Last Words – Armageddon Records – 1980

Walk Away / Top Secret / My Streets Of Fire / Games / Do It Yourself / Semi-Detatched Love / Today’s Kids

Spectacular Times / The Stranger / It’s Alright / Every Schoolboys Dream / Never Never Man / White Rabbit

Released on Armageddon Records in 1980, straight after the LP ‘Underwater Moonlight’, the second excellent LP by The Soft Boys, this debut and only LP by Last Words is pretty damn melodic and mighty fine.

Indebted to Mick Lugworm for lending it to me to download.

Some wikkie pee’d eh? text below on the band:

The Last Words were an early punk band from Sydney, Australia. They played and recorded in Sydney and London from 1977 to 1980. The band comprised Malcolm Baxter (vocals), Andy Groome (guitar), Leigh Kendall (bass) and John Gunn (drums). The band’s first single, “Animal World” had a cult following. Last Words were among the first rock bands to experiment with dub music, recording with Adrian Sherwood in 1980.

The band’s founder members, UK migrants Baxter and Groome, grew up in Liverpool on the outskirts of western Sydney and played all of the instruments on their first, self-funded release, “Animal World”, which would be the band’s most successful song. It was released by the band three times on three different labels — initially their own label — and in two different countries. In Australia, it was the first punk single to be released on a major label, by an unknown band that had never played live. In the UK, it was released by Rough Trade, and reached number eight on the UK Independent Chart. All three releases are today collectors items. The Rough Trade release of “Animal World” with “No Music” on the flip side (1979) is valued by collectors for its picture sleeve and the “& Wizard” credit on the initial pressings. The 1,000 blue vinyl pressings of “Animal World” with “Every Schoolboy’s Dream” as the b-side, released by Wizard in 1978, is also a collector’s item. The Remand version of “Animal World”, released in 1977 as one of the very first DIY punk singles, is, for this reason and the single’s rarity, also valued by collectors worldwide.

In 1979, Kendall played guitar on the Punks Are The Old Farts Of Today EP (Rock-O-Rama Records RRR 001) by German band Vomit Visions, beginning a series of collaborations between members of the two bands.

However, the band’s later releases, “Today’s Kids” and “Top Secret”, both in 1980, failed to duplicate the modest success of “Animal World”. Although noted for its dub version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and for its producer, Adrian Sherwood, the album, The Last Words, released in December 1980, did nothing to lift the band out of its relative obscurity. A recording (made by Eric Hysteric) of a gig at London University remains unreleased.

A retrospective album, The Last Words 1977-1980, was released in 2007. The first three tracks, “Animal World”, “No Music”, and “Every Schoolboy’s Dream” were recorded with producer Les Karski (of Supercharge fame) in 1978 when the band was signed to Wizard Records. Tracks four and five, “Today’s Kids” and “Something’s Wrong”, were recorded in London in 1979 on the band’s own Remand label and distributed that same year as a single, “Today’s Kidz/Theres Something Wrong”, by Rough Trade. Rough Trade had earlier released “Animal World” under license to Wizard. “Games”, “It’s Alright”, “Top Secret”, and “The Stranger” were all taken from the band’s self titled LP which was produced in London by dub maestro Adrian Sherwood and released in 1980. The last two tracks, the original version of “Animal World” and “Wondering Why”, were written, recorded and released in Australia in 1977 on the band’s own Remand label.

In November 1980 Groome, Kendall and Gunn recorded with German cult figure Eric Hysteric (ex-Vomit Visions) the album Drive You Crazy (Wasted Vinyl Records, Waste 2, 1981). Groome and Kendall also played on three tracks (recorded before the album) released as Eric Hysteric solo singles: “Life” (Waste 45, 1982) and “Fool Around”/”(I Wanna Be A) Kid Forever” (Waste 9, 1983). In 1981, Malcolm Baxter co-wrote the single “Dream Home” with Pete Petrol of Spiz Oil fame. Baxter later moved back to Sydney and formed Tenement Dance. The band released the reggae-inspired single “Wild West”/”Had My Chance” on Tribal Records in 1984.

  1. luggy
    September 21, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Cover painting by Brett Lees, Puppy Collective member & Westbere Road resident.

  2. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    September 22, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Leigh Kendall and Andy Groome both lived at Sherriff Road and Westbere Road, Puppy Mansions I and II.

  3. alistairliv
    September 23, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    ohmygod -the psychedelic punk dub version of White Rabbit (last track side two)is a classic.

    “feed your fucking head” indeed.

    I haven’t heard it since Puppy Mansions (Westbere Road ) days. Forgotten how utterly, gloriously, gorgeously, mindwarpingly magnificent it is.

    As HAL said in 2001 “Dave, I think my mind is going”. If I listen to it again, it probably will.

    Oh and Eric Hysteric (Punks are the old farts of today) also used to hang out at Puppy Mansions (Westbere Road).

  4. Krisi Chka
    Krisi Chka
    October 14, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Where Can I Buy This retrospective CD ?

  5. Zac
    October 16, 2008 at 6:15 am

    The retrospective will be released on vinyl on the Vinyl Countdown label in early ’09! Keep your eyes peeled.

  6. Malcolm Baxter
    Malcolm Baxter
    November 29, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Hey all, I love this page brings back a lot of great times, it was great working with Adrian Sherwood and we had a lot of fun doing White Rabbit let me tell you no drugs were involved on my part and to the best of my memory any of the others.

    As Zac was saying we will be puting out this stuff one more time on vinyl countdown 32 years after Andy and I recorded Animal World in Sydney on a 8 track. I hope you will all enjoy it as much as we do.


  7. Sam
    December 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Hello Malcolm. Hope you’re doing well. I was good mates with Leigh just after your band split and was in Australia for a year or so. I can’t remember if we ever met though. I hear from Leigh very occasionally – he seems swamped in the joys of fatherhood. Say hi to Andy and Ross and anyone else from that time if you see them.

    I can’t believe Eric Hysteric has got a youtube clip and why is it playing along to the millenium celebrations in London? I was in the car in New York City about 10 years listening to this alternative music show when ‘Tropical Vision’ by Eric Hysteric came on with me doing lead vocals. I seem to remember the album was recorded in Deptford. Me, Eric, Leigh, Andy Groome and Jonny Gunn. And someone called Deiter? We learned the songs on the spot and whacked them down in a few hours. Quite a bizarre experience. Anyone have the album?

  8. Malcolm Baxter
    Malcolm Baxter
    December 18, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Hey All,

    Well we are all still here and so is the music? I will pass on hi to all Sam and Tony Hi long time how are you doing? I will be in the UK in June I hope It would be great to catch up if we could, well have a good one.


  9. baronvonzubb
    January 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Leigh, another honoured member of 66A…
    A genuine crazy man.
    Thanks for the link P
    Epic track, in a kind of 1980 type way
    P 30 001 – BVZ 1
    And, he he, that studio one track?

  10. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    January 31, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I just had to post.
    White Rabbit, its epic. Absolutely classic.
    Sounds better even now than it did then.
    Complaining neighbours soon.
    Brilliant, thanks.

  11. Marco Fähtz
    Marco Fähtz
    July 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Where can I buy the retrospective CD titled: The Last Words 1977 – 1980?
    If there’s anyone who know??
    Please help me!!
    Thank you.

  12. Malcolm Baxter
    Malcolm Baxter
    July 14, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Hey Marco,

    You can get it from Itunes I think give it a go and see what happens. also there is a re issue in the works should be out this year.

    All the Best

    Malcolm Baxter

  13. Marco Fähtz
    Marco Fähtz
    July 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Malcolm,
    Yeah, I got it!!! The whole compilation…including “Animal world”, “Today’s kids”, “Every schoolboys dream”, and…”Wondering why” (oh my God, what a wonderful song!) […like all others!!].
    Believe me, it took a very long waiting time for getting this fantastic music in my collection in digital kind. I am possessing the vinyl version of the “LAST WORDS”-album about 25 years and still love it. Later I got “Animal world” via the “Do the pop – Redux”-CD. (…and I love it).
    I had knew about “Wondering why” but I couldn’t get it anywhere – till now!!
    I send you a great “THANK YOU!!” for your tip and for creating such a wonderful kind of music.
    Now I’m waiting for getting also “Spectacular times” in digital version.

    Bye! All the Best!!! (also to Andy, John and Leigh) […if you, the person that send me this kindly and successful tip, in fact was Malcolm Baxter].
    If you are not M.B – It doesn’t matter, I got The LAST WORDS songs now.

    Once again, All the Best!!


  14. Daniel Morphett
    Daniel Morphett
    December 15, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Hullo there Last Words. You probably won’t remember me, but your music gave me a lot of pleasure in the late 70’s in Sydney, and it has lived on in my mind all this time, and what a beautiful surprise to find that I can buy it today in iTunes!

    I was a friend of James Scanlon, Francine McDougall, and Astrid Spieldman – also remember with pleasure the Particles playing “Wondering Why” on the roof in Goulburn St while we got pissed and danced.

    I’ve been in bands myself ever since – Craven Fops, Godbotherers and my current band El Duende. Feel free to check these out – El Duende are on iTunes (album is called Fleeting Glimpses).

    Recently have re-acquainted with Bob Short of Filth fame.

    Anyway, all the best to you guys, and thanks for the great songs!

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