The Scientists’ pre-Swampland days in Perth are brilliantly encapsulated on this collection of mostly unreleased live material from ’78 and ‘79. These were the days when former Victims and future Hoodoo Gurus drummer James Baker led the band alongside guitarist / singer Kim Salmon, and when their poster read "Rock’n’Roll in the tradition of The Groovies and The Heartbreakers".
The Perth-based line-ups of The Scientists recorded the brilliant Frantic Romantic single and self-titled EP highlighted by Last Night. They also recorded a posthumously released LP - the 'pink album' - which came as a massive disappointment due to bad production and a reduced line-up. Not For Sale: Live’ 78/79 is a collection of live and rehearsal tracks that captures the band making the same noises as on those 45's, and presents live versions of the fan faves and vastly superior versions of most of the LP tracks as well as coughing up a bunch of hitherto unreleased originals and covers to boot. This is "The Legendary Scientists" - as they were dubbing themselves within months of forming - as they should be heard.
The main set comes from late 1979; a live-to-air broadcast from Melbourne’s 3RRR. Frantic Romantic was in the shops and the EP was in the can. If you only know tracks like It’ll Never Happen Again, That Girl. Making a Scene and, She Said She Loves Me from the limp pink album versions you’ll be knocked sideways by the raucous and rocking versions here. Covers of The New York Dolls, the Groovies (Slow Death and their version of Have You Seen My Baby) and The Undertones' Teenage Kicks are a bit throwaway but show where their heads were at. And yes, a couple of these appeared back on the 'fan club' cassette Rubber Never Sleeps back in '82 and have since appeared on other collections, but those were third or fourth generation cassette dupes. What we have here is the whole set, taken directly from 3RRR's master reels.
The same line-up is also present on a handful of primitive live recordings, made by a friend at one of the group's regular haunts, the Governor Broome Hotel in ‘79. What they lack in clarity they make up by letting us hear some otherwise lost original tunes. Play this really loud and it sounds like you're right there in the pub - shitty PA and all. The original Kinda Girl is maybe the pick here; it's James and Kim channelling their beloved Troggs. Also included, for the first time anywhere, is a Scientists’ version of Drop Out, a Baker / Salmon song that its writers later made famous with The Beasts of Bourbon.
The 2LP edition also includes some covers from this show: The Velvet Underground’s There She Goes Again, The Searchers’ When You Walk In the Room, and the early '70s Masters Apprentices rocker Turn Up Your Radio. First 1000 copies pressed on Pink Vinyl.
The band's short-lived original line-up, featuring Roddy Radalj on rhythm guitar and Boris Sujdovic on bass, also finally gets proper representation here in the last bracket of songs, which presents, for the first time (minus a couple of tracks on the CD), the complete 'Loft Sessions.' This was the name informally given later to a 1978 tape recorded live - in a loft. The undoubted jewel here is the lengthy Baby You’re Not For Sale, an ambitious Velvet Underground-inspired piece that namechecks the Groovies and gathers momentum to end more than 10 minutes after it starts, in a beautiful racket. Again, a couple of these recordings have appeared on other Scientists collections, but not Baby You’re Not for Sale.
Packaged with rare and unseen images, an original 1979 Roadrunner magazine feature by Kim Williams (of the Summer Suns, and co-writer of “Swampland”) and additional notes by Grown Up Wrong!’s Dave Laing. Not For Sale: Live ‘78/’79 provides a thrilling glimpse into what an album by the "Legendary" Scientists might've sounded like if it had been recorded in 1979. With the current incarnation of the band touring the US again and performing the likes of Last Night and Frantic Romantic, this collection is an essential listen for all Scientists fans, no matter which line-up they prefer.