Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground

Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground



This sprawling four-disc set -- something of a bookend to Rhino's encyclopedic punk collection, No Thanks! The '70s Punk Rebellion -- digs deep into the history of what some call post-punk and others have dubbed indie-rock. It's a dauntingly large amount of territory to cover, but the producers have done so effectively, crisscrossing this country, as well as swaths of Europe, and cherry-picking both easily recognizable bands and equally worthy obscure names that might otherwise be consigned to rock history footnotes. The former category yields songs that have become standards -- including R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe" and the Smiths' "This Charming Man" -- as well as surprising, under-aired material, notably the pre-fame Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Hollywood/Africa" and the Cure's "A Forest." While Left of the Dial touches on virtually every subgenre imaginable -- hitting on hardcore with Minor Threat's anthemic "Straight Edge," goth with Bauhaus's "Bela Lugosi's Dead," and second-wave garage rock via the Lyres' "I Wanna Help You Ann" -- the songs are mortared together so carefully that it all holds together perfectly. Even so, there are standouts, mostly those that don't fit easily into any readily identifiable category, thus flaunting the era's sonic variety. The Gun Club's feral "Sex Beat," for instance, straddles Angeleno punk and Delta howl; the Feelies' hyper-kinetic "Fa Cé-La" speeds up Velvet Underground–style sonic grind, adding a heaping helping of buttoned-up suburbiana in the process; and Prefab Sprout's "When Love Breaks Down" is a tip of the hat to Stephen Sondheim (perhaps as adventurous a move as one could muster in the '80s underground). More than anything else, however, Left of the Dial proves that its contents -- particularly the Gang of Four's revolution-funk call to arms "To Hell with Poverty" -- stand up every bit as well two decades on.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/12/2004
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227649029
catalogNumber: 76490

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barry Adamson   Bass,Background Vocals
Ginger Baker   Drums
Jello Biafra   Vocals
Billy Bragg   Guitar,Vocals
Kate Bush   Voices,fairlight
Exene Cervenka   Vocals
Julian Cope   Guitar,Vocals
Christopher Cross   Bass
John Doe   Bass,Vocals
Thomas Dolby   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Klaus Flouride   Bass,Vocals
Robert Forster   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Grant Hart   Drums,Vocals
Robyn Hitchcock   Guitar,Vocals
Mick Karn   Bass
Steve Kilbey   Bass,Vocals
Peter Koppes   Guitar
Chris Mars   Drums,Tambourine
Maria McKee   Vocals
Bob Mould   Guitar,Vocals
Peter Murphy   Vocals
Lee Ranaldo   Guitar,Vocals
Brian Ritchie   Bass
Henry Rollins   Vocals
Midge Ure   Guitar,Vocals
Steve Vai   Guitar
Dave Wakeling   Guitar,Vocals
Andre Williams   Background Vocals
Daniel Ash   Guitar,Vocals
Chris Carter   Synthesizer,Keyboards
David J   Bass,Vocals
Victor de Lorenzo   Drums
Howard Devoto   Vocals
Roger Miller   Guitar,Voices
Steven Roback   Bass,Vocals
Jonathan Segel   Violin,Vocals
Chris Stamey   Guitar,Vocals
Jack Waterson   Bass,Vocals
Steve Wynn   Guitar,Vocals
Bruce Foxton   Bass,Vocals
Maceo Parker   Saxophone
Ray Manzarek   Organ
Andy Partridge   Guitar,Vocals
Cosey Fanni Tutti   Guitar,Cornet,Vocals
Youth   Bass,Vocals
Mike Campbell   Guitar
Matt Piucci   Guitar,Sitar,Vocals
Billy Currie   Keyboards,Vocals
Björk   Keyboards,Vocals
Greg Ginn   Guitar
Bobbye Hall   Tambourine
Lakshminarayana Shankar   Strings
Kendra Smith   Bass
Paul Westerberg   Mandolin,Vocals,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Eric Avery   Bass
Bernard Albrecht   Guitar,Vocals
John Ashton   Guitar
Vicki Aspinall   Violin,Vocals
Milo Aukerman   Vocals
Brian Baker   Bass
Richard Barbieri   Keyboards
Paul Barker   Bass
Roland Barker   Keyboards
Lou Barlow   Bass,Vocals
Danny Benair   Drums
Benmont Tench   Organ,Piano
Gina Birch   Vocals
D. Boon   Guitar,Vocals
Roddy Bottum   Keyboards
Clyde Bramley   Bass,Vocals
Peter Buck   Guitar,Soloist
Rick Buckler   Drums
Hugo Burnham   Drums
Tim Butler   Bass
Chris Cacavas   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Warren Cann   Drums
Martin Chambers   Drums
Terry Chambers   Drums
Philip Chevron   Guitar,Vocals
Peter Christopherson   Synthesizer
Crispin Cioe   Flute,Saxophone
Bernie Clarke   Keyboards
Keith Clayton   Bass
Dean Clean   Drums,Background Vocals
George Clinton   Background Vocals
Jaz Coleman   Keyboards,Vocals
Clint Conley   Bass,Guitar,Voices
Rick Coraccio   Bass
Benny Cowan   Trumpet
Andy Cox   Guitar
Ian Curtis   Vocals
Dick Cuthell   Horn
Ana Da Silva   Guitar,Vocals
Darryl   Bass,Background Vocals
Double DeHarrison   Organ,Clavinet
Kim Deal   Bass
Dennis Diken   Drums,Vocals
Ward Dotson   Guitar,Slide Guitar
Dennis Duck   Drums
Chuck Dukowski   Bass
East Bay Ray   Guitar
Andrew Eldritch   Vocals
James Eller   Bass
Stuart Elliot   Drums
Vince Ely   Drums
Grant Estes   Guitar
Pete Farndon   Bass
Perry Farrell   Vocals
David Faulkner   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
James Fearnley   Piano,Accordion
Anton Fier   Bass Drums,Snare Drums
Jem Finer   Banjo
Andrew Fletcher   Guitar
Dave Formula   Keyboards
Roddy Frame   Guitar,Vocals
Black Francis   Guitar,Vocals
Elizabeth Fraser   Vocals
Dave Gahan   Vocals
Simon Gallup   Bass
Gordon Gano   Guitar,Vocals
Genesis P-Orridge   Bass,Clarinet,Vocals
Andrew Gill   Guitar
Bobby Gillespie   Drums
Bob Glaub   Bass
Will Glenn   Violin,Keyboards
Barbara Gogan   Guitar,Vocals
Kim Gordon   Bass,Vocals
Martin Gore   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Vocals
Bill Gould   Bass
Terry Graham   Drums
Charles T. Gray   Synthesizer,Keyboards
David Gregory   Guitar
Anthony Guess   Drums
Robin Guthrie   Guitar
Louis Gutierrez   Guitar,Vocals
Douglas Hart   Bass
Mathieu Hartley   Keyboards
Kevin Haskins   Percussion,Drums
Gibby Haynes   Vocals
Ryan Hedgecock   Guitar
Don Heffington   Drums
Gene Holder   Bass
Malcolm Holmes   Percussion,Drums
Peter Holsapple   Organ,Guitar,Vocals
James Honeyman-Scott   Guitar
Peter Hook   Bass
Earl Hudson   Drums,Background Vocals
George Hurley   Drums
Chrissie Hynde   Guitar,Vocals
Lux Interior   Vocals
Poison Ivy   Guitar
Steve Jansen   Drums,Keyboards,electronics
Peter Jesperson   Interviewee
Calvin Johnson   Vocals
Jourgensen   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Karen Karlsrud   Violin
Tommy Keane   uillean pipes
Joe Kernich   Piano
Anthony Kiedis   Vocals
Nick Knox   Drums
Victor Krummenacher   Bass,Vocals
Greg Kuehn   Keyboards
Paul Leary   Bass,Guitar
Pat Lewis   Background Vocals
John Linnell   Accordion,Keyboards,Vocals
Greg Lisher   Guitar
David Lovering   Drums
David Lowery   Guitar,Vocals
John Lydon   Vocals
Shane MacGowan   Guitar,Vocals
Alex MacNicol   Drums
James Mankey   Guitar
Mike Mariano   Keyboards,Vocals
Johnny Marr   Guitar,Harmonica
Cliff Martinez   Drums
J Mascis   Guitar,Vocals
Louiche Mayorga   Bass
Andy McCluskey   Synthesizer,Bass,Vocals
Ian McCulloch   Guitar,Vocals
John McGeoch   Guitar,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar,farfisa organ
Grant McLennan   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Glenn Mercer   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Shaker,Temple Blocks
Andy Metcalfe   Bass,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Bill Million   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Mike Mills   Bass
Chris Molla   Guitar,Vocals
Thurston Moore   Guitar,Vocals
Bruce Moreland   Bass,Keyboards
Marc Moreland   Guitar
Morrissey   Voices
Lindy Morrison   Drums,Background Vocals
Everett Morton   Drums
Chuck Mosley   Vocals
Colin Moulding   Bass,Vocals
Mike Muir   Vocals
Murph   Drums
Alan Murphy   Guitar
Paul Murphy   Drums
Joe Nanini   Percussion,Drums
Johnette Napolitano   Bass,Vocals
Dave Navarro   Guitar
Greg Norton   Bass
Cait O'Riordan   Bass,Vocals
Campbell Owens   Bass
Del Palmer   Bass
Palmolive   Drums
Pattinson   Bass
Stephen Perkins   Drums
Jeffrey Lee Pierce   Vocals,Slide Guitar
Marty Willson-Piper   Guitar
Richard Ploog   Drums
Kid Congo Powers   Guitar
Karl Precoda   Guitar
Peter Prescott   Drums,Voices
Michael Quercio   Bass,Vocals
Andrew Ranken   Drums,Vocals
William Reid   Guitar,Vocals
Stan Ridgway   Keyboards,Vocals
Bill Rieflin   Drums
Will Rigby   Drums
Rob Ritter   Bass
David Roback   Guitar,Percussion,Vocals
Andy Rourke   Bass
Dave Ruffy   Percussion,Drums
Harry Rushakoff   Drums
Paul Ryder   Bass
Shaun Ryder   Vocals
Ryuichi Sakamoto   Keyboards
Joey Santiago   Guitar,Background Vocals
Will Sergeant   Guitar
Saxa   Saxophone
Steven Severin   Bass
Steve Shelley   Drums
Brad Shepherd   Guitar,Percussion,Vocals
Garry Shider   Background Vocals
Donald Ross Skinner   Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar
Hillel Slovak   Guitar
Amery AWOL Smith   Drums
Robert Smith   Guitar,Voices
Wendy Smith   Vocals
Spider Stacy   Vocals,tin whistle
David Steele   Bass
Bill Stevenson   Drums
Bob Stinson   Guitar
Tommy Stinson   Bass
Michael Stipe   Vocals
Dan Stuart   Guitar,Vocals
Martin Swope   Tape
David Sylvian   Keyboards,Vocals
Clive Timperley   Guitar,Vocals
Laurence Tolhurst   Drum (Bông)
Mike Watt   Bass
Fred Wesley   Trombone
Gary Whelan   Drums
Chris Whitten   Drums
Alan Wilder   electronics
Morris Windsor   Drums
Billy Zoom   Guitar
Pete de Freitas   Drums
Jim Babjak   Guitar
Henry Benagh   Fiddle
Richard Butler   Vocals
Neil Conti   Drums
Pat DiNizio   Guitar,Vocals
Mike Joyce   Drums
Mike Mesaros   Bass,Vocals
Simon Raymonde   Bass
Siouxsie Sioux   Vocals
Flea Balzary   Bass
Derrick Bostrom   Drums
Steve Boyd   Background Vocals
Mark Burgess   Vocals
Dez Cadena   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Paul Ferguson   Drums
Shirley Hayden   Background Vocals
Louis Kabbabie   Background Vocals
Cris Kirkwood   Bass,Vocals
Curt Kirkwood   Guitar,Vocals
Martin McAloon   Bass
Paddy McAloon   Guitar,Vocals
Stephen Morris   Drums
New York Choral Society   Background Vocals
Mike Payne   Background Vocals
Robo   Drums
Jeff "Monoman" Conolly   Organ,Vocals
Bernard Sumner   Guitar,Vocals
Doktor Avalanche   Drums
Awesome Welles   Synclavier
Bill Berry   Drums
Ian Brown   Vocals
Arthur Fiacco   Cello
Jon King   Vocals
Ian MacKaye   Vocals
Corine Metter   Violin
Gary Mounfield   Bass
Lyle Preslar   Guitar
Reni   Drums,Background Vocals
Ann Rorich   Cello
John Squire   Guitar
David Agar   Bass
Siggi Baldursson   Percussion,Drums
Don Bonebrake   Drums
Mark "Cow" Day   Guitar
Gillian Gilbert   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Paul Humphreys   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Vocals
Jim Martin   Guitar
Patricia Morrison   Bass,Vocals
Frank Navetta   Guitar
Tony Lombardo   Bass
Bez   Percussion,Dancer
Know   Background Vocals,Gits
Eddie Kalwa   Drums
Jasper Thread   Guitar,Accordion,Vocals
King Coffey   Drums
Heather Lewis   Drums
Danny McCormack   Guitar
Matt Johnson   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Dave Allen   Bass
Richard Williams   Drums
Michael Farmer   Percussion
Bret Lunsford   Guitar
Einar Mellax   Keyboards
Robert "Billy" Johnson   Background Vocals
Jeff Nelson & Covenant   Drums
Joel Virgel   Background Vocals
James "Iron Head" Baker   Drums
Paul John Weller   Guitar,Vocals
Einar Örn   Trumpet,Vocals
Rodney Amadeus Anonymus   Vocals
John Flasnburgh   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Maniac   Bass,Background Vocals
Rankin Roger   Vocals
Jim Reid   Guitar,Vocals
Paul Davis   Keyboards
Bragi Olafsson   Bass
Thor Eldon   Guitar
John Doyle   Drums
Budgie   Drums

Technical Credits

Gary Stewart   Liner Notes
Bad Brains   Composer
Bauhaus   Composer,Producer
Black Flag   Producer
Billy Bragg   Composer
Kate Bush   Composer,Producer
Butthole Surfers   Composer,Producer
Camper Van Beethoven   Composer,Producer
Nick Cave   Composer
Exene Cervenka   Composer
Church   Producer
Cocteau Twins   Composer,Producer
Concrete Blonde   Producer
Julian Cope   Composer
Elvis Costello   Producer
Cramps   Producer
Dead Kennedys   Composer
Depeche Mode   Producer
Don Dixon   Producer
English Beat   Composer
Faith No More   Composer,Producer
Robert Forster   Composer
Gang of Four   Composer
Happy Mondays   Composer
Grant Hart   Producer
Robyn Hitchcock   Composer,Producer
Jane's Addiction   Composer
Japan   Producer
Jesus and Mary Chain   Producer
Steve Kilbey   Composer
Killing Joke   Producer
Love and Rockets   Composer,Producer
Magazine   Composer
Meat Puppets   Producer
Meters   Composer
Ministry   Composer
Bob Mould   Producer
New Order   Composer,Producer
Tom Petty   Composer
Psychedelic Furs   Composer,Producer
Raincoats   Composer,Producer
Greg Sage   Producer
Sonic Youth   Composer,Producer
Sugarcubes   Composer
Throbbing Gristle   Composer
Ultravox   Composer,Producer
Wall of Voodoo   Composer,Producer
XTC   Producer
Bill Laswell   Composer,Producer
David J   Composer
Minor Threat   Composer,Producer
Steve Wynn   Composer,Liner Notes
Matt Johnson   Composer
Ray Manzarek   Producer
Andy Partridge   Composer
Bob Sargeant   Producer
Jim Steinman   Producer
Mayo Thompson   Producer
Youth   Composer
Mike Campbell   Composer
Spot   Producer
Phil Thornalley   Producer
Greg Ginn   Composer
Paul Westerberg   Composer,Producer
Mark Abel   Producer
Brian Beattie   Producer
Steve Berlin   Producer
David Birkett   Producer
John Brand   Producer
Ian Broudie   Producer
Hugh Brown   Art Direction
Peter Buck   Composer
Chris Cacavas   Composer
Bernie Clarke   Producer
George Clinton   Producer
Jaz Coleman   Composer
Clint Conley   Composer
Chris D.   Producer
Joy Division   Composer
Mitch Easter   Producer
Andrew Eldritch   Composer
Perry Farrell   Composer,Producer
David Faulkner   Composer
Steven Fjelstad   Producer
John Flansburgh   Composer
Andrew Fletcher   drum machine
Roddy Frame   Composer
Black Francis   Composer
Glen E. Friedman   Producer
Simon Gallup   Composer
Gordon Gano   Composer
Andrew Gill   Producer
Martin Gore   Composer
Nigel Gray   Producer
Martin Hannett   Producer
Richard Harte   Producer
Mathieu Hartley   Composer
Jim E. Hill   Producer
Peter Holsapple   Composer
Mike Howlett   Producer
Chrissie Hynde   Composer
Jimmy Iovine   Producer
Ethan James   Producer
Karin Jansson   Composer
Dave Jerden   Producer
Peter Jesperson   Producer
Calvin Johnson   Composer
Gareth Jones   Producer
Greg Ladanyi   Producer
Nick Launay   Producer
John Leckie   Producer
Mark Leviton   Liner Notes
John Linnell   Composer
Scott Litt   Producer
Hypo Luxa   Producer
John Lydon   Composer,Producer
Shane MacGowan   Composer
Earle Mankey   Producer
Mike Mariano   Composer
Johnny Marr   Composer
J Mascis   Composer,Producer
Louiche Mayorga   Composer
Andy McCluskey   Composer
Ian McCulloch   Composer
Paul McKenna   Producer
Grant McLennan   Composer
Glenn Mercer   Composer,Producer
Andy Metcalfe   Producer
Daniel Miller   Producer
Bill Million   Composer,Producer,Contributor
Mike Mills   Composer
Morrissey   Composer
Mike Muir   Composer
Johnette Napolitano   Composer
Gil Norton   Producer
Steve Nye   Producer
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark   Producer
Hugh Padgham   Producer
Hermes Pan   Producer
Rain Parade   Producer
Pattinson   Composer
Paul Weller   Composer
Jeffrey Lee Pierce   Composer
Konrad Plank   Producer
John Porter   Producer
Michael Quercio   Composer
Jim Reid   Composer
William Reid   Composer
David Roback   Composer,Producer
Nick Sansano   Producer
Will Sergeant   Composer
Steven Severin   Composer
Siouxsie and the Banshees   Producer
Robert Smith   Composer,Producer
Ed Stasium   Producer
Michael Stipe   Composer
Stephen Street   Producer
Dan Stuart   Composer
David Sylvian   Composer
Alan Thorne   Producer
Geoff Travis   Producer
Mark VanHecke   Producer
Matt Wallace   Producer
Mike Watt   Composer
Pete Wilson   Producer
Pete de Freitas   Composer
Vic Coppersmith-Heaven   Producer
Pat DiNizio   Composer
Siouxsie Sioux   Composer
Waddy Wachtel   Producer
Mark Burgess   Composer
Paul Ferguson   Composer
Curt Kirkwood   Composer
Bill Krauss   Producer
John Lever   Composer
Paddy McAloon   Composer
Norm   Producer
Jeff "Monoman" Conolly   Composer
Kathleen Billus   Liner Notes
Lol Tolhurst   Composer
Bill Berry   Composer
Jay Dublee   Engineer
Jon King   Producer
John Squire   Composer
Chris Thomas   Producer
Julie Vlasak   Art Direction
Tony Lombardo   Composer
John Srebalus   Liner Notes
Steve Woolard   Discographical Annotation
Reg Smithies   Composer
R. Shulman   Producer
Dave Fielding   Composer
Gary Stewart   Liner Notes
Dave Young Orchestra   Producer
Matt Johnson   Contributor
Mike Stewart   Producer
Dave Allen   Producer
Michael Hedges   Producer
Geordie Walker   Composer
Bret Lunsford   Composer
John Seabury   Illustrations,Cover Illustration
Ginger Dettman   Discographical Annotation
Anthony Wilson   Liner Notes
Tim Scanlin   Liner Notes
Gregg Gutierrez   Composer
Oliver Hatch   Producer
John A. Rovers   Producer
Karen Schoemer   Liner Notes
Mike Thorn   Producer
Ronnie Cook   Composer
Karen Schoemer   Liner Notes

Customer Reviews

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Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you worked at a college radio station in the mid-80's (like I did), this collection will put you right back in the booth. It's all here...well, almost. There's a few missing nuggets - "88 Lines About 44 Women" (The Nails), "Boy (Go)" (Golden Palominos), "The Walls Came Down" (The Call), and why they left off The Smith's epic "How Soon Is Now", which is the "Freebird" of 80's alternative music, I have no idea. Nonetheless, it's a great collection not to be missed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 80s were a blast, mostly because the 70s just weren't. Bloated and/or tuneless riff-rock bands had dominated a decade until the great 3-minutes-and-your-done eighties happened, where power pop from the likes of The Plimsouls, Paul Collins' Beat, Let's Active, The Photos and others brought the fun back. Besides these great acts, also glaringly missing are Romeo Void, Oingo Boingo and Translator, but I'm sure Rhino did what they could. All in all, this is a far better set than the "Omigod" piece of junk released to represent the 80s previously. Even though U2, The Police and Blondie (even, gulp, Duran Duran) mattered in the eighties, there are a lot of worthy entries here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago