This record is out of print. There are only a handful of new ones left in the world. That's why the price is so high. But you can download here for $9.99 (your best way to support the band) or from iTunes.
"'The American In Me' was a torn flag flown by the Avengers... the best punk band in San Francisco, in moments the best in the country – and what they were claiming was the country itself: the country that the Avengers’ songs said didn’t want them, didn’t recognize them, didn’t hear them, wouldn’t listen." – so start the liner notes by Greil Marcus, in this newly unearthed sonic manifesto from the Avengers.
From June of 1977 to June of 1979, The Avengers played just over 100 shows, appearing with the Sex Pistols at Winterland – that group's legendary last show, recording with Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and headlining dates with the X, the Go-Go's, and the Dead Kennedys. During their brief existence they released one 3-song 7” EP on Dangerhouse Records. A few months after they broke up the 4-song 12” EP came out on White Noise. In 1983 band members gathered together various recordings and put out a full length self-titled LP which has long since gone out of print and into legal limbo. As new generations of music fans discover the band, a never ending demand for recordings has spawned many bootlegs and one official release, a collection of live and studio recordings, Died For Your Sins, on Lookout! Records, in 1999.
Since then, Penelope has constantly been asked for more Avengers material. Finally some better live material surfaced, as well as studio versions that had never seen the light of day. While searching for a few more tracks, Penelope discovered the 2-inch 24-track masters from the Steve Jones recording sessions, which had been hidden in the back of her closets for years. After dusting them off, she found there were alternate takes of every song. Having aged for a quarter of a century, the tapes needed to be baked, then everyone held their breath while stripped down, driving versions of their best recordings came rolling off.
What you finally have are beautiful essential versions of “Uh-Oh” and “White Nigger” (without the heavy handed reverb of the Steve Jones mixes), an earlier version of “The American In Me” and a later version of “We Are The One” (both from SF’s famous Wally Heider Studios) and 8 live tracks from The Avengers third-to-last show. The Old Waldorf performance (which was likened, by Greil Marcus in his moving liner notes, to “the wreckage left behind by tornadoes”) held the musician’s anguish of knowing their band was ending. It also bares the creative process on songs that were still evolving, like “Zero Hour,” “Misery” and “Time To Die” which until now have never been officially released. Penelope’s memories of the performance, rare photos and a page from her performance log complete the handsome package.
“One of the first and finest bands to emerge from San Francisco's punk scene, the Avengers were together for only a little over two years, and they didn't release an album during their lifetime. But their passionate music and uncompromising viewpoints proved to be a major inspiration in a scene that would grow and flourish long after they broke up, and the handful of singles they left behind document a band of uncommon power and force. Just as importantly, lead singer Penelope Houston was one of the pioneering women of American punk, proving there was a place for female artists in the new music.” – Mark Deming, All Music Guide