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Oh Death, Up Yours! (R.I.P. Poly Styrene)

It’s been rough recently for the punks: we lost Ari Up last October, and now comes the very sad news that Poly Styrene passed away yesterday.

At least we still have the music. In memory of Ms. PS, I’ve assembled videos for the entirety of X-Ray Spex’s only but brilliant album, Germ Free Adolescents (1978).

A note: I went with archival video wherever I could, so the sound/image quality isn’t always the greatest (but you can buy the album if all you want is the songs!) (and it’s still pretty good, throughout).

Side One

1. “Art-I-Ficial”

2. “Obsessed with You”

3. “Warrior in Woolworths”

4. “Let’s Submerge”

5. “I Can’t Do Anything”

6. “Identity”

Side Two

1. “Genetic Engineering”

2. “I Live Off You”

3. “I Am a Poseur”

4. “Germ Free Adolescents”

5. “Plastic Bag”

6. “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo”

Bonus tracks:

An excerpt from the BBC’s Arena: “Who Is Poly Sterene?”

An interview from 1978:

And, of course:

Goodbye, Poly Styrene, and godspeed.

  • A. D. Jameson is the author of five books, most recently I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING: STAR WARS AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE and CINEMAPS: AN ATLAS OF 35 GREAT MOVIES (with artist Andrew DeGraff). Last May, he received his Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the Program for Writers at UIC.

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