URGH! A Music War

Among the cognoscenti, the post punk concert film Urgh! A Music War has attained a quasi-mythical status. Since its release in 1982, many of the artists featured have grown enormously in stature yet neither versions of the film nor the subsequent album have been reissued or are easily available. The film has spent most of the past 28 years out of print even though it originally was released on VHS, Betamax, LaserDisc, and a short-lived format called capacitance electronic disc (CED). Most people who has actually seen a version of Urgh! A Music War have seen it in a bootlegged version.  I happen to be one of those people, which is why when I discovered that the domain for Urgh-dvd.com was available so I bought it with the goal of recreating some of its content from archived pages. I definitely didn't want someone else purchasing the domain and re-purposing the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since 1982. I am no longer a punk addled teenager. Now I work for an e-commerce site that sells both wholesale and retail commercial paper towels and other janitorial supplies. A seemingly mundane job compared to being a punk band musician. At least this company offers eco friendly paper products along with the regular commercial, make money no matter the cost to our environment variety. Whenever I speak to customers I always push for the "green" brands. I think there are as many janitorial supplies as there are rock bands. I still enjoy listening to the new bands that emerge from the pack, read Rollingstone, and keep my ear tuned to the music scene. It sure would be great to see all 25+ different performances featuring both well-known and lesser-known bands that were recorded for Urgh. I'm still waiting.

The film includes two hours of live footage from 34 acts, some of whom were already legendary and many would become legendary such as the Police, Joan Jett, Devo, the Cramps, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Dead Kennedys, XTC, and Klaus Nomi. 

This extraordinary music documentary presents 25 different performances nonstop, featuring both well-known and lesser-known bands. The music recorded on this documentary varies from Punk, New Wave, Reggae to Techno. 

The bands that made the final cut were: Police, Wall of Voodoo, Toyah Wil- cox, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Oingo Boingo, Echo & the Bunneymen, Jools Holland, XTC, Klaus Nomi, Go Go's, Dead Kennedys, Steel Pulse, Gary Numan, Joan Jett, Surf Punks, Au Pairs, Cramps, Devo, Alley Cast, Gang of Four, 999, Flestones, X, UB40

During the summer and fall of 1980, a crew of film makers captured the concert performances by more than 25 new wave rock groups in New York, California, and Europe. The album was released in 1981. The film had a very limited release the following year.  

The film, ''Urgh! A Music War'' consisted of 25 songs or song fragments performed by 24 bands. The Police, the most commercially successful group involved, were given the previlegde of having the opening and closing songs on the film. The concept behind the editing of the bands’ performances was to be ''democratic'' and reflect the anti-elitist sentiments of the movement it documented. But the concept did not take into account that few rock groups can communicate much of what they stand for or are capable of in one song

As a result, ''Urgh!'' is a jumble of poorly edited visuals. Some of the strongest and most significant bands such as UB40, X, The Cramps,  and The Au Pairs  are represented by short snippets that fail to demonstrate not only the dimensions of their talent but also their ability to reproduce exceptional audience response. Some of the best bands that werew filmed never made the final cut. The final film apperas rushed and the editing uneven. 

Nevertheless, Rottan Tomato gives Urgh! A Music War a 100% audience rating, but no credit rating percentage. Rolling Stone magazine lists it among its 40 greatest rock documentaries. Part of their review says: “Urgh! is full of jaw-dropping performances from otherwise undocumented bands like the Au Pairs, as well as ringers like the Police, the Go-Go's and Devo. “

Urgh-dvd.com was created to sell high quality DVD copies of the postpunk concert film Urgh! A Music War. Unfortunately we are no longer operational due to unexpected obstacles. Hopefully someone will re-release the film in a better edited high quality format than Warner Brothers did in 2010, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Soundtrack for the Movie:  URGH! A Music War

Track A1 recorded live at The Frejus Amphitheater, Paris, France August 28 1980

Track A2 recorded live at The Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, CA August 16 1980

Track A3 recorded live at ICA, London, England September 5 1980

Track A4 recorded live at Guild Hall, Portsmouth, England September 19 1980

Track A5 recorded live at The Whisky, Hollywood, CA August 17 1980

Track A6 recorded live at The Frejus Amphitheater, Paris, France August 28 1980

Track B1 recorded live at The Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, CA August 16 1980

Track B2 recorded live at The Whisky, Hollywood, CA August 17 1980

Track B3 recorded live at The Ritz, New York, NY August 22 1980

Track B4 recorded live at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, England September 17 1980

Track B5 recorded live at The Whisky, Hollywood, CA August 17 1980

Track B6 recorded live at The Frejus Amphitheater, Paris, France August 28 1980

Track B7 recorded live at The Rainbow Theater, London, England September 18 1980

Track C1 recorded live at The California Theater, San Diego, CA August 20 1980

Track C2 recorded live at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, England September 7 1980

Track C3 recorded live at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, England September 7 1980

Track C4 recorded live at The Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, CA August 15 1980

Track C5 recorded live at The Ritz, New York, NY August 22 1980

Track C6 recorded live at The Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, CA August 16 1980

Track C7 recorded live at The Hammersmith Odeon, London, England September 16 1980

Track D1 recorded live at CBGB's, New York, NY August 21 1980

Track D2 recorded live at The Rainbow Theater, London, England September 18 1980

Track D3 recorded live at Guild Hall, Portsmouth, England September 19 1980

Track D4 recorded live at The Lyceum Ballroom, London, England September 17 1980

Track D5 recorded live at The Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, CA August 15 1980

Track D6 recorded live at The Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, CA August 16 1980

Track D7 recorded live at The Frejus Amphitheater, Paris, France August 28 1980

On the back sleeve, track B4 is credited to Athletico Spizz '80.

Mastered at A&M Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA.

(p) & (c) 1981 A&M Records Ltd

*****

URGH! A Music War Album Tracks:


A1    –The Police 3:24
Driven To Tears (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – The Police, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Sting

A2    –Wall Of Voodoo 3:47
Back In Flesh (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Tim Summerhayes, Wall Of Voodoo
Written-By – Wall Of Voodoo

A3    –Toyah Wilcox* 5:38
Dance (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Tim Summerhayes, Toyah Willcox
Written-By – J. Bogen*, P. Bush*, T. Wilcox*

A4    –Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark 3:31
Enola Gay (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark,Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Andy McCluskey

A5    –Oingo Boingo 3:16
Ain't This The Life (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Oingo Boingo, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Danny Elfman

A6    –XTC 3:08
Respectable Street (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Tim Summerhayes, XTC
Written-By – Andy Partridge

B1    –The Members 3:34
Offshore Banking Business (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – The Members, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – J.M. Carroll*

B2    –Go-Go's 2:17
We Got The Beat (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Go-Go's, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Charlotte Caffey

B3    –Klaus Nomi 4:15
Total Eclipse (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Klaus Nomi, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Kristian Hoffman

B4    –The Spizzles 3:21
Where's Captain Kirk (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – The Spizzles, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Coalfield*, Spizz

B5    –Alley Cats* 3:29
Nothing Means Nothing Anymore (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Alley Cats*, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Randy Stodola

B6    –Jools Holland 2:00
Foolish I Know (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Jools Holland, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – C. Difford*, J. Holland*

B7    –Steel Pulse 4:39
Ku Klux Klan (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Steel Pulse, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Hinds*

C1    –Devo 3:25
Uncontrollable Urge (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Devo, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – M. Mothersbaugh*

C2    –Echo And The Bunnymen* 
The Puppet (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Echo And The Bunnymen*, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – McCulloch*, Pattinson*, De Freitas*, Sergeant*

C3    –The Au Pairs* 4:16
Come Again (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – The Au Pairs*, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Munro*, Woods*, Foad*, Hammond*

C4    –The Cramps 3:25
Tear It Up (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – The Cramps, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – D. Burnette*, J. Burnette*, P. Bulison*
 
C5    –Joan Jett & The Blackhearts 2:40
Bad Reputation (Live)
Producer – Ken Laguna*, Ritchie Cordell
Written-By – Joan Jett

C6    –Pere Ubu 2:26
Birdies (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Pere Ubu, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Pere Ubu

C7    –Gary Numan 6:12 
Down In The Park (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Gary Numan, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Gary Numan

D1    –Fleshtones* 3:02
Shadow Line (Live)
Producer, Mixed By – Fleshtones*
Written-By – Unknown Artist

D2 Gang Of Four 3:23
He'd Send In The Army (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Gang Of Four, Tim Summerhayes

Written-By – Gill*, Allen*, Burnham*, King*

D3    –John Otway 3:47
Cheryl's Going Home (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – John Otway, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Bob Lind

D4    –999 4:10
Homicide (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – 999, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Guy Days, Nick Cash (2)

D5    –X (5) 2:41
Beyond And Back (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Tim Summerhayes, X (5)
Written-By – Unknown Artist

D6    –Magazine 2:50
Model Worker (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Magazine, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Adamson*, Formula*, Devoto*, Doyle*, McGeoch*

D7    –Skafish 4:15
Sign Of The Cross (Live)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Skafish, Tim Summerhayes
Written-By – Jim Skafish

Credits
A&R, Coordinator – Anita B., Jools (3)
Art Direction – Chuck Beeson, Jeff Ayeroff*
Design – Alana Coghlan
Executive-Producer – Michael White (4)
Illustration – Lou Beach
Mastered By – Frank DeLuna
Other [Creative Consultant] – Ian Copeland, Miles Copeland

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