You get to a certain age I think, and you just have to get some sort of punk era singles compilation. For me, it was EMI’s Best Punk Album In the World Ever, a 2CD set I still own and it’s cover was roughly modeled on the Sex Pistol’s Never Mind the Bollocks. And it is out of this world. It exposed me to some of the best songs I’ve ever heard – Teenage Kicks, Ever Fallen In Love…, Marquee Moon. And some guys named the Ramones and some guy named Elvis Costello (but where is the Clash?).
But the best song on it, the one on CONSTANT (and I mean constant) repeat was Another Girl, Another Planet by the Only Ones. To this day, it is still the greatest song ever. If pressed by a stranger who seems to have a little bit of music knowledge about what my favourite song is, I would choose this (and Better Be Home Soon if it’s just at a dinner party or something). Look, it has the greatest guitars, great singing, great lyrics, sing-along bits, it’s short, sharp, funny, heart breaking, achingly romantic and even a little science fiction and lesbianism thrown in. To summarise: it rules.
And you know, I’ve still never seen the film clip to this song. Apparently it’s great. Further investigation and rummaging through friends records I discovered the song is on an album called Special View. It had a great cover. The band looked great on it. I nabbed a CD copy and to this day I’m still looking for it on vinyl.
The band was fronted by Peter Perrett – “the junkie Oscar Wilde” – who looked just like how I wanted a rock star to look. I hopeless romantic, a voice that screamed ‘I don’t care’. Before Another Girl, Another Planet, the band released a fantastic single on their own label called Lovers Of Today. But they were more than punk, as showcased on the first track of their debut album, the lovely ballad The Whole Of the Law. I loved AGAP the song, but The Whole Of the Law won me over with the band. Obviously, these guys went on to inspire bands like the Replacements, as opposed to the Living End. I will argue til I’m blue in the face that there is more to this band than one song.
There have been efforts to revive their critical standing over the years. The latest angle is that Perrett’s kids are in the Babyshambles. But their 3 albums bombed pretty badly, their catalogue is in disarray, and Perrett is not about to promote himself. Still, bands cover Another Girl, Another Planet to this day. It even appeared on the last Blink 182Greatest Hits. Find the original on your closest Punk era compilation. Or check out Special View, their best album (and yes I know it’s not really an album) and if you’re still sticking with me here grab Why Don’t You Kill Yourself? The Complete CBS Recordings, which is everything over 2 discs with a horrid cover but great liner notes, and then come around to my house and we’ll air guitar to some vinyl only bootleg stuff.