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Johnny Moped - Cycledelic (1978)


Johnny Moped were a mid-1970s English punk rock group from south London, who once had Chrissie Hynde (later of The Pretenders) and Captain Sensible (later of The Damned) within their ranks.

Formed in Croydon in May 1974, the band were a proto-punk band. Initially calling themselves Johnny Moped and the 5 Arrogant Superstars, by August they changed their moniker to Assault and Buggery, then the Commercial Band, before reverting to just Johnny Moped by January 1975.

Johnny Moped became one of the pioneering punk bands that played live in the first few months of London’s now-legendary Roxy Club. They played two gigs in February 1977, one supporting Eater and one backing The Damned. Again, in March, they played another two gigs, one supporting Slaughter & The Dogs and the other backing The Damned. In April, they were on a bill that included Wire, X-Ray Spex and the Buzzcocks.

Johnny Moped’s "Hard Lovin’ Man" appeared on the hit various artists album Live at the Roxy WC2 (Harvest Records, 1977). "Incendiary Device" made number 15 in BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel’s ‘Festive Fifty’, the so-called ‘lost list’ of 1977.They signed for Chiswick Records and released three singles, including "Little Queenie" (a cover of the Chuck Berry song), and one album before splitting up. "No-One" featured on the Chiswick various artists sampler album Long Shots, Dead Certs and Odds On Favourite (Chiswick Chartbusters Volume Two) in 1978.

Sixteen years after its release, the publishers of The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, named Cycledelic as one of the best fifty punk albums of all-time.

The Cycledelic LP was cut in such a way as to have a "hidden track" within the opening track. (wikipedia)



Basically, it’s better that being hit round the head with a mace…

The pride of Croydon’s one and only album has long been among the most defining artefacts of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it era that spawned the full-on punk explosion. Johnny Moped - both the band, and their chummily eponymous frontman – were and still are the epitome of what was at the vanguard of early punk. Along with two Berks and a Slimy Toad, JM purveyed a skewed stance on cranked-up R&B that made him and his colleagues heroes of the early punk elite and also of quite a few pub rock fans who didn’t much like the hardcore 1-2-3-4 stuff but would, depending on how many pints you got inside them, grudgingly admit to liking the Mopeds and others of their fairly unique ilk.

Not all of the best punk-era bands were recorded, but through the farsightedness of Ace’s precursor Chiswick Records, Johnny Moped happily were. Thirty years on, “Cycledelic” wears its dumb brilliance well, from the castrato attack on Mr Berry’s Little Queenie to the shoulda-beena-smash singalong stupefaction of Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby. Johnny Moped’s era ended all too abruptly when his missus wouldn’t let him go out and play with his mates anymore, but we’ll always have “Cycledelic” – handily preserved in its entirety in this new super duper Hip Pocket edition – to fight their corner in the battleground that was, is and forever will be punk rock.--- Tony Rounce

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