"A.W.O.L - THE COLUMN THAT ASKS,
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...?"
This article appeared in Melody Maker, 9 September 1995.
Many thanks to Mark Rowland for allowing us to reproduce it.
Who were X-Ray Spex?
One of the more exciting punk bands to pop up in the late Seventies, fronted by the youthful
Poly Styrene (Marion Elliot) with Lora Logic on sax, who went on to form her own band, Essential
Logic. There were some ugly blokes in the band, too.
What did they sound like?
Exuberant, pop-punk blasts with good tunes and Poly's shrieky and entirely infectious singing making
the whole thing an irresistible packager for anyone under 18 years of age.
Not ones to outstay their welcome, X-Ray Spex only produced one album, "Germ Free Adolescents",
and a handful of totally brilliant singles; some even came out on coloured vinyl. Check out "Germ
Free Adolescence", "Oh Bondage Up Yours", "The Day The World Turned Day-Glo" and "Identity",
Records to avoid?
No. There aren't enough to go around avoiding any. Twat.
The single, "Germ Free Adolescence", got to Number 19, while the parent album managed Number 30.
In cred terms, the band's greatest success was the fact that two songs from their second ever gig
turned up on the seminal punk sampler, "Live At The Roxy WC2", thus launching them very
What The Maker said:
The Maker file on X-Ray Spex has been nicked, so it will have to be: "Among the brightest and most
spirited bands of the punk movement, X Ray Spex left the world with a legacy of fine songs and Poly
herself was the archetypal role model for schoolgirls across the country to get up on stage and kick
serious punk ass."
Are they still going?
Like I said, it all stopped in 1979. Poly put out a couple of solo efforts, an album in 1980 and an EP in
1986. She has, however, just put the band back together and a new album should be with us any
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