Chumbawamba stuff on AGIT PROP

AGIT 1 CHUMBAWAMBA "Revolution" 7 inch EP '85
First single, all copies had hand-printed inserts. A self-financed record which was put out when promises of an LP release fell through. Second pressing had different inner sleeve. Now deleted.

AGIT 2 CHUMBAWAMBA / A STATE OF MIND "We Are The World?" 7 inch EP '86
Joint single with a San Francisco-based band who had similar ideas to Chumbawamba; two songs each with lyrics based on the USA/UK "special relationship". A punky antidote to Thatcher/Reagan. Deleted.

AGIT 3 CHUMBAWAMBA "Smash Clause 28!/Fight The Alton Bill!" 7 inch EP '88
EP with thick booklet. Chumbawamba's first recorded stab at confronting pop culture's ignorance of sexuality issues. Loud and deleted.

AGIT 5 CHUMBAWAMBA "I Never Gave Up" 12 inch / CD Single '92
Re-recorded from the "Slap!" album, wrapped in a sleeve which parodied the Pet Shop Boys and a halfway point between Slap! and Shhh... still experimenting with a coupling of dance beats with folk structures. Still available as a 12" single, distributed by Southern.

AGIT 666 CHUMBAWAMBA "Behave" 12 inch / CD Single late '92
Not much loved by Southern (our then distributors), this record was a bugbear which led to Chumbawamba finally calling it quits for the band's own Agit-Prop label: unable to afford to publicise the single properly and having to argue for the distributors to release it as CD as well as vinyl, "Behave" was released whilst the band were on tour in USA. By the time they got back to the UK it had virtually disappeared without trace. Nevertheless it remains one of Chumbawamba's favourite recordings.

PROP 1 CHUMBAWAMBA "Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records" LP '86
Despite having a big backlog of songs ready to record for this first album, all the lyrics were quickly re-written and re-worked in the light of the "Live Aid" spectacle which took place a few weeks before recording began. A concept album!

PROP 2 CHUMBAWAMBA "Never Mind The Ballots" LP '87
Released against a background of the British General Elections; stretching the "concept" theme by making one song last an entire side. Not quite side 2 of Abbey Rd.

PROP 3 CHUMBAWAMBA "English Rebel Songs" 10" / CD '88
Having tired of the familiarity of their sound up until now, Chumbawamba changed their approach by making the illogical step of recording an album of acapella folk songs... thereby setting out the band as categorically uncategorizeable. Not the best album, but important in defining Chumbawamba's unwillingness to toe the rock n roll party line.

From folk harmonies, a year without doing much (when the collapse of a previous distributor stuck the band in a ton of legal hassle to reclaim records which were pressed up and sitting in a warehouse) led to the inevitable influence of dance beats. "Slap!" took some of Chumbawamba's audience - especially in USA and Germany, where dance music wasn't yet crossing cultural boundaries - by surprise. Maximum Rock n Roll (a hugely popular American magazine) refused to review the record on the grounds that Chumbawamba "weren't punk any more". A change lyrically, too, the songs conciously optimistic.

PROP 9 CHUMBAWAMBA "First Two" LP / CD '92
A re-release of the first two albums ("Pictures..." and "Ballots") at budget price.


Following the clampdown which stopped "Jesus H Christ" from being released (see Shhh sleevenotes), this album was released in it's place - more or less the same songs (couple different), different attack to the lyrics: twisted round to reflect the censorship of "Christ" and more powerfully recorded.