Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ramones – the thai releases

Some the most obscure Ramones-singles are the thai releases on Express songs. There are four of them and each one contains "stolen" releases from different labels and with different artists, four tracks on each 45. These very rare and sought after records are not official releases. Still they are not bootlegs, they should rather be seen as counterfeit or pirate records.
There are two reasons why big labels did not find it worth it to release records in Thailand in the 70's, according to the site  

1. Foreign record companies could not stock their own products on site due to the weather damage.
2. Foreign record companies did not want to deal with local Thai companies. It was purely a question of business, there was not enough money to be made. In the 70’s & 80’s no one in Thailand could afford to buy an official Sex Pistols single, retailing around £1. However, Thai record manufacturers could provide low price counterfeit records for local fans. The EP format was a good way to provide cheap compilations with 4 different artists each time.

There are very little information to be found about the thai manufacture, Express Songs. Even the year of release is up for discussion, but it is likely that the first two EP's was released in 1977 and the last two in 1978. Sometime after the first two records with Ramones tracks Express Songs changed the label design.

Around 2005 someone in Sweden did a bootleg of the EP with the God Save the Queen-sleeve. The original thai version have a serrated crown that the bootleg don't have. There are also later pressings of the bootleg on colored vinyl. 

The most rare of the four thai records is the the God Save the Queen single. The reason is that it contains songs from both the Sex Pistols and the Ramones, two of the most collectible band from the punk era. 

I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend 
Other tracks: The Glitter Band – People Like You and People Like Me, Blondie – X Offender, Inner Circle – Reggae Thing.
Number: Express Songs EXP-260
Year: 1977 (?)

California Sun / I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
Other tracks: Blondie – In The Sun, Rick Dees And His Cast Of Idiots - Disco Duck (Parts 1 & 2)
Number: Express Songs EXP-264
Year: 1977 (?)

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker 
Other tracks:  Bryan Ferry – Tokyo Joe, Boz Scaggs – Lido Shuffle, Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
Number: Express Songs EXP-0330
Year: 1978 (?)

Swallow My Pride 
Other tracks: Leif Garrett – Surfin' USA, Ram Jam – Black Betty, Stranglers – Something Better Change.
Express Songs EXP-0352
Year: 1978 (?)

Thanks to Oliver Breit for help with scans.

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