[ezcol_1half] Fingerprintz were a Scottish post-punk (or New Wave in the US) band formed in London in 1978. I was first introduced to the music of Jimme O’Neill through his later band The Silencers who he formed in London in 1984 with his Fingerprintz band mate Cha Burns. Both of them are from Coatbridge, Scotland where my family came from, so I spent quite a bit of time there and the music of The Silencers and Fingerprintz was always in the background. In fact my Mum saw Fingerprintz with The Skids at the Glasgow Apollo, a memory my mum enjoyed recounting, much to my jealously! I was born in 1982..
After almost 40 years stored away in the Virgin Records archives, Rubellan Remasters have finally brought back to life the music of Fingerprintz with the first ever authorized CD release: Bullet Proof Heart: The Best of Fingerprintz. Earlier this year another Fingerprintz compilation was issued to CD, sadly the quality is so bad and it turns out the release was not authorized and is essentially a bootleg. Avoid.
So.. Bullet Proof Heart: The Best of Fingerprintz – Rubellan Remasters sought clearance from Universal who now owns the catalog. With clearance granted, Rubellan remastered the tracks from the original tapes that are stored in the US. Working with Jim O’Neill, Jim provides extensive sleeve notes, this is worth the price of the CD alone.
The compilation starts off with the debut single Dancing With Myself. Its clear from the off that care and attention to detail was sought remastering these tracks. A new punch to these tracks is quite evident, makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to make these tracks available on CD. Vinyl is great, but after 40 years..
The CD comprises of all the singles along with some of the best album tracks and b-sides. One b-side in particular All About You – I uploaded this to youtube and sent to Jim as the theme really sounds quite current in these times. It was nice to hear back from Jim back then to hear his thoughts on a track that he admitted he had long forgot about. Jim references this discovery in the booklet. 🤟
The title track Bullet Proof Heart sounds transformed on CD. Cha’s guitar playing sounds more at the forefront of the mix to me than it does on the vinyl? Or that could be that I have just played my vinyls to death! He sounds fantastic. Cha may no longer be with us (RIP!) but his guitar playing lives on..
Bohemian Dance likewise has a new lease of life here, a single I never listened to much in truth, it felt a bit out of touch with everything else the band were doing at the time. So was wisely was left off the later editions of Beat Noir album.
Beat Noir was Fingerprintz at their best, especially the singles included on this compilation. It’s hard to believe Shadowed was largely ignored. The bass on Shadowed sounds amped on this compilation. Changing is perhaps Jim’s best Fingerprintz track, sounds timeless here. I’ve heard a new Silencers track that they have played live a couple of times that could be on their next album, the intro sounds very similar to Changing. I wouldn’t blame Jim if he decided to record this track again for a future Silencers record. As I said, timeless..
Again, Cha’s guitar sounds so alive on this remaster, I type this as Touch Sense kicks in. This track is the biggest hint as to the direction Cha & Jim would go in with The Silencers. Brilliant!
I’ve seen a few gripes online about the tracks that have been left off, fair enough..Wet Job, Criminal Minds and so on. But that shouldn’t detract from what an excellent job has been done with this compilation, the first and only one in 40 years~!
Rubellan have suggested if the compilation does well, a full remaster program of the albums complete with b-sides, unreleased tracks and more could be in the pipeline. Lets hope this is the case, as I doubt there’ll be another chance of seeing all this great material being saved from the Universal Records archives! Maybe they can also be persuaded to revive the Silencers back catalog that also has long since been deleted and no longer able to buy new.
Bullet Proof Heart: The Best of Fingerprintz gets the thumbs up from me, 5 outa 5. 10 out of 10. Yeah, buy the album here.
The Official Silencers Facebook Page – for the very latest on what Jimme O’Neill is up to.
Fingerprintz Live at Boston Paradise Download (Recommended!)
Rock And/Or Roll – Recorded interview with Jimme O’Neill. Best one out there, Jim goes into great detail about both Fingerprintz & The Silencers.
postpunkmonk.com A good look at Fingerprintz discography
A Letter From St. Paul at 30 years – Article I wrote about the debut Silencers album.
Unboxing Bullet Proof Heart
All About You
John Peel Session 1978
Wet Job live
Bullet Proof Heart live