“Animal World” : The Last Words

    This video was made in North Sydney for the cost of $13,000. It was filmed on 16mm by the same bloke what done all them Ringo Starr videos. Incidentally, I’m reliably informed that the band were well pissed during the shoot…

The Last Words — Malcolm Baxter (vocals), Andy Groome (guitar), Leigh Kendall (bass), John Gunn (drums) — played and recorded in both Australia (Sydney) and the United Kingdom (London) from 1977 to 1980. The band’s most successful song, “Animal World”, considered by many pundits to be a punk classic, was released by the band three times on three different labels and in two different countries. In Australia it was one of the first DIY punk releases; and the first punk single to be released locally on a major label by an unknown band that had never played live. In the UK it was the first Australian punk single to appear on a major punk label (Rough Trade), and reached number 8 on the Alternative UK Charts. In 1982 it was covered by the French punk band Kidnap as “Another World”, and in 2006 Brazilian punks SCHK recorded it live for a television appearance (viewable online)… “Animal World” has also appeared on numerous compilations (including “Killed by Death”) but most notably on the “Inner City Sounds” CD released in 2005. “Wondering Why” was covered in 1980 as “Frag Mich Varoom”[?] by German punk band Eric Hysteric and the Esoterics. The Last Words also appear in numerous books on punk rock including George Gimarc’s Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter’s Guide to Underground Rock, 1970 – 1982 and Inner City Sounds published with the above CD of the same name.

    The Last Words 1977 – 1980, released in 2007.

The first three tracks, “Animal World”, “No Music”, and “Every Schoolboy’s Dream” were recorded with producer Les Karski (of Supercharge fame) in 1978 when the band was signed to Wizard Records. Tracks four and five, “Today’s Kids” and “Something’s Wrong”, were recorded in London in 1979 on the band’s own Remand label and distributed that same year as a single, “Todays Kidz/There’s Something Wrong”, by Rough Trade, who had earlier released “Animal World” under license to Wizard. “Games”, “It’s Alright”, “Top Secret”, and “The Stranger” were all taken from the band’s self-titled LP which was produced in London by dub maestro Adrian Sherwood and released in 1980. The last two tracks, the original version of “Animal World” and “Wondering Why”, were written, recorded and released in Australia in 1977 on the band’s own Remand label, hence “original”. Located on the outskirts of western Sydney, the band comprised at that time only its founders, UK migrants Baxter and Groome, who played all instruments on this first, self-funded release.

Only five hundred copies of the Remand version of “Animal World” were pressed and these are still greatly sought after by collectors worldwide. The 1000 blue vinyl pressings of “Animal World” with “Every Schoolboy’s Dream” as the b-side, released by Wizard in 1978, is also a collector’s item. The Rough Trade release of “Animal World” with “No Music” on the flip side (1979) is valued by collectors for its picture sleeve and the “& Wizard” credit on the initial pressings.

However, their later releases, “Today’s Kids” and “Top Secret”, both in 1980, failed to duplicate the modest success of “Animal World”. Although noted for its dub cover version of Jefferson Airplane‘s “White Rabbit” and for its producer, Adrian Sherwood, the album, The Last Words, released in December 1980, did nothing to lift the band out of its relative obscurity. A recording (made by Eric Hysteric) of a gig at London University (March 1981, as support to Killing Joke) remains unreleased.

In 1979 Kendall played guitar on the Punks Are The Old Farts Of Today EP (Rock-O-Rama Records RRR 001) by the Vomit Visions. As The Esoterics, Groome (guitar, bass), Kendall (bass, guitar, vocals), Gunn (vocals) and Vomit Visions drummer Dieter Krist backed Eric Hysteric on the album Drive You Crazy (Wasted Vinyl Records, Waste 2, 1981), which includes “Frag Mich Warum”, the German version of “Wondering Why”, sung by Kendall. Groome and Kendall also played on three tracks (recorded before the album) released as Eric Hysteric solo singles — “Life” (Waste 45), “Fool Around” b/w “(I Wanna Be A) Kid Forever” (Waste 9) — in 1982 and 1983.


Animal World / Wondering Why : Remand, RRCS 2439, 3/77 (only 500 copies pressed, plain white sleeve);
Animal World / Every Schoolboy’s Dream : Wizard, ZS 196, 11/78 (blue vinyl);
Animal World / No Music In The World Today : Rough Trade, RT 022, 7/79 (the first copies of this single had “& Wizard” printed beneath the Rough Trade logo);
Today’s Kidz / There’s Something Wrong : Remand 2, 2/80;
Top Secret / Walk Away (Version) : Armageddon Records, AS 002, 8/80.


The Last Words, Armageddon, ARM-2, 8/80
Walk Away – Top Secret – My Streets Of Fire – Games – Do It Yourself – Semi Detached Love – Today’s Kidz / Spectacular Times – The Stranger – It’s Alright – Every Schoolboy’s Dream – Never Never Man – White Rabbit
[Produced by Zen Gangsters (Adrian Sherwood), Berry St, London]

The Last Words, 1977 – 1980, Remand, 2007
Animal World – No Music – Every Schoolboy’s Dream – Today’s Kids – Something’s Wrong – Games – It’s Alright – Top Secret – The Stranger – Animal World (original) – Wondering Why (original)

Source : Wikipedia

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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