A bit of selfishness here. I know a lot of people will not agree that “Dead Cities” by The Exploited is one of the best 20 singles ever made. It really is about the timing.
To me, as an 11-year-old, the level of excitement this record gave me was pretty much unparalleled. It has a great sleeve. It sounded, in 1981, like nothing I’d heard before. It charted, when the charts actually meant something. It has 2 great tracks on the B-Side.
I was too young for the first wave of punk – so when this came along it was a coat-tail you grabbed onto.
The track will not win any Nobel Peace Prizes – but for a moment in 1981 The Exploited seemed like the most important band on earth. It was 3 years later when I first heard the Dead Kennedys – and of course their material, and a lot of the U.S. hardcore scenes bands – wipes the floor with this.
That does not detract from the possibilities “Dead Cities” gave off. It’s like the Godfather of Britcore. The highly regarded first Napalm Death album does not sound a million miles away from this?
As the last entry for my 20 Singles – I just cannot leave this out…