Death “For The Whole World To See”
Death’s 1974 demo album, released for the first time last month on Drag City, is rupturing the walls of the reissue scene, partly due to the recent NY Times article and its aftermath, but mostly for their obvious claim to one of the first slots in the history of punk.
Death was brothers Dannis, Bobby, and David Hackney, who started off playing RnB but switched to aggressive power-pop after witnessing an Alice Cooper show. Their after-school garage practice sessions soon yielded a trio that was tight, ferocious, and way ahead of its time.
The brothers managed to get signed by Groovesville and even got as far as Clive Davis’s interest but refused to change their name from Death for more commercial opportunity. In 1976, after a dissolution with their record company the Hackney brothers pressed 500 copies of their single: “Politicians In My Eyes” b/w “Keep On Knocking,” reportedly trading for $800. Sadly, brother David, the group’s spark and fervent leader passed away in 2000, too soon to get the recognition he knew would one day come.
Bobby Hackney’s sons, members of Rough Francis, are responsible for digging up the old demo tapes that would become For The Whole World To See, and promoting Death’s music in their live performances. This is the kind of recording that’s usually only rumored about, a thing of legends. Listening to unearthed recordings is always magical, but when it’s something as blisteringly hot and grossly unheralded as Death, the experience is flat-out jaw dropping.
Thanks to all who sent this in. Death’s record is a mind blower on first listen and a clear early contender for reissue of the year.
“Politicians In My Eyes”