The Dickies: The Incredible Shrinking Dickies (reissue)

The Dickies: The Incredible Shrinking Dickies

The Dickies: The Incredible Shrinking Dickies (reissue)
Label: Captain Oi!
Re-Release Date: 2004
Original Release Date: 1978
Review Date: 3/10/05

It’s hard to fault a company for releasing criminally out of print classic punk rock albums, especially Capatain Oi! , the patron saint of the re-issue. This classic Dickies album was briefly made available on CD in the late 80’s, packaged without much fanfare. As was the custom at the time, record companies released parts of their back catalogs without re-mastering, extra tracks, or additional (or even complete) artwork. Such was the case with the first CD release of The Incredible Shrinking Dickies.. Living the midwest, I actually had to make a pilgrimage to L.A. to find the vinyl releases in the mid eighties. When I saw a CD release years later, I snatched it up immediately, if only for the obsessive compulsive desire to own it on a new format. I became so enamored with the Dickies that I instigated a Dickies skateboard. So now that we’ve established that I am a big fan, if I hadn’t had my original CD stolen you wouldn’t be reading this review.

The Incredible Shrinking Dickies is an f-ing classic. Do you like punk? Do you have a sense of humor? You need this record. If by some amazing chance you are into punk rock and don’t know about the Dickies, pull your head out of your Hot Topic and go buy any Dickies CD. That includes the later releases as well. Captain Oi! has included the six bonus tracks I’m OK, You’re OK, Silent Night, Sounds of Silence, Banana Splits theme,Hideous, and Got It at the Store. These appear to be the same versions included on compilations like Dickies Punk Singles Collection, and Great Dictations. As for mastering, I can’t really tell if they were re-mastered because again, I no longer have the original CD. The artwork inside includes pictures of singles and more importantly, lyrics! Those familiar with Leonard’s voice know that he sometimes appears to sing in tongues, so it’s nice to be able to read that in some cases I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics for upwards of 15 years. The art and liner notes in this release is more than there ever was in the original vinyl copies.

Remember in the beginning when I said it’s hard to find fault with re-issues? Well this is where you call me a liar. First off, the cover looks like it was literally taken from a picture of an original record sleeve. (Note: Image used in this review is not a scan of the actual CD art.) I realize that the original artwork may be impossible to locate. I believe Captain Oi!’s web site even mentioned that a lot of their releases are basically abandoned by the parent companies, who are of little or absolutely no help. In any case, the artwork reproduction of the cover is crappy. The contrast is blown out and you can see what appears to be the worn pattern from the vinyl in the sleeve. Please, we can do better than that. Hell, my vinyl copy is in better shape than that. There’s also a program called Photoshop that is very useful for retouching that is available for rock bottom prices if the spam I receive is true. Seriously, contact me please Captain Oi! I’ll do it myself. Also annoying is the full page add for the Dawn of the Dickies reissue. It’s a pet peeve I have with companies that advertise other releases in the liner notes. It’s one thing to say “also available,” but another to use up a whole page that could be better spent on showing flyers or photos or more of a bio. Speaking of bios, the Dickies were huge in the UK, and the included “history” is written from a UK point of view that makes it seem like the Dickies ceased to exist in the US.

Petty Simpsons comic-book-guy type criticism aside, this is not the “Worst reissue ever.” The Incredible Shrinking Dickies deserves a place in your collection. Get it now. Don’t forget to seee them if they come to your town. With the help of really enthusiastic new blood that has been with them some time, Stan and Leonard still put on a fast, furious, and funny show.

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