The Essentials. “Fast Music In A Slow Town EP : Turn Off Your Radio / I Don’t Get // Johnny / It’s Essential.” (Safety Net Records, US, Net-1, 1982; picture sleeve, includes a 6.5″ square white paper insert printed both sides with band pictures, lyrics and release info.)
As I mentioned I am working on a book of Punk Era singles in ARC’s collection. This was the 2,000 one I’ve catalogued to date. So I’m coming across hundreds of little known to me releases that have been unplayed for far too long – this single came my way after VOLUME had gone to press.
The group hails from Fort Lauderdale, and this was their only solo release as a working band. It was produced with Charley Pickett, a leading figure among an eclectic group of South Florida outfits. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Walter Cz is also a graphic artist who has worked with many of these groups creating covers for The Eat and Charlie Pickett and the Eggs among others. Hard to believe he cites the Beatles and Credence Clearwater Revival as major influences. The Jam were also admired and that makes more sense. You can decide for yourself via Sweden’s Killed By Death Records.
The disc attracted my attention when I noticed how valuable this EP is now, selling for $2.75 back in the early 80s. If you want one these days it has recently, consistently sold for $200, with a high of $294.12 (Discogs; Popsike). So every few days I’ll highlight another surprising discovery in the stacks. Not all swell, not all valuable, but all reflect the times and help define an era.