Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Professionals: 1-2-3 [1980]
The Professionals: White light white heat [1980]
The Professionals: Baby I don't care [1980]

1-2-3 was the second single by The Professionals, accompanied by its two b-sides.

The Professionals were:
Steve Jones − lead guitar and vocals
Ray McVeigh − rhythm guitar
Andy Allen − bass (until he was sacked)
Paul Cook − drums

Not to be confused with these Professionals. More on that band shortly. I dropped a pretty penny on one of their albums on vinyl. You will soon be able to judge whether it was worth it.

Buy music from The Professionals here. And watch a very un-punk video for 1-2-3 on YouTube, here.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Mike, which just goes to prove how much of a limp affair Cook & Jones became, trailing like a whipped cur's tail in the wake of the Pistols' infamous implosion.

"1-2-3" still sounds like a retread of "Silly Thing" without the infectious sing-along chorus, but at least by this time they were prevented from using the Pistols' name as a point of sale. All the guitar double-tracking and overdubbing just seemed tiresome by 1980, and when you consider Public Image Ltd. were already on their second album, in hindsight it seems impossibly dated.

For die-hard completists only, i think, though thanks for including the version of "White Light, White Heat" from the b-side as it's the first time i've heard it, given i refused to lay out any cash on the single the first time around.

If i were a dog, however, i confess i would be salivating at the prospect of a further post by those other Professionals - how did you manage to track that one down ? Would it seem cheeky if i asked how much it skinned you ?

Mike said...

"Would it seem cheeky if i asked how much it skinned you ?"

On the off-chance that my girlfriend actually reads this blog from time to time, I think I will refrain from answering that question. I will say it is being shipped from Europe and based on what I've heard contains a smokin' version of 2001, which coincidentally has become a new goal of ArtDecade: to post every version of 2001 ever recorded.

I hear you on the PIL comparison... I think very highly of P.I.L. and wouldn't choose to listen to The Professionals in the parking lot of a Pixies concert, as I have with P.I.L.

Anonymous said...

While accepting the negative comparisaon of The Professionals with PiL, I still hear the driving rhythm that made the Pistols more than the indifferent voice of the lead singer and the beyond indifferent playing of Sid Vicious after Matlock's departure.
And I thought I had posted last time that the 'other' Professionals were covering a Hot Chocolate song - must have forgotten to click 'go'.

Mike said...

"And I thought I had posted last time that the 'other' Professionals were covering a Hot Chocolate song - must have forgotten to click 'go'."

Indeed you are correct.

Anonymous said...

Grumpy Old Man, it goes without saying that Cook & jones were the driving rythm of the Pistols after Glen Matlock's inglorious departure (read kicking him out to replace him with Lydon's pal). No-one would dispute either, Matlock/Jones/Cook's hand in writing the better part of "Bollocks". And yes, Sid was really only there to look the part - fuck the bass technique.

Listen, forgot the P.I.L. yardstick just for one second. I liked the Rich Kids pop sensibilities: if nothing else it proved Matlock still had something to prove, if you know what i mean. My contention, basically, is that there was no Pistols after "Bollocks" - that "Swindle"/"Some Product", etc was mere filler.

"No One is Innocent" ; "Something Else" ; "Silly Thing" was essentially a load of old tosh. Bollocks, actually, in the literal sense.

I know Steve Jones could play guitar, and play it more than profficiently. I accept that Cook was more than able, too, to keep things cooking nicely on the drums. But how would I sum up the Professionals even in a world where Lydon ceased to exist alongside Sid ?

Easy, mate. A lot of turgid shite.

P.S. I always had a soft spot for Hot Chocolate. Nice note on the provenance.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I always liked that Professionals single. Wore the crap out of it in fact. I can see myself turning up "1-2-3" as I drive down the highway this summer and feeling all hoolie again.

Mike said...

Excellent beer 'n hockey... had you headr the b-sides before?

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I have owned this 45 for a good long time. Cook 'n' Jones and the rest of the Fucked Four have done nothing but good for Britain, the Queen and her horses. "Baby I Don't Care", the throwaway of the three songs, is the sort of Shakin' Stevens groove the Pistols were not so far removed from in the context of the Pink Floyd World we lived in three decades ago.

Jones' "Fire and Gasoline", a cassette of which I am still fond of, is probably a better slice of the Art Decade you are having so much fun with.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Just listened to the three songs for the first time in a good long while. My 45s do not get the work out they once did.

Love the football chant chorus of "1-2-3." That was a piece of the appeal of much of the good British punk rock of the second half of the long '70s.

And that is quite the screeching guitar show by Jones on "White Light White Heat." Again, compare the solo here or the drumming with anything off a Pink Floyd record. You youngsters out there ought to buy your old punk rock dads a beer.

The whole thing sounds better than my memory of it. Chimo.

Anonymous said...

If you like the football terrace sing-a-long on "1-2-3" and "Silly Thing" then you'd do better to check out the Glitter Band's singles and two albums from 1974 and 1975. They kind of kicked that whole game off anyway, i feel.

And i don't want anybody to buy me a beer. Like the Mekons said, "I'll have to dance then on my own" (Fast Records, 1978).

sharkattacksteve said...

The first three comments are pointless.Noboy's saying they were as good as the Pistols and it's asinine to compare them to PIL.
It's simply really good rock'n'roll by one the best guitarist of his generation.If you can't appreciate it for what it is go listen to some obscure reggae to prove how hip and liberal you are.Wanna be Christgaus ever where you go.