THE Mod revival of 1979, sparked by the success of The Jam and the release of the film Quadrophenia, was, in its own way, just as explosive as punk in 1976-77.
This 4CD boxset is a superb overview of the scene, its 100 tracks including cuts by all the main bands of the time – Weller & Co excepted (presumably for licensing reasons).
It kicks off with the jaunty Just Another Teenage Anthem by The New Hearts, and most of the big names of the time are represented.
As well as the Purple Hearts song which gives the collection its title, there’s classics like Secret Affair’s Time For Action, The Lambrettas’ D-a-aance and The Chords’ Now It’s Gone.
Its real appeal lies in the gems by bands you’ve probably never heard of: the likes of Modern Boys by The Crooks and They’re Back Again, Here They Come by The Cigarettes, who sound more punk than Mod.
The heyday of the revival was 1979-80, and a fair proportion of the music here is from that period, but it extends all the way to 1989, just before the dawn of another exciting homegrown music scene, Britpop.
You’ve probably heard of Merton Parkas, Nine Below Zero, Q-Tips and Direct Hits, but how about The Dodos, The Stripes, The Threads and The Aardvarks?
No, me neither, but you’ll find something different commands your attention every time you play one of these discs.
You’ll find curios like Gabrielle by Shane MacGowan in his pre-Pogues band The Nips, and Bank Holiday Weekend by Seventeen – soon to enjoy chart success as The Alarm.
Presented as a book-style package, with sleevenotes on all the key bands, it’s essential listening for those of a certain age, and a great history lesson for anyone wondering what all the fuss was about. 9/10. GW