Release Date: Jun 4, 2013
Record label: Universal Distribution
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Post-Punk
It's Thursday 25th March 1982. An 11-year-old me is settling down with the rest of my family waiting for Top Of The Pops, a weekly ritual back then for as long as I can remember. Squeezed in between the anodyne Bucks Fizz and slightly more interesting but still decidedly bland Laura Brannigan is a band featuring a singer who appears to be wearing a full Beekeeper's suit.
Post-punk, apocalyptic, able to serve up some biting social commentary, and all while doing it so thunderously they seem on the very edge of heavy metal, veteran U.K. band Killing Joke get the simple chronological overview on The Singles Collection: 1979-2012, a set that does just what it says on the tin. The 1980 single "Change" is missing, but otherwise, their prime 7"s are knocked off in order with giant numbers like "Eighties," "Wardance," "Requiem," and "Love Like Blood" coming off as classic and essential.
This three-disc set isn't just a nostalgia-inducing reminder of Killing Joke's tremendous evolution since 1979; it also showcases the striking consistencies in the band's sound and ethos. The two main discs unfold chronologically, charting Killing Joke's subtle transformations over the years. The opening tracks, from "Nervous System" (1979) on, reveal a jangly, angular post-punk band with their politics on their (record) sleeve.