Tuesday, November 18, 2008

les hommes morts sont dangereux

The first release - a 45 - on Geoff Travis's independent Rough Trade label in December 1977 was not homegrown. He didn't look to London, and he didn't scour the seedy venues of northern districts and boroughs in a bid to fly the flag.

The first release on Rough Trade was Metal Urbain's "Paris Marquais b/w Clé de Contact", limited to a 10,000 pressing. RT 001. Even the song titles themselves proudly broadcast the group's European status and Rough Trade's intention straight from the off. This was no insular enterprise.

Metal Urbain had previously released a self-financed single in Spring of the same year; "Panik b/w Lady Coca Cola" on the French Cézame Cobra label (COB 47004). Limited on that occasion to a 5,000 print run, they were hardly moving into mainstream distribution in signing with Travis, but they were at least travelling in the right direction. Faith was the overriding principle at play. Faith sealed the deal.

"Paris Marquais" was their first and last 45rpm outing on Rough Trade.

Metal Urbain called it a day in late 1979.

A retrospective album, including updated remixes of their British single, appeared on the Celluloïd label in January, 1981. Rough Trade released the LP with a different track sequence and minor mastering alterations in the UK.

This excellent song is from that album. By this time, Clode Panik had retired from vocal duties, as had original guitarist, Rikky Darling.

Eric Debris: vocals; Hermann Schwartz: guitar; Pat Luger: guitar.

Produced by Tony Platt and Doug Bennett.

Dig, Lazarus, dig!

METAL URBAIN: ULTRA VIOLENCE from "Les Hommes Morts Sont Dangereux" LP (Celluloïd / Rough Trade) 1981 (France)



ib said...

Interesting. I was just listening to UV again when I realized how much this particular song owes to Wire. Both great bands.

Mick said...

Great post. John Peel had a European night in the early 80s and I discovered Metal Urbain and Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft on the same night. There’s a Metal Urbain track he played that I’ve been after for years but I have no idea what it was called. One of my old house mates had the LP and I should have taped it when I had the chance.

ib said...

Thanks, Mick. John Peel is irreplaceable, and I'm glad you mentioned him. He kind of made it vaguely reasonable to even think of paying for a license fee. Not any more.