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The Three Johns

A side group started in 1982 by Mekons co-founder Jon Langford, the Three Johns, originally made up of Langford, John Hyatt, Phillip "John" Brennan, and a drum machine, specialized in abrasive, politically charged, danceable rock. Sounding almost nothing like Langford's main band, the Johns were a silly-serious bunch of political and cultural provocateurs. Recording during the height of Margaret Thatcher's ill-conceived Tory rebellion, the Johns were openly antagonistic to this new, conservative vision of Britain's future. And while their elliptical and epigrammatic lyrics might not offer the sloganeering that would easily identify them as lefties, certainly there were enough hints dropped along the way to remove any doubt. Unlike other rock agit-prop, the Johns played a fairly accessible version of polemical post-punk anti-pop that embraced big, messy arena-rock-sounding guitars and hard, repetitive, quasi-hip-hop dance beats. Perhaps the most subversive thing about the Johns is that, despite Langford's and Hyatt's goofy vocals, they were, in their own weird way, pure pop for now people, especially those who hated Thatcher. With collective tongue planted firmly in cheek, the Johns took on British and American obsession with materialism, the diabolical Reagan-Thatcher lovefest, the machinations of the pop music industry, all of it done with a great sense of humor mixed in with genuine fear and horror. Frequently hard to pin down, the Johns reveled in being slippery, exhibiting a love and loathing for pop music. In some respects, the Johns resembled friends and fellow Leeds, England mates the Gang of Four, but where the Gang of Four was dour and serious (bordering on academic), the Johns were loutish and boisterous, which when combining politics and rock & roll can, ultimately, be a good thing. After the release of Eat Your Sons in 1990, Jon Langford turned his attention full-time to the Mekons, putting the Three Johns on what has turned out to be an indefinite sabbatical. ~ John Dougan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Deathrocker Scrapbook

1. Incredible Wendy Frith

2. Nightmare

3. Snitch

4. Burn While You Learn

5. Hello Dickie

6. Conversation With Freud

7. Is Your Brain Your Own

8. Mouths To Feed

9. You're Not Like Manson Are You?

10. Mountain Men

11. Buzz

12. Be Goode

13. Machinery Seeds

14. Cheap Computer

15. We Won't Wobble

16. Peter's Advertising Agency

17. One Fine Day

18. High Standards

19. The Press Is A Toad

20. The Ballad Of Collin Buggers

21. Compensation

22. Fill Me Up

23. Spider Spaceship

x

Track List: Volume

Disc 1

1. English White Boy Engineer (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

2. Secret Agent (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

3. Pink Headed Bug (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

4. Lucy In The Rain (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

5. Men Like Monkeys (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

6. Two Minute Ape (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

7. Windolene (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

8. Marx's Wife (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

9. Paris Forty One (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

10. AWOL (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

11. Rooster Blue (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

12. Image Of An Animal / Kick The Dog Right Out (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

13. Do The Square Thing (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

14. World Of The Workers (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

15. Zowee (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

16. Kinkybeat (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

17. Sad House (Razorblades) (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

18. The Day Industry Decided To Stop (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

19. Fill Me Up (1982-87 All The Singles And B-Sides)

Disc 2

1. Teenage Nightingales To Wax (Atom Drum Bop)

2. Do Not Cross The Line (Atom Drum Bop)

3. 3 Junk (Atom Drum Bop)

4. Firepits (Atom Drum Bop)

5. No Place (Atom Drum Bop)

6. Dr. Freedom (Atom Drum Bop)

7. Missing (Atom Drum Bop)

8. Sun Of Mud (Atom Drum Bop)

9. The Devil's Music (Atom Drum Bop)

10. Class War / Merry At Their Toil (Atom Drum Bop)

11. Death Of The European 12" Mix (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

12. Heads Like Convicts (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

13. Rabies (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

14. 20th Century Boy (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

15. Brainbox (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

16. Watch It Go (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

17. Crazytown (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

18. Men Without Bones (Atom Drum Bop Bunus Tracks)

Disc 3

1. Sold Down The River (The World By Storm)

2. King Car (The World By Storm)

3. Demon Drink (The World By Storm)

4. Johnny The Perfect Son (The World By Storm)

5. Torches Of Liberty (The World By Storm)

6. Atom Drum Bop (The World By Storm)

7. Death Of The European (The World By Storm)

8. Coals To Newcastle (The World By Storm)

9. The Ship That Died Of Shame (The World By Storm)

10. The World By Storm

11. Rose Of Yorkshire (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

12. Fruit Flies (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

13. Industry (Live) (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

14. AWOL (Live) (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

15. Devil's Music (Live) (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

16. Engineer (Live) (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

17. Never And Always (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

18. Turn Up Those Downhearted Blues (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

19. Big Whale (Never Live) (The World By Storm Bonus Tracks)

x

Track List: World By Storm

1. Sold Down The River

2. King Car

3. Demon Drink

4. Johnny The Perfect Son

5. Torches Of Liberty

6. Atom Drum Bop

7. Death Of The European

8. Coals To Newcastle

9. The Ship That Died Of Shame

10. The World By Storm

x

Track List: Live In Chicago

1. Teenage Nightingales To Wax (Live)

2. The Day Industry Decided To Stop (Live)

3. AWOL (Live)

4. The Devil's Music (Live)

5. 3 Junk (Live)

6. Death Of The European (Live)

7. McDonna (Live)

8. English White Boy Engineer (Live)

9. Do Not Cross The Line (Live)

10. 20th Century Boy (Live)

11. The World Of The Workers (Live)

12. Windolene (Live)

13. Kick The Dog (Live)

14. Do The Square Thing (Live)

15. Rooster Blue (Live)

16. Reds Strike The Blues (Live)

x

Track List: Atom Drum Bop

1. Teenage Nightingales To Wax

2. Do Not Cross The Line

3. 3 Junk

4. Firepits

5. No Place

6. Dr. Freedom

7. Missing

8. Sun Of Mud

9. Devil's Music

10. Merry At Their Toil/Class War

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NOT AT ALL A GOOD SONG !!!!!!!!!!!! : - (

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