I’m A Poseur

* The Day The World Turned Day-Glo

* Identity

* I Am A Poseur

ALBUM in full…
(#1 – #12)

X-RAY SPEX: Website

YESTERDAY’S CRACKERS – This Week: 25 Killer Tracks And 3 Top LP’s From 1978…

The best of the past

Every week Turn Up The Volume! jumps into the past! Relive 25 Crackers and
3 Top Albums per year/per week. Here’s another fabulous year to remember: 1978.



– ‘All Mod Cons‘ by THE JAM

Stream here

– ‘Parallel Lines‘ by BLONDIE

Stream here

‘This Year’s Model’ by ELVIS COSTELLO

Stream here


See/hear you next week for the year of 1979…

10 Fabulous Longplayers Turning 40 in 2018!…

1978: An effervescent year to dive into!
Here’s my selection – 10 superb ones!

1/ ‘All Mod Cons’ by THE JAM
NME wrote: “Not only several light years ahead of anything they’ve done before but also the album that’s going to catapult ‘The Jam’ right into the front rank of international rock and roll.”
Released: 3 November 1978 – their outstanding 3rd LP
Listen here

2/ ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ by BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Rolling Stone wrote: “It poses once more the question that rock & roll’s epiphanic moments always raise: Do you believe in magic? And once again, the answer is yes. Absolutely.”
Released: 2 June 1978 – passionate 4th longplayer
Listen here

3/ ‘This Year’s Model’ by ELVIS COSTELLO
All Music wrote: “The songs on This Year’s Model are typically catchy and help the vicious sentiments sink into your skin, but the most remarkable thing about the album is the sound. Costello and the Attractions never rocked this hard, or this vengefully, ever again.
Released: 17 March 1978 – sparkling second LP
Listen here

4/ ‘Another Music in a Different Kitchen’ by THE BUZZCOCKS
All Music wrote: “The big secret is Shelley’s worship of Krautrock’s obsessive focus on
repetition and rhythm, which transforms what would be “simply” basic punk songs into
at-times monstrous epics.”

Released: 10 March 1978 – their thunderous debut LP
Listen here

5/ ‘The Modern Dance’ by PERE UBU
All Music wrote: “The Modern Dance is the signature sound of the avant-garage:
art rock, punk rock, and garage rock mixing together joyously and fearlessly.”

Released: January 1978 – fascinating debut album
Listen here

6/ ‘Real Life’ by MAGAZINE
Melody Maker wrote: “No one that has the slightest interest in the present
and future of rock ‘n’ roll should rest until they’ve heard Real Life”

Released: June 1978 – their gloomy debut LP
Listen here

7/ ‘More Songs About Buildings And Food’ by TALKING HEADS
Rolling Stone wrote: “The eclecticism of ‘More Songs about Buildings and Food’, its witty distillations of disco and reggae rhythms, its reconciliation of ‘art’ and punk rock is masterful, The music represents a triumph over diversity.”
Released: 7 July 1978 – their funky second album
Listen here

8/ ‘Germ Free Adolescents’ by X-RAY SPEX
All Music wrote: “Poly Styrene’s frantic claustrophobia permeates the record. It’s full of kick-out-the-jams rockers, with a few up-tempo thrashers and surprisingly atmospheric pieces with
a raw, wailing saxophone.”

Released: 10 November 1978 – smashing debut
Listen here

Melody Maker wrote: “Strong, abrasive, visceral and constantly inventive,
with a thrust that makes the spaces equal partners to the notes

Released: 13 November 1978 – black pitch debut longplayer
Listen here

10/ ‘Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!’ by DEVO
Rolling Stone wrote: “It’s a brittle, small masterpiece of Seventies pop irony, but its shriveling, ice-cold absurdism might not define the Seventies as much as jump the gun on the Eighties.”
Released: 28 August 1978 – mental debut LP
Listen here