Roots, Radicals, Rockers and Reggae - 10. An absolutely stonking opener and a searing vocal from Jake. They take an obscure Bunny Wailer track and put their own indelible stamp on it. If anyone's heard the original, this is nearly a different song, lots of new lyrics and a completely different feel. Probably my favourite SLF song.
Just Fade Away - 8. A straight up anti-love song, shot through with melody and attitude.
Go For It - 7. A brave move putting an instrumental this early on an album but it works. A great shuffling beat, loads of percussion and put to good use as their walk-on music later in their career. I still hear it getting used on tv shows, the royalty cheques probably come in handy.
The Only One - 8. Henry Cluney would sing 3 tracks on this album and this is his best. Great chorus and a wonderful solo from Jake.
Hits And Misses - 6. The weakest track on the album for me. An admirable attempt at a song about domestic violence but the tune is wishy-washy and the lyrics aren't the greatest.
Kicking Up A Racket - 8. Simple but effective, with some nice production effects.
Safe As Houses - 10. Fantastic song about unfulfilled potential, great riff, great singing, another classic.
Gate 49 - 7. Another one of their slight-but-enjoyable songs, this is a nice Rock and Roll pastiche.
Silver Lining - 9. SLF add a horn section to their sound and it works, more great lyrics and very melodic.
Piccadilly Circus - 10. Another storming end to an SLF album, this is a powerful story of a friend who was stabbed whilst shopping in London. Heartfelt vocals and a brilliant outro, top notch stuff.
After the ramalama punk of the first two albums, this is where SLF decided to take their foot off the gas and stretch out a bit. Jake says his intention was to write an album where every song was a contender for a single, and though he failed on that score, this is an excellent album. Oh, and anyone who remembers the lyric sheet on the original LP version probably still has a headache!
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.