The Rezillos – “Mission Accomplished… But the Beat Goes On”

How do you describe The Rezillos?  Punk?  New wave?  Rockabilly?  Glam?

The simple answer is simple “yes”.  All of the above.

Recorded in 1978 (released in 1979) at the zenith of the band’s first incarnation, Mission Accomplished… But the Beat Goes On is one of the best sounding live records in my collection.  I’m really impressed by the overall quality – the vocals and instrumentation are both clear, without one dominating the other.  The lows are low enough and the highs are high enough, and nothing sounds fried or distorted.  If there’s one thing that makes The Rezillos sound “not punk” it’s the fact that they play their instruments very well – the guitar work is good straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll, sped up just a bit, and both Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife can actually sing.  This is a legit band playing rock like a theater performance.

The Rezillos bring a mix of originals and covers to their live performance, including the rock ‘n’ roll classics “Land of 1,000 Dances” (a song at one time I though to be a Billy Idol original…) and “Ballroom Blitz” (a song I once thought was a Krokus original… sigh… my own earlier musical ignorance is a never-ending source of wonder), along with a Fleetwood Mac b-side in the bluntly titled “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonite”.  The pace is quick and the songs are tight.  The whole thing has a very Rocky Horror Picture Show feel to it from the overall vibe of the music to the way the band is dressed in the photos on the jacket reverse.

Mission Accomplished… But the Beat Goes On is a good sounding, good time rock album, and one worth adding to your collection.