The Blue Album
Nine blistering live versions of previously unreleased material comprise this 11th album from a band that never released an LP during its official existence (1977-1979). Formed in Cleveland during a cultural explosion of experimental-art punk bands, the Pagans’ three-chord song structures and snotty vocals brought garage back to Cleveland’s rock clubs. The Pagans only released three 7-inch singles of studio recordings before disbanding in 1979. A slew of live albums followed and encouraged numerous reunion gigs in the 1980s. The Blue Album was recorded live in Madison, Wis., during one of these reunions and features three of the four original members. Mike Hudson, the singer and leader of the group, has been working as a journalist in Cleveland in between band reunions. He recently published an autobiography called Diary of a Punk: Life and Death in the Pagans, which chronicles the punk scene of Cleveland in the late ’70s. Although their studio output was limited, the Pagans’ influence was formally acknowledged by being invited to perform at the Cleveland Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. The Blue Album is a hot live performance that will give listeners a good idea of what the Pagans are all about.