Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On The Air (Simon Townsend, Big Country): Ready For Action (1980)

Rips n' scans donated by the amazing Bristolboy from the world-rocking blog, My Life's A Jigsaw.

What becomes the brother of a legend? If you're Who man Pete Townsend's little brother, Simon Townsend, you just have to carve out your own identity chip-by-chip. While Simon T. had done some solo singles in the mid-seventies, he earned a high-profile break in 1980 when his explosive mod-punk trio, On The Air signed to Warner.  While you can hear Pete's influence in these songs, especially in Simon's effective use of keyboards, the shadow of Paul Weller's own explosive mod-punk trio, The Jam, looms pretty large. Of course, this is a curious thing, as everyone knows that Pete Townsend was a huge influence on Jam leader Paul Weller.

The band''s first single, "Ready For Action" b/w "Crazy for Youth" finds the band honing a sound that's part early seventies Who, part late seventies Jam but also a large part Simon T.'s own skill in song-writng and band-leading. The deadly rhythm section he's leading into action here is one other than Mark Brzezicki on drums and Tony Butler on bass, who'd go onto massive success as one-half of Big Country. These two songs are, and this never ceases to amaze me, NOT on the CD their label, Track Records, called Ready For Action. Yeah that's right despite the single's artwork being the cover and the A-Side being it's title - they left both tracks off! W.T.F.?

Hey let us know what you think of On The Air and whether or not you want to hear more in the COMMENTS section!

Track Records


  1. Hey we'd appreciate some words on this rarity.

  2. Correction: Mark is on drums, Tony on bass.

  3. fantastic. thanks.

  4. Killer tune! Who knew that getting used to the synth sounds on those early 80's Who albums would payoff?


  5. Definitely a dated sound.I hear this I start to think of big hair!Not really my cup of tea but worth a listen.

  6. Thanks for the words, commenters!


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