Various – New Rose Story 1980 - 2000 (4 CD BOX)
Unmistakably packaged in a neon pink box, this four-CD survey of the first 20 years of France's New Rose label is an essential guide to the European post-punk underground -- and that's the real underground, the stable and singles that may not have had the critical impact of Rough Trade, Homestead, Hot, or Blast First, but who informed more of those mavericks than you could ever imagine. Like Rough Trade, New Rose started life as a record store alone, named for its founders' favorite 45, the Damned's "New Rose." The label was launched in 1980 with the Saints' live EP Paralytic Tonight Dublin Tomorrow and, concentrating on both local and foreign talent, New Rose was soon issuing up to ten albums a month, together with a multitude of handsomely packaged 45s, many of which swiftly became collector's items -- and a lot of which are rounded up here. From Willie Alexander to Chris Spedding' the Cramps and Gun Club to Sky Saxon and The Fugs, New Rose's specialty was unearthing the cults that everyone thought they ought to have heard of but few had actually encountered before. And, if the quality of the material didn't always live up to expectations (much of New Rose's Johnny Thunders output is distinctly sub-bootleg), that only added to the cachet. Eighty-five tracks across four CDs, of course, tell only a fraction of the New Rose story, but it's difficult to quibble with how well those discs have been stuffed. Besides, a 44-page booklet offers biographies, anecdotes, and a full label discography to let you fill any gaps in yourself.
Label: Last Call Records
Media Condition: Near Mint (NM or M-)
Sleeve Condition: Very Good Plus (VG+)