In 1988, a year after they had fallen apart, loved by a hard-core legion of fans who had supported them up and down the country and across Europe, the Prisoners released “Rare And Unissued” on Billy Childish’s Hangman label. Despite its rather lo-fi nature, it became a prized possession for many of those fans but has never been available on CD until now.
In the intervening 20 years the Prisoners’ legend has grown. Graham Day and Allan Crockford have formed a variety of groups, from Planet to the Solar Flares (and Allan is currently in the Billboard Garage charts with his group the Stabilisers), organist James Taylor formed his Quartet and virtually invented Acid Jazz. The Prisoners are now lauded as the great pioneers of modern day garage, lauded in the NME as one of the most influential bands of the 80s and recently having their “Last Fourfathers” album described by Uncut as “one of the most important in British rock”. Everyone from Oasis’ Noel Gallagher to Radio One’s Steve Lamacq claim to love them, taking in Ian Brown and the Horrors along the way.
Our version of “Rare And Unissued” does not include a handful of tracks that are already available as bonus tracks on Big Beat’s reissues of the Prisoners’ original albums, but otherwise sees the Hangman album present and correct with great live tracks, live cuts and early B-sides showing a truly breathtaking outfit in action. We have added to that collection two wonderful undiscovered cuts, an instrumental called Unbeliever (fast) from the “Wisermiserdemelza” sessions and a take of Love Me Lies recorded live in a studio some time before the its appearance at those sessions. Also added are two cuts recorded at a demo session in 1984 which appeared on various small run compilations – Joe 90 and an amazing version of Hush.
The whole fully illustrated package is rounded off with in-depth notes, including comments from band members.
By Dean Rudland