Friday, September 18, 2009

Battered Wives and Cigarettes




Toby Swann: Vocals, Guitars
John Gibb: Vocals, Guitars
Cleave Anderson: Drums
Jasper (aka Larry) Klassen: Vocals, Bass
Patrick Mooney: Drums (Replaced Anderson)


The Battered Wives were part of that same Queen Street scene that spawned The Viletones, Diodes, Teenage Head, The Curse, The Ugly and dozens of other bands that populated Toronto's downtown during the lava-hot summer of 1977. 

Naturally, with a moniker like "Battered Wives", they were no stranger to controversy.  Women's groups were critical of not only the band's name but their logo: a fist with a lipstick smeared across the knuckles.  The band never apologized for the name, claiming they were drunk when they chose it.



Women reportedly picketed every venue they played.  But the constant controversy and media attention became too much for Cleave Anderson (who, seemingly, has played with virtually every Toronto punk rock band from the era).  He would leave the band to join The Sharks (with Sherri Kean of "I Want You Back" fame), to be replaced by Patrick Mooney.

Eventually, they bowed to public and record company pressure, releasing their follow-up as The Wives.  They opened for Elvis Costello on the European leg of his tour.  But with no promotion for the western gigs, the group asked to be released from their deal with Bomb records.  Ready Records picked them up and even let them use the "Battered" prefix in their original name.

Ah, but all things must come to an end, or at least a whimper.  Punk rock's hedonism petered away and the band split up.  British born Toby Swann had a solo career and founded Gamma Gamma.  Jasper Klassen became a successful Nashville songwriter.  John Gibb returned to his business career.  Patrick Mooney played with several Toronto bands.  Cleave Anderson would have the most success, of course, as a member of Blue Rodeo.


Meanwhile, here's something interesting (as pointed out by Beau of It Came From Canada -- please visit his site...he's got some neat stuff there!):

Listen to "Angry Young Man" and you'll notice a mysterious resemblance to the J. Geils Band's "Freeze-Frame".  "AYM" came out in 1977/78, while "FF" was released in 1982.

Makes you wonder. 

Battered Wives (1978):

1
Battered Wives
Daredevil
2:57







2
Battered Wives
I Want It All
3:08







3
Battered Wives
Get What I Can
3:18







4
Battered Wives
Uganda Stomp
2:59







5
Battered Wives
Suicide
3:52







6
Battered Wives
Angry Young Man
2:20







7
Battered Wives
You Better Be Right
2:35







8
Battered Wives
Lovers Balls
3:42







9
Battered Wives
Everybody Loves A Loser
3:24







10
Battered Wives
Freedom Fighter
3:36







11
Battered Wives
Talkin' Shop Liftin'
4:18







12
Battered Wives
Something She's Hiding
3:04







13
Battered Wives
Best Part Of A Man
3:33







14
Battered Wives
Rocking Good Summer
2:02







15
Battered Wives
Rodeo
3:58







16
Battered Wives
Bad News
2:56










By The Way:

Thanks To Shane For The Following Upload!!!


 


This is the Wives' ultra-rare second album, Cigarettes. It's the sound of The Man winning the argument: as the band shortened their name.    Not as "Punk Rock" as their earlier material, but still great.  I'm hearing these songs for the first time and I love 'em. 

Enjoy.

Cigarettes (1979):

1
Battered Wives
Ready Or Not
3:10







2
Battered Wives
New Wave Robot
3:11







3
Battered Wives
Afraid Of The Dark
3:48







4
Battered Wives
Windy Beach
2:32







5
Battered Wives
Run For Your Life
3:33







6
Battered Wives
Hit And Run
2:49







7
Battered Wives
Plastic Princess
2:59







8
Battered Wives
(I Love) Telling You Lies
2:26







9
Battered Wives
Fantasy
2:38







10
Battered Wives
Wake Me When It's Over
2:53







11
Battered Wives
Mandy
5:13







12
Battered Wives
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
2:52







13
Battered Wives
Pass Out
2:59







14
Battered Wives
Love Abuse
2:53







15
Battered Wives
Factory Girls
4:11







16
Battered Wives
Classified
3:40







17
Battered Wives
Giddy
2:04








9 comments:

robert pally said...

Cool band. Thanks!!

Robert

Shane said...

I have the wives album...if you are interested in, let me know your email address...I'm also interested in old canadian classic punk bands, if you wanna trade some mp3, drop a line here

Son of Spam said...

Hi Shane:

Thanks for the comment. My email is son.of.spam@gmail.com.

I have more stuff I'll be posting. Unfortunately, time has not been friendly lately. I try to keep posting whenever I can.

(But I'll be sure to post the Cigarettes release as soon as you can get it to me -- thanks!)

Cheers!

brian james said...

d'oh the ciggarettes lp has been removed,great disc's i still the first album (on red vinyl),used to have ciggarettes and live on mothers day,but sadly no more.would love to get both again,any chance of a re upload of cigarettes?i'll keep checkin.great site,for the digital ver of first album,cheers,m8.

Son of Spam said...

FYI, Brian:

I've reupped Cigarettes.

Cheers!

brian james said...

thanks sos.great to hear it after all these years.i have the viltones screaming fist single and
some d.o.a stuff in mp3.let me know
if your interested.i'd love to find"live on mothers day" or even teenage head's frantic city.cheers m8.

Anonymous said...

My email addy is lnesbitt3@cogeco.ca .....would love to get The Wives Cigarettes album again, been looking for it for a long time.

Tom Kjaersgaard said...

Any old Teenage Head on vinyl?

Tom Kjaersgaard said...

Any old Teenage Head on vinyl?