Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Soft Boys- A Can of Bees (1979) / Invisible Hits (1983) MP3 & FLAC

"And darkness is the shore of light, the truth is framed with lies. And a girl can smile sweetly though her mouth is stuffed with flies."

The Soft Boys, originally formed as Dennis and The Experts at the height of the U.K. Punk movement, were a band seemingly constructed out of contrarian tendencies, for, quite of of step with the musical zeitgeist of the late seventies, they dressed their brand of Post-Punk in the kind of late-sixties psych-rock and Brit-Rock signifiers that were anathema to the "three chords or less" minimalism then in vogue. What wasn't so obvious at the time of the release of their debut, A Can of Bees, was that Psychedelic revivalism would blossom just a few years later in the U.K., U.S. (most notably in Athens, GA. and Los Angeles, CA.), New Zealand, and Australia. As such, there can be little doubt that The Soft Boys played a major role in connecting the dots between Post-Punk and neo-psychedelia; as head Soft Boy Robyn Hitchcock has noted, "Big Star and us were the rickety bridge between The Byrds and R.E.M."  Hitchcock's "rickety bridge" metaphor is both apt and a little modest. Apt because while neither band had any commercial success (though in Big Star's case, this was largely due to poor promotion), they both exerted a huge influence on the musicians who peopled the early-eighties psyche-rock resurgence. Modest because both bands demand to be heard on their own terms, as their music, in and of itself, is just as distinctive and influential as the music that inspired them. In the case of A Can of Bees, this is a sound as likely to indulge in the jagged abrasiveness of Post-Punk as it is the Jangle-Pop that would become more prominent on the band's second album and undisputed masterpiece, Underwater Moonlight. Opening with the bluesy swagger of "Give It to The Soft Boys," what stands out immediately is the dual guitar attack of Hitchcock and Kimberly Rew, which, while certainly echoing a band such as Television, seems to burn along according to its own slightly-skewed logic. The Soft Boys' unique intersection of influences is clearly on display in "Human Music," which reveals their Jangle-Pop roots, but passes this sound through a darker, dirtier, less polished prism that provides a perfect musical context for Hitchcock's Lou Reed-inspired vocals. R.E.M., were you listening? And then there's "Sandra's Having Her Brain Out," an unlikely but brilliant combination of Post-Punk cynicism and Beatlesque vocal harmonies. An album such as A Can of Bees couldn't have been more out of place in 1979, the same year Joy Division released their debut, Unknown Pleasures. And while The Soft Boys' debut garnered barely a murmur commercially, its influence continues to be felt thirty years later.

A Can of Bees 
(Yep Roc ~ 2010/1979 ~ Remastered Edition)

 1. Give It to The Soft Boys  (2:15)
 2. The Pigworker  (4:33)
 3. Human Music  (4:31)
 4. Leppo and the Jooves  (5:28)
 5. The Rat's Prayer  (3:22)
 6. Do the Chisel  (3:06)
 7. Sandra's Having Her Brain Out  (4:09)
 8. Return of the Sacred Crab  (2:57)
 9. Cold Turkey  (4:20)
10. School Dinner Blues (Live)  (2:24)
11. Wading Through a Ventilator (Live)  (3:58)

Invisible Hits  
(Ryko ~ 1993/1983 ~ Remastered & Expanded Edition)

 1. Wey Wey Hep Uh Hole  (3:29)
 2. Have a Heart, Betty (I'm Not Fireproof)  (2:38)
 3. The Asking Tree  (5:10)
 4. Muriel's Hoof / Rout of the Clones  (4:02)
 5. Let Me Put It Next to You  (1:59)
 6. When I Was a Kid  (5:05)
 7. Rock 'N' Roll Toilet  (3:15)
 8. Love Poisoning  (4:36)
 9. Empty Girl  (4:56)
10. Blues in the Dark  (4:10)
11. He's a Reptile  (4:27)
-Bonus Tracks-
12. Have a Heart, Betty (I'm Not Fireproof) (Alternate Mix)  (2:36)
13. Rock 'N' Roll Toilet (Alternate Mix)  (2:39)
14. When I Was a Kid (Original Mix)  (5:22)
15. Love Poisoning (Original Mix)  (4:35)
16. Wey Wey Hep Uh Hole (Live)  (3:47)


  1. Wow, this is a great surprise for a weekend in July. Thanks so much for The Soft Boys. I do not have this in my collection and it is very much appreciated. I have really grown to love the Soft Boys and Robyn Hitchcock. Kurt

  2. Nice to see you adding some Robyn Hitchcock. I have about everything he recorded (if that is possible). To me the Soft Boys and Hitchcock's solo work are one and the same. This is good stuff:)

  3. Kurt, you're welcome. I've got several more Hitchcock-related posts up my sleeve :)

  4. Peter, yes, I was thinking the same thing: luna needs some Hitchcock!

  5. May I request a flacalicious upload of "Underwater Moonlight"? :)

  6. leakingwater, 2-CD version coming very soon

  7. thanks voixautre. robyn hitchcock and julian cope are keeping syd barret's ouvre alive. many thanks!

  8. Thanks voixautre - I've somehow completely missed The Soft Boys in my rock schooling. Thanks for the education. Excited to check them out.

  9. bedlam, good point. I think we could all use a little more Syd these days

  10. Matt, you're welcome. It's always wonderful to hear comments like yours. I will soon be posting another Soft Boys album, "Underwater Moonlight," which is their best; don't miss it :)

  11. "leakingwater, 2-CD version coming very soon"

    oh goodie. i only have that in 128kb. it's amazing to think how good the original 10 track album could have been. you get He's a Reptile, There's Nobody Like You & Song #4 on there for Old Pervert...and uh two others (god knows which two) you've got one of the greatest things ever.

  12. Spikey, I'm in complete agreement and "Underwater Moonlight" is up next :)

  13. Invisible Hits link doesn't appear to be working. I'd love to snag this, so thanks for whatever you can do and for all the terrific music you provide. -m.

  14. Anon., this happens from time to time with Megaupload. Try back either later or tomorrow and it will probably be working. If not, send me an email:

  15. voixautre - thanks for this u/load..agree with the above. MU link has been showing as 'unavailable' for the past 4 days. Would love this disc.

  16. Morph, I'll re-up the file ASAP

  17. Anon. & Morph, I have re-upped the MP3 file for "Invisible Hits," so it is working now

  18. Many thanks for the speedy re-up and was well worth waiting for. Muchly appreciated.

  19. I think you guys would like to see this post:

  20. peter, yes, I am definitely interested in this. Thank you so much for the link!


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