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Avengers

by The Avengers

The long-lost "Pink Album" with 18 bonus tracks. "The Avengers were San Francisco's best punk band, in moments the best in the republic: fabulous songs, a snarling, confrontational presence, a primitive sound that could go anywhere." - Greil Marcus
Genre: Metal/Punk: Proto-Punk
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1. We Are the One Avengers
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2:42 $0.99
2. Car Crash Avengers
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4:21 $0.99
3. I Believe in Me Avengers
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2:55 $0.99
4. Open Your Eyes Avengers
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2:41 $0.99
5. No Martyr Avengers
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3:05 $0.99
6. Desperation Avengers
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2:33 $0.99
7. Thin White Line Avengers
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3:10 $0.99
8. Paint It Black Avengers
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3:17 $0.99
9. The American in Me Avengers
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2:09 $0.99
10. White Nigger Avengers
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3:37 $0.99
11. Uh-Oh Avengers
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3:07 $0.99
12. Second to None Avengers
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2:30 $0.99
13. Corpus Christi Avengers
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3:27 $0.99
14. Fuck You Avengers
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2:45 $0.99
15. Teenage Rebel Avengers
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1:55 $0.99
16. Friends of Mine Avengers
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2:14 $0.99
17. White Nigger (Alt Version) Avengers
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3:26 $0.99
18. Cheap Tragedies Avengers
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3:04 $0.99
19. The Good the Bad and the Kowalskis Avengers
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5:04 $0.99
20. Crazy Homicide Avengers
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2:32 $0.99
21. Summer of Hate Avengers
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2:24 $0.99
22. I Believe in Me (Live At Winterland) Avengers
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2:51 $0.99
23. Your Parents Sins Avengers
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3:04 $0.99
24. Something's Wrong Avengers
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2:42 $0.99
25. Money Money Avengers
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2:22 $0.99
26. Misery Avengers
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2:58 $0.99
27. Time to Die Avengers
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5:12 $0.99
28. Release Me Avengers
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4:44 $0.99
29. Zero Hour Avengers
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3:23 $0.99
30. American in Me (White Noise Version) Avengers
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2:10 $0.99
31. Uh-Oh (White Noise Version) Avengers
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3:07 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"'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."
-Greil Marcus

The Avengers were one of the first and most influential female-fronted punk bands in the US. In two short years, June of 1977 to June of 1979, singer Penelope Houston led The Avengers in just over 100 performances, from the Mabuhay and the Masque to supporting the Sex Pistols at Winterland (that group's legendary final show). They headlined shows with X, the Go-Go's, and the Dead Kennedys. During their brief existence, The Avengers released the We Are The One 7" on Dangerhouse Records and the four-song 12" EP on White Noise. In 1983, drummer Danny Furious and bassist Jimmy Wilsey gathered together these and other studio recordings for the full length self-titled LP -- the infamous "Pink Album" -- which would soon become the band’s essential release. Out of print for decades, Avengers has been the lost artifact of the first wave of American punk.

New generations of music fans continue to discover The Avengers, and this never-ending demand has spawned countless bootlegs and two official collections of alternate material. As long-time fans wear out their original LP’s and new fans scour the Internet for dubious downloads, the question arises again and again; "When will the ‘Pink Album’ be officially
re-released?" After literally years of effort the band has succeeded in making this release possible.

Disc 1 contains the original tracks and track order from the 1983 LP.
Disc 2 has the two bonus cuts that first appeared on cassette and CD versions of the "Pink Album" along with live recordings, rehearsal tapes, and studio demos. This set presents twenty-seven different songs and unique versions of four songs -- including alternate vocal mixes of "Uh-Oh" and "The American In Me" from the long out-of-print White Noise EP.

The LP is based on the original release and contains the first 14 songs listed below (all of disc one)

Avengers 2 disc set on CD
Disc One:
1 We Are The One
2. Car Crash
3. I Believe In Me
4. Open Your Eyes
5. No Martyr
6. Desperation
7. Thin White Line
8. Paint It Black
9. The American In Me
10. White Nigger
11. Uh-Oh
12. Second To None
13. Corpus Christi
14. Fuck You

Disc Two:
1. Teenage Rebel
2. Friends of Mine
3. White Nigger
4. Cheap Tragedies
5. The Good, the Bad, and the Kowalskis
6. Crazy Homicide
7. Summer of Hate
8. I Believe in Me
9. Your Parents Sins
10. Something's Wrong
11. Money Money
12. Misery
13. Time To Die
14. Release Me
15. Zero Hour
16. The American in Me
17. Uh-Oh

Disc Two info:
1, 2, 5, and 11 were recorded in 1977 at Iguana rehearsal studios by Joey Swales.
3 early version demoed at Wally Heider Studios in 1978.
4 recorded on May 13, 1979 at Peter Miller Studios.
6-8 recorded live January 14 1978 at the Winterland Ballroom.
9 recorded live January 20 1978, at the Mabuhay Gardens (the Miner's Benefit).
10 recorded live August 12, 1978 at the Steamship in Santa Cruz.
12-15 recorded live June 13 1979 at the Old Waldorf.
16, 17 recorded in October 12, 1978 at Different Fur, with additional recording in Los Angeles with Geza X and Rene Daalder.
Tracks 16 and 17 originally released in 1979 on White Noise.


Reviews


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by Emma Sun for PopMatters

Avengers
I can’t decide if the release of this self-titled compilation from the Avengers is phenomenally good timing or phenomenally bad timing. Through a quirk of fate, it arrives only weeks after the release of the blockbuster movie of the same name. Will the name be an asset or will this record just get lost in the melee? The only thing I know for sure is that these Avengers are my superheroes. The band’s self-titled LP, recorded in the late ‘70s and originally released in 1983, has surfaced in a variety of forms in the last three decades, but it has neither as consistently available as a record of its genius and influence ought be. This new version, packaged with a wealth of bonuses in addition to the original record, aims to change that.

Formed in 1977, the Avengers were pioneers of West Coast punk, part of the group of bands bridging the gap between the first wave of punk and the advent of hardcore. Although they never achieved the name recognition of the Dead Kennedys or the commercial success of X, the Avengers ran with the best of ‘em during their brief halcyon days of 1977 and 1978. Singer Penelope Houston’s uncompromising politics, youthful anger and ear for melody made the band a quick favorite in the bay area’s burgeoning punk scene, back when the Kennedys were just a twinkle in Jello’s eye. They even scored the opening slot for the Sex Pistols at their infamous final performance at the Winterland in 1978.

In their flicker of an existence, the band left only scattered recordings. Most of the studio recordings were subsequently compiled and released by CD Presents in 1983 the self-titled LP that makes up the first disc of this release. This recording drifted in and out of print due to legal disputes, and resurfaced in a variety of incarnations over the years. It was supplemented with additional compilations of studio, live and rehearsal recordings, and many of the best of these, along with a few tracks making their first official appearance, feature on the second half of the new release.

The first disc will come as no surprise to dedicated fans, but it will come as a relief for those frustrated by the present unavailability of this seminal release. For others, it makes an excellent introduction to the band. The production is rough and raw, the songs punchy and mean. So many of the tunes are punk classics, it’s hard to single out highlights. “I Believe in Me”, “The Amerikan in Me” and “Fuck You” will satisfy any fan of classic hardcore. Meanwhile, riskier tracks like “No Martyr” and “Corpus Christi” take the music beyond the narrow confines of standard hXc. And some—“Thin White Line”, “We Are the One”—are just noisily, messily irresistable.

Highlights of disc two include the blistering “Friends of Mine”, the arrestingly melodic “Cheap Tragedies” and the poignant “Time to Die”. The Avengers were so far ahead of their time that at moments they seem to predict the likes of Joy Division (the bridge in “Cheap Tragedies”) and the Pixies (the guitar on “The Good the Bad the Kowalskis”). The run of live songs in the middle of disc two is rough in terms of sound quality, although that’s hardly surprising as these recordings weren’t made for public release. Even so, it can be a frustrating listen, just one more reminder of how many great Avengers songs were never committed to tape. Still, it’s impressive to hear how tight the band was playing back then. They’re on fire.

Few punk bands have balanced personal and political angst as gracefully as the Avengers, ranging easily from flagrant songs like “The Amerikan in Me” and “White Nigger” to the deeply personal “Misery”. Even in their most introspective moments, though, the band doesn’t lose energy or edge. The band’s breadth comes to the fore particularly in the later tracks of disc two, which show a musical and emotional range not quite conveyed by the so-called Pink Album. This short stretch from “Misery” to “Zero Hour” shows a band willing to push boundaries in the very genre they helped to invent.

The Avengers never really got their due, thanks to their lack of recorded output and their premature split, but there is no question they stand alongside the Dead Kennedys, the Germs, X and the other leading lights of West Coast punk. As for those other Avengers you’ve been hearing about lately, they’re alright but I betcha Penelope Houston could take any one of them with one hand behind her back. Cheers