Why is Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Old school punk that’s completely pleasing and satisfying to the ear.
What does Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
If you’re in the mood to throw on some old school punk music, it’s hard to imagine anything more pleasing and satisfying than “Suspect Device.” Like The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers show off real musicianship and dynamics and like the Sex Pistols, they produce unadulterated and authentic passion and the angst that makes great punk music truly punk-y.
“Alternative Ulster” opens with chords that could be confused with classics by way of The Who, but quickly transitions and turns up the energy to what we’d think of as pop punk these days, while also having a pleasing resemblance to The Buzzcocks’ sound, though with harsher-sounding vocals.
The sound on songs like “Law and Order” partially shows why Stiff Little Fingers didn’t have quite the global breakout popularity of some of their contemporaries I mention above. That’s not at all an insult, though; in fact, there’s an integrity to this band’s sound and a rawness that legitimate punk fans will absolutely (and absolutely should) dig.
This album also sounds like
As mentioned above, Stiff Little Fingers stands in great company with the likes of The Clash, The Buzzcocks, and The Sex Pistols.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material
Not for nothing, but circa 1979, Stiff Little Fingers lead singer Jake Burns looks a lot like a young Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day fame. And, what’s more, you can hear a lot of SLF influence in Green Day’s output, and particularly the early stuff.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material
When I first moved to England to work for a dental supply company (long story, that), I wound up staying with a co-worker named Peter for almost a month. Thankfully, my good friend Nirav then moved over from the states and bunked up (and then several months later, our pal Adam joined us as well). But for an odd period of time, it was Peter and I in an English suburb in Kent.
Peter was a financial guy and a little bit conservative by nature, but he had great taste in music and in fact introduced me to Stiff Little Fingers. I was familiar with and fans of some of the British and American punk bands of the era, but this – and a three-disc compilation of British punk that I bought around that time – took my punk addiction to a new level.
On a note that has absolutely nothing to do with Stiff Little Fingers, I wound up making a huge mistake in telling Peter how much my salary was supposed to be at this company. I was young and naïve to some extent, fresh out of college, and he was an executive at this large (to me) company that had offices in the U.S. and all across Europe. So the lesson is, kids, if there is one: don’t tell anyone your salary unless it’s absolutely critical to do so.
And turn up that punk music while you’re at it.
Some stats & info about Stiff Little Fingers – Inflammable Material
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Punk, British Punk, New Wave, Old School Punk, Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was Inflammable Material released? 1979
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #952 out of 1,000
Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.