Those First Impressions: Johnny + The Self-Abusers – “Saints + Sinners” UK 7″

johnny + the self-abusers saints + sinners
Chiswick Records | UK | 7″ | 1977 | NS 22

Johnny + The Self-Abusers: Saints + Sinners – UK – 7″ [1977]

  1. Saints + Sinners
  2. Dead Vandals

Johnny + The Self-Abusers was not the first name the band that would eventually become Simple Minds ever had. That would be the even weirder Biba-Rom! But Johnny + The Self-Abusers was their name at the time of the band’s very first release. For a band that was getting in on the ground-floor of UK Punk, there are a lot worse first moves that getting signed to Chiswick Records; an indie label with legitimate Punk cred perhaps second only to Stiff Records at the time.

The band contained Charlie Burchill, Brian McGee, and Jim Kerr who would go on to form Simple Minds. Allan McNeill [guitar] would run a recording studio before becoming a psychologist. Bass player Tony Donald would also briefly pivot to Simple Minds, before being replaced by Derek Forbes. And John Milarky would leave to form The Cuban Heels following the breakup of Johnny + The Self-Abusers on the very day their one single was released in November of 1977.

The binaural stereo spread of the guitar and drums in the intro of “Saints + Sinners” certainly got one’s attention quickly. The speedpunk ditty wasted no time at a taut 1:52 as it recklessly blazed through the song; pausing only for a single-bar fuzz riff in the middle eight panned hard left, right, then center. The sound was thin and cheap, but hard enough to make an impact. The one-bar solos also served as the climax to the song as it stopped on a time before anyone could ever get bored with it.

At 2:59, the B-side, “Dead Vandals,” was practically a Prog Opus compared to “Saints + Sinners.” One can strongly detect the influence of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground on the punky swagger and especially Jim Kerr’s vocals here. With a slower tempo and several bars where there was no singing, this track more strongly pointed the way forward for the Glaswegians. It was a modest single, fitting in with the times even as it sought to move in a deeper direction on the flip side.


soul jazz reissue of saints + sinners

I got one of these almost 40 years ago for what was chump change. Discogs has the disc in the $60-80 zone currently. Anyone with an interest but a low budget, should know that Soul Jazz Records are re-issuing the 45 in a limited edition of 500 this Friday, Marsh 24th with the silk-screened outer sleeve as shown here for a cool £10.00/$12.20. If you need one of these replicated artifacts in your own, personal Rec0rd Cell, then act now while the acting’s good. The Soul Jazz store page also has playable samples that are 90 seconds long; holding very little back for buyers. Mr. DJ hit that button!

post-punk monk buy button


About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in Core Collection, Record Review, Scots Rock, Those First Impressions, Want List and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Those First Impressions: Johnny + The Self-Abusers – “Saints + Sinners” UK 7″

  1. Every post is an education with you. I’m sold I’m hooked I’m in I’m on board I’m giving Macca thumbs up and I’m spending a tenner


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