Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Killed By Volume: Six

There in an invisible British top forty chart for the late 1970's. It features a deluge of kids with guitars, suits and a definite article who banged out brilliant pop singles that, owing to a glut of the same, never topped the real, paper charts of the time. Near the top of this invisible chart of great unknown hits is "Nervous Breakdown" by White Heat.

Formed in Newcastle 1976, White Heat, Alan Fish (Guitars), Colin Roberts (Bass), Bob Smeaton (Vocals), Bryan Younger (Guitars), and John Miller/George Waters (Drums) blew out out of the starting gate with their debut single in 1980. The A-side, "Nervous Breakdown", is a monster track that incorporates mod beats, rock n' roll guitars, a gargantuan hook, Springsteen-ish emoting and anti-pop lyrics that take dead aim at Barry Manilow. Everyone disses the Clash-lite B-side, "Sammy Sez", but it's still a pretty fair reggae-pop-punk number.

Do not miss the, more intense live version of "Nervous Breakdown" but avoid gawking at Bob's suspenders, his buffness or his propensity for dropping and giving twenty push-ups in mid-song!

Download Nervous Breakdown


  1. i agree, great single....musthave!!!!

  2. Y'know even with a certain Springsteen meets Travolta theatricality that Bob Smeaton is one helluva a performer.

  3. That's a nice rockin' tune.
    And the boys are certainly into Bob. I wonder if they were opening for Tom Robinson that night?

  4. Bob does have a bit of that musical theatre-ness about him.


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