The Boys Story

Along with the Sex PistolsClash, and The Damned, The Boys were part of the first wave of the mid-1970s UK punk explosion. Armed with an arsenal of killer Steel/Dangerfield songs, The Boys became the first UK punk band to sign an album deal in January 1977. Highly regarded by the music press and their contemporaries, their well-crafted songs, together with Steel and Dangerfield’s love of harmonies, led to them being described as ‘The Beatles of Punk’ but they could (and should) just as deservedly have been compared to the Ramones ­– fast, alternately brattish and tongue-in-cheek, and gloriously anthemic.

As Last FM puts it: “The Boys provided the template for superior Pop Punk before even the Buzzcocks had got out of first gear.”

The Boys were born in September 1975 when singer/guitarist Matt Dangerfield left Mick Jones and Tony James’s fledgling punk band London SS to form a new band with ex-Hollywood Brats songwriter/keyboard player Casino Steel. Dangerfield’s art college pal, guitarist Honest John Plain, was quickly recruited. The following year, they held auditions for the bass and drum roles, with Kid Reid and Jack Black completing the line-up.

Matt Dangerfield had converted the tiny disused coal cellar of his rented basement flat in Maida Vale into a home recording studio/rehearsal room. Consequently, 47A Warrington Crescent became extremely important in developing the UK punk scene in the mid-seventies. Mick JonesGlen MatlockTony JamesRat ScabiesBrian JamesGene OctoberSid Vicious, and Billy Idol were regular visitors. Amongst others, The Sex PistolsThe DamnedLondon SSClashChelseaGeneration X, and, of course, The Boys made their first recordings there. Steel and Dangerfield quickly forged a prolific songwriting partnership in this hotbed of creativity.

The Boys made their live debut at London’s Hope and Anchor in October 1976. Mick JonesBilly IdolJoe StrummerTony James , and Gene October were in attendance for The Boys’ first performance. A mere handful of gigs later, they became the first UK punk band to sign an album deal when NEMS Records snapped them up in January 1977.

After releasing two albums and three singles with NEMS, they moved to Safari Records in 1979, where two more albums and five more singles followed.

Over the years, countless bands have covered The Boys’ back catalog – from Argentina to Germany and Japan to the USA – and even more artists have cited The Boys as a major influence.