The Exploited

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The Exploited
Wattie exploited2.jpg
Wattie Buchan performing with the Exploited in 2006
Background information
Origin Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Genres
Years active1979 (1979)–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • The Blood Uncles
  • Square Peg
  • Goodbye Mr Mackenzie
  • The Satellites
  • The Skroteez
  • Xtract
  • The Exposed
  • Roadside Medicine
  • Strychnine
  • Burlesque
Website www.the-exploited.net
Members Wattie Buchan
Wullie Buchan
Irish Rob
Matt Pigeonboi Justice
Past membersRobbie Steedo Davidson

The Exploited are a Scottish hardcore punk band from Edinburgh, Scotland, formed in 1979 [1] by Stevie Ross and Terry Buchan and later joined by his brother Wattie Buchan. They signed to Secret Records in March 1981, [2] and their debut EP Army Life and debut album Punks Not Dead were both released that year. [2] The band maintained a large cult following in the 1980s among a hardcore working class punk and skinhead audience. Although The Exploited continue to perform live to this day, they have not released any studio material since their last album Fuck the System in 2002. Their songs have been covered by Slayer and Ice-T, and despite many lineup changes, Wattie has remained as the Exploited's singer and leader.

Hardcore punk Subgenre of punk rock

Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."

Edinburgh Capital city in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.

Wattie Buchan British musician

Walter David Buchan, known as Wattie Buchan, is a Scottish punk rock musician. He is the lead vocalist for the punk rock band The Exploited.

Contents

Career

Formation and early days (1979–1980)

The Exploited logo The Exploited Logo.svg
The Exploited logo

The original line-up consisted of: Terry Buchan (vocals), Stevie Ross (guitar), Colin Erskine (bass) and Andy McNiven (drums). Formed in the West Granton area of Edinburgh, a large grey council estate on the north side of the city. The band's politics was reflected in its name, coined by drummer and songwriter McNiven, whose father was a Korean War veteran and a Communist. While in the early stages as a band, with little equipment, the band were invited to play their first gig at Craigmuir School. The band seemed to be a victim of their own publicity here. They had spray-painted their band name locally and had stolen Sunday papers, milk, and rolls in the early hours of Sunday morning and redistributed them outside peoples' front door, with a note saying, "a gift from the exploited". Their first gig was on Friday 15 December 1978. The date was recalled by McNiven as it coincided with a performance by the Doomed (the Damned by another name) at Clouds in Edinburgh to which they went after performing their own gig. The gig was attended by Terry's older brother Wattie, who had recently left the army and was a punk in London. Wattie soon replaced Terry, and Andy McNiven and Colin Erskine were dropped from the line-up as well. Jim Park became the drummer in January 1979, first playing on February 3 1979 at the YMCA in Edinburgh, (the day after Sid Vicious died in New York City). After a few gigs in and around Edinburgh, Stevie Ross left after an appearance in Aberdeen supporting the UK Subs. A few months later, he and Terry Buchan formed The Exposed. The Exposed split in 1980 after a gig supporting The Exploited. While Terry left for London, Stevie was prominent in the Edinburgh band scene during the 1980s and fronted bands like Strychnine and Burlesque before becoming lead singer with blues band Roadside Medicine. Now based in West Lothian, he still sings and writes original songs. [3]

Granton, Edinburgh district in the north of Edinburgh, Scotland

Granton is a district in the north of Edinburgh, Scotland. Granton forms part of Edinburgh's waterfront along the Firth of Forth and is, historically, an industrial area having a large harbour. Granton is part of Edinburgh's large scale waterfront regeneration programme.

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

The Damned (band) British rock band

The Damned are an English rock band formed in London, England in 1976 by lead vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bassist Captain Sensible, and drummer Rat Scabies. They were the first punk rock band from the United Kingdom to release a single, "New Rose" (1976), release an album, Damned Damned Damned (1977), and tour the United States. They have nine singles that charted on the UK Singles Chart Top 40.

Early releases and Punk's Not Dead (1980–1981)

Influenced by 1970s punk rock music such as music by the Sex Pistols, [4] the quartet created a simple, no-frills sound characterised by speed and aggression. In 1980, the group founded its own independent record label, Exploited Records, and released their debut EP Army Life, which was #6 in the Indie/Independent charts for eight weeks, then was in the Top 20 for eighteen months. [3] [5] The B-side was called Fuck the Mods / Crashed Out and the record's back cover stated "To all the Edinburgh punks and skins - keep on mod-bashing!!".

Sex Pistols British punk rock band

The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music.

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels. Many artists begin their careers on independent labels.

They then released another single, "Barmy Army", which jumped into the independent charts and remained there for 53 weeks, peaking at #4. [3] Their single "Dead Cities" peaked at #31 on the UK Charts. [5] Their single "Exploited Barmy Army" peaked at #4 on the Independent/Indie chart. [5]

In March 1981, the band signed to Secret Records, and spent a month recording their debut album, Punks Not Dead . [6] The Exploited released the single "Dogs of War", which peaked at #2 in the Independent charts and #63 on the UK Charts. [3] [6] [7] Also in 1981, the band released their first live album, On Stage , recorded during a concert in Edinburgh. Thereafter, the band performed, along with Discharge, Anti-Nowhere League, Anti-Pasti and Chron Gen on a tour called Apocalypse Now, which was recorded and released as a live album. Their album Punks Not Dead, released in April 1981, went to #20 in May, [8] then number 1 on the Independent Charts. [3] [7] During this time, The Exploited appeared on the popular mainstream TV programme, Top of the Pops . [9] [10] A lot of fans of The Exploited were unhappy with the band's decision to appear on the show. [10] The hardcore punk band Conflict wrote the song Exploitation about this appearance, which began a long-standing rivalry between Conflict and The Exploited that divided the punk fan base. [11]

Secret Records & Films is a British independent record label based in London. The label currently specialises in live releases on CD & DVD as well as older releases ranging across a number of genres including blues, reggae, rock, rock 'n' roll, psychedelic, soul and punk. The label's roster includes releases by John Mayall, Bert Jansch, Happy Mondays, Geno Washington, The Toy Dolls, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Fastway, The Exploited, Hawkwind, Ike Turner, InMe, Lee Perry, LA Guns, Amen and many more.

<i>Punks Not Dead</i> 1981 studio album by The Exploited

Punks Not Dead is the debut studio album by the Scottish punk rock band The Exploited, released in April 1981 on Secret Records. working class and loyal to the first impulses of the 1970s punk movement, the album was a reaction to critics who believed the punk rock genre was dead, and went against popular trends such as new wave and post-punk. It contains the double A side singles "Army Life/Fuck the Mods" and the later follow up "I Believe in Anarchy". "Army Life" details the experiences of Wattie Buchan when he was a 17-year-old squaddie on a tour of duty in Belfast in the 1970s.

<i>On Stage</i> (The Exploited album) 1981 live album by The Exploited

On Stage is a live album by The Exploited, released in 1981.

A young punk wearing an Exploited T-shirt in 1984. Young mohawk punk c1984.jpg
A young punk wearing an Exploited T-shirt in 1984.

Troops of Tomorrow, Let's Start a War, and Horror Epics (1982–1986)

The band released the albums Troops of Tomorrow in 1982, Let's Start a War in 1983 [12] and Horror Epics in 1985. [13] The period between these albums was marked by severe discord over the band's musical direction: guitarist Big John Duncan and bassist Gary McCormack both left to form new bands – "bands with disco beats and guitar solos, total shit", in Wattie's words – and the band went through a rapid succession of drummers, one of whom allegedly left after a "nervous breakdown". [14] The band was driven away from the Secret label by new management who demanded unrealistic changes in style and personnel. [14] Their next label, a tiny enterprise named Pax Records, folded after its owner fled with all its assets. [14]

<i>Troops of Tomorrow</i> 1982 studio album by The Exploited

Troops of Tomorrow is the second album by the punk rock band The Exploited, released in 1982 through Secret Records.

<i>Lets Start a War</i> 1983 studio album by The Exploited

Let's Start a War, or Let's Start a War... , is the third album by the punk band The Exploited, released in 1983 through Pax Records. The title refers to Margaret Thatcher's decision to go to war over the Falkland Islands in 1982, suggesting that she did so almost on a whim. The controversial war was fodder for many protest songs in the punk movement. It was reissued on Captain Oi! Records in 1998, which featured three tracks from their Rival Leaders EP.

<i>Horror Epics</i> 1985 studio album by The Exploited

Horror Epics is the fourth studio album by the punk rock band The Exploited, released in 1985. The album was also reissued on Captain Oi! Records in 2004.

The concert album Live at the White House was recorded in Washington, D.C. in 1985 at the 9:30 Club and was released the following year in 1986. [3] They also released the studio EP Jesus Is Dead in 1986, following up with Live and Loud, a videography of The Exploited performing around Europe and in the United States. During the tour of the USA, Wattie and Karl Morris had a fight on stage, and Karl left shortly afterwards. [11] He was briefly replaced by Mad Mick, who then disappeared without trace. Nigel Swanson was then appointed as the new guitarist.

Death Before Dishonour, The Massacre and Beat the Bastards (1987–2001)

"Sexual Favours", a single from the album Death Before Dishonour , was released in 1987. The album only ranked in the top 200 of the Britain Alternative Music list. However, the album sold out quickly. [15] The album's cover featured artwork from the American punk artist Pushead, who complained that he was neither paid nor credited for the work. [11]

In 1990, The Exploited released their album The Massacre . The album is a crossover thrash album. [16] The band went on to release a Singles Collection album in 1993. The Exploited also released the videography Live in Japan in 1993. Their album Beat the Bastards was released in April 1996. [17]

Fuck the System and next album (2002–present)

The Exploited performing in Vorselaar, Belgium in May 2018 ExploitedVorselaar.jpg
The Exploited performing in Vorselaar, Belgium in May 2018

In 2002, the band released the album Fuck the System on Dream Catcher Records, [18] and in the following year, they toured in the UK [19] and US. [20] On 14 October 2003, about 500 fans started a riot in Montreal, Canada after an Exploited concert was cancelled due to the band not being allowed into the country. [21] [22] [23] Rioters destroyed eight cars and set them on fire; broke eleven shop windows and caused other damage. [22] [23] The band were banned from playing in Mexico City due to the riot. [24]

In a 2012 interview, Wattie Buchan claimed that a new album was being finished. [25] In February 2014, Wattie Buchan suffered a heart attack on stage during a performance in Lisbon on the band's Taste of Chaos Tour with Hatebreed and Napalm Death. He was taken to a hospital, where he was expected to receive treatment for at least a week. The band signed a deal with Nuclear Blast Records, and was to have many of its albums reissued in March 2014. The band had also confirmed that its first album in a decade would be released during the 2010s. [26] [27] It is currently unknown when the album will be released.

Legacy

The Exploited are one of the iconic bands of the UK 82 punk movement along with Charged GBH [28] and Discharge . [29] The term "UK 82" came from The Exploited's song "UK 82". [30] AllMusic described The Exploited as "one of most riveting British punk rock units of the early 1980s". [31]

The Exploited have influenced multiple bands such as Metallica, [32] [33] Slayer, [32] [33] Nirvana, [32] Queens of the Stone Age, [32] Discharge, [34] Stormtroopers of Death, [34] Agnostic Front, [34] Exodus, [35] The Virus, [36] Napalm Death, [37] Terrorizer, [38] NOFX, [39] Rancid, [39] Dropkick Murphys, [39] The Casualties, [40] Pennywise, [39] 7 Seconds, [41] Anti-Flag, [42] Blanks 77, [39] [43] Atari Teenage Riot, [32] Death Angel, [44] and Total Chaos. [45]

In the 2007 documentary Punk's Not Dead, both Wattie and Wullie Buchan are interviewed. They are the only two native speakers in the documentary to be given subtitles, as many North Americans struggle to understand the Scots language used.

Musical style and influences

The Exploited has been categorised as crossover thrash, [46] punk rock, [16] thrash metal, [1] speed metal, [47] punk metal, [34] anarchist punk, [48] hardcore punk, [1] [49] street punk [50] [51] [52] [53] and oi!. [53] [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] Originally playing street punk and oi!, The Exploited became a crossover thrash band with their album Death Before Dishonour . [46] The Exploited's influences include Sex Pistols, The Vibrators, The Threats, and Johnny Moped. [53] [59]

Lyrical themes and gigs

The Exploited have been controversial for their aggressive lyrics and rowdy gigs. They were considered "cartoon punks" by Ian Glasper. [60] Glasper wrote: "For many, The Exploited were the quintessential second wave punk band with their senses-searing high-speed outbursts against the system, and wild-eyed frontman Walter 'Wattie' Buchan's archetypal orange mohican." [60]

The Exploited are known for their lyrics about anarchy, [48] politics [1] [53] [61] and anti-authority. [62] [63] In a 1983 interview, The Exploited said that they were not a political band, [64] but their lyrics became political in the late 1980s and Wattie Buchan said in the documentary Punk's Not Dead that punk is defined by its politics. As a band with lyrics that have anarchist themes, The Exploited's vocalist Wattie Buchan describes himself as an anarchist [65] and openly hates politics. [63] The Exploited have made songs about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and have expressed a disdainful view towards Thatcher. [61] [66] The Exploited's song "Maggie", a song from the band's album "Horror Epics", is about Thatcher. [53] [61] The Exploited's third studio album, "Let's Start a War... (Said Maggie One Day)", focuses on Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War. [47] [61] [66] Other topics of the album are police-driven riots, war, unemployment and hopelessness. [47] Many songs from the mid-80s focus on the threat of nuclear war. [11]

The fans of The Exploited were nicknamed the Barmy Army. During the rivalry between The Exploited and Conflict, there were occasional clashes with fans of Conflict, known as "the Conflict Crew". In addition to the anti-social behaviour of the band and some of their fans, The Exploited would often pull out of gigs at short notice in the 1980s, which led many venues to refuse to work with them. [11] After the 1981 Southall riot, Oi! bands in general became associated with racism, [67] [68] [69] and The Exploited were sometimes believed to be a racist band because of Wattie's swastika tattoo, an incident in the early '80s where Wattie fought with a group of Asians in a cafe and in 1985 when "Deptford John" joined from the skinhead band Combat 84. [11] The band has denied all accusations of racism. [11]

As of August 2017, the band's website contains a history of the band that mentions some of the problems that have accompanied their gigs, such as a riot after a gig at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park, London when The Jam were playing nearby and Wattie incited the fans to attack the Mods, and having declared onstage in Argentina that the Falkland Islands are British forever. [70] George Same has written about the fighting after the Finsbury Park gig in his book on modern music, Backward Moddy Boy. [71] In a documentary about the band, former manager Gem Howard said that he would often sneak the band out of hotels late, as they would often vandalise the hotel and steal everything that they could from the rooms. [11]

Timeline

The Exploited

Discography

Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums

Split albums

EPs

Singles

Videography

Music videos

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Notes and sources