VINYL JUNKIES – 7 songs that shaped my world by author, Martin Popoff.

The love for vinyl has always been there and many stories are attached to it. There is whispers in some quarters that vinyl is back, and they are getting louder.

Not in the same numbers that it was in the pre-cd day’s of the 70’s and 80’s, but the records are up on display in record shop’s.

A lot of people listen to songs in different ways. They download a song and in some cases they don’t know what the track is called or the name of the band. Does music mean as much as it did years ago?

There is hundred’s of reasons why we like a certain song. Vinyl Junkies is looking for the stories behind them.

A new feature for the blog is Vinyl Junkies: 7 songs that shaped my world.

First up is Martin Popoff who is a Canadian author of 70 books, including ‘Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers: The Rise of Motorhead’ he has also wrote ‘Rush – Album by Album’ plus his recent release ‘Metal Collector: Gathered Tales from Headbangers’.

Many of his books are translated into French, German, Czech and Italian. Martin has also worked on CD liner notes for Dio, Anvil, Twisted Sister, Mahogany Rush plus many more.


These are Martin’s 7 songs that shaped his world.

1.The Damned – Love Song (1979): The Damned are one of my favourite bands, let alone favourite punk bands, and they did that delightful thing of cranking out singles with songs that aren’t on the albums. This one included a raging near heavy metal gem called Suicide.

As well, I believe this was one of those where you could get it with a different member of the band on the cover, making a total of four covers. Mine has one of the sickest pictures of Rat Scabies ever taken.

Gary blog Damned

2. Gillan – New Orleans (1981): The New Wave of British Heavy Metal did the punk thing and put out a lot of singles, and within that, Gillan were one of the best, certainly of the major label acts, that had B-sides that weren’t on the album.

Didn’t care much for the tired blues cover, New Orleans but it was cool getting b side Take a Hold of Yourself. If you’re noticing a trend here, I was found it pointless buying domestic singles, because I would just usually opt for the album. But these trips down to Magic Mushroom and Strawberry Jams in Spokane, Canada, to buy imports, some of the greatest memories of my life.

Gary blog Gillan

3. The Clash – (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais (1978): This was one of the few early punk singles I managed to hang onto all these years.

I love the die-cut cover, the yellow, the custom record label with the gun pointing at you. The A-side was non-LP and even the B-side was non-LP, and I liked the B-side more than the A-side at the time, but alas, Hammersmith Palais became known as a great, great Clash track and rightly so.

The Clash were one of the first bands allowed into my sphere that weren’t heavy metal or heavy punk. Thanks forever go to them for opening my mind, most notably with the London Calling album.

Gary blog Clash

4. Sex Pistols – Holidays in the Sun (1977): Managed to buy few Pistols singles in the day, but this one was cool because I did buy the UK copy of the debut album, which didn’t have Satellite on it. Soon after, had to have the domestic version as well, and in Canada, at least, that did have Satellite, as a straight ad-on. But loved the colourful cartoon cover of this, and then the punk iconography on the back.

Plus the a side was one of the bands cool, considerably heavy rockers. Which is what we loved about the Bollocks album: by the end of 1977, it was only this record, Rainbow Rising, Motörhead’s debut and AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock, where every last song on the album was heavy. And Motörhead just barely, because we were quite suspicious of Vibrator. Too happy.

5. Witchfynde – Give ‘em Hell (1980): One of the creepier, blatantly evil New Wave of British Heavy Metal artefacts from the early singles apartment, Give ‘em Hell backed up the talk by being a scorching rocker, and Gettin’ Heavy wasn’t too shabby either.

Too bad both the first and the second albums weren’t quite as intense by the percentages. But yeah, getting this in 1980… that beat Venom, and it even somehow seemed more serious than Venom.

6. Sweet – Action (1975): Okay, now I did say that I didn’t drink domestic, but this unassuming non-picture sleeve single burned on my flame as a 13-year-old.

Sure, me and my buddies were already captivated and on a heavy metal sugar high with Give Us a Wink and its flagship song, Action. But the beauty of this little number is that the B-side was a super-smart, sharp progressive metal rocker not found on any LP, called Medusa.

As gorgeously appointed and executed as the band’s other highly professional heavy metal during this golden period, just the title and the rarity of it made Medusa like a little secret handshake or Freemason symbol amongst me and my schoolmates.


7. D.O.A. – World War 3: Being from BC, we were always snobs that the only heavy punk there was came from Vancouver, and that was by D.O.A and Subhumans, where the closest thing that the twice the size Toronto had was The Diodes. We didn’t really count The Viletones because they couldn’t get it together to get a full-length album out.

World War 3 was issued in 1979, with the first album coming in 1980. Yeah, I know, it’s all quite late, but the song, kicked ass, even if the B-side, Watcha Gonna Do? was almost post-punk. Love the black and white, love the band pictures, love Joey Shithead!

Recommended: WILL BINKS July 7th 2017  – JOHN HESTON August 3rd 2017 – NEIL ARMSTRONG August 11th 2017 – COLIN SMOULT  August 29th 2017 -– NEIL NEWTON September 12th 2017 – TONY HIGGINS October 11th 2017 – VINCE HIGH December 11th 2017.

Introduction by Gary Alikivi July 2017.