The 4Skins
The Music of the 4Skins

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3 Singles and 3 LPs...and thats your lot!



This, the debut 4-Skins' album, didn't hit the streets until June 1982, some two or three years after their formation. Like their Secret Record Label mates The Business, the debut album was to feature the band's second line-up, as all the earlier Hodges material was discarded. A start to this trend, was the second single "Yesterday's Heroes" (this single version is in fact a different version to the track on this album) which was to chart highly in the indie listings and it was as if the line-up had never changed.

Mini-tours were arranged to support the release of the single and the album, which went relatively quiet compared to rumours being circulated by the scare-mongers who were predicting a sort of Southall riot comes to your town'.

When released the album went straight to the top of the indie and Punk charts, as well as crashing into the UK top 100, making it the sixth consecutive Secret Records album to hit the top 100 ... not bad for an indie! Presswise, the album was to receive mixed reactions, as their past, politics and image became more relevant to the music reviewers than the music itself. For those of you actually interested in the music, the album features some classic tracks, none less than the Ska-ish "Plastic Gangsters" (apparently a searing attack on Punk Scribe Gary Bushell and his antics, brought on by his overnight cooling of interest in the band after Southall) which features vocals by the bands manager Gary Hitchcock, who like bassist Hoxton Tom, really were The 4-Skins, and it was them that had kept the whole show together through the rough years and the damaging line-up changes. Other tracks of note on the studio side are "Jealousy", "Jack The Lad" and "Manifesto". The second side captured an early live recording of the then new line-up, and caught the band on true form, especially Panther who wisecracked his way through a powerful set.

Future recordings from this line-up included a cover of the old Slade hit "Merry Christmas Everybody" which was featured on the "Bollocks To Christmas" EP which they shared with The Business, The Gonads and Max Splodge. The single "Lowlife/Bread Or Blood" was this line-up's last recording, and was recorded some three months before they broke up, as John Jacobs and Pete Abbott left for pastures new.

Gary Fielding, "THE LINK"

Panther - Vocals
Tom McCourt - Bass
John Jacobs - Guitars/Drums
Pete Abbott - Drums

Produced by Gary Hitchcock and Tom McCourt. Recorded at Matrix Studios, London.

One of the strangest records involving the 4Skins was the 1990's record by the Italian Oi band, Asociale, with a b-side of 'Hoxton Tom for President'. Once I have the lyrics, I'll post them here!



I'm only showing the original vinyl during the life of the band


One Law For Them / Brave New World (both by Hodges/McCourt)
Clockwork Fun (CF 101), 1981
Tom McCourt (bass), Gary Hodges (vocals), Steve Pear (guitar) John Jacobs (drums)

Yesterdays Heroes / Justice, Get Out Of My Life ( a) McCourt/Hodges b) McCourt/Cummins)7
Secret Records (SHH 125), 1981
Tom McCourt (bass), Panther (vocals), John Jacobs (guitar), Pete Abbot (drums)

Low Life / Bread Or Blood (a) McCourt/Cummins b)McCourt)
Secret Records (SHH 141), 1982
Tom McCourt (bass), Panther (vocals), John Jacobs (guitar), Pete Abbot (drums)


The Good, The Bad & The 4-Skins
Secret Records (SEC 4), 1982
Side 1 (studio): Plastic Gangsters, Jealousy, Yesterdays Heroes, Justice, Jack The Lad, Remembrance Day, Manifesto
Side 2 (live): Wonderful World, Sorry, Evil, I Don't Wanna Be, A.C.A.B., Chaos, One Law For Them
Tom McCourt (bass), Panther (vocals), John Jacobs (guitar), Pete Abbot (drums)

A Fistful Of...
Syndicate Records (SYN 1), 1983
Side 1: 5 More Years (Layabouts Anthem), Waiting For A Friend, Johnny Go Home, The Gambler, I'll Stick To My Guns, On File
Side 2: Forgotten Hero, The Spy From Alaska, H.M.P., No Excuse, Betrayed, City Boy, New War
Roi Pearce (vocals), Tom McCourt (bass), Paul Swain (guitar), Ian Bramson (drums)

From Chaos To 1984 (Live)
Syndicate Records (SYN LP 5), 1984
Side 1: Wonderful World, Jealousy, On The Streets, Johnny Go Home, 1984, Bread Or Blood, Saturday
Side 2: A.C.A.B., City Boy, 5 More Years, Evil, On File, Clockwork Skinhead, Chaos
Roi Pearce (vocals), Tom McCourt (bass), Paul Swain (guitar), Ian Bramson (drums)


Bollocks To Xmas compilation 7" with the 4-Skins, Splodge, the Business and Gonads. The 4-Skins track was 'Merry Xmas Everybody'.

Oi! the Album
1980 by EMI (ZIT 1).
Wonderful World - (Hodges/McCourt/Harmer)
Chaos - (Hodges/McCourt/Harmer)

Bootboys - Barney & The Rubbles (Rubble/McCourt)

Strength Thru Oi

1981 by Decca (SKIN1)
1984 - (Hodges/McCourt)
Sorry - (Hodges/McCourt)
Oi! the Album

Carry on Oi

1981 by Secret (SEC1)
Evil - (Hodges/McCourt)
Son Of Oi!
1983 Syndicate Records
On The Streets - (McCourt)



After John Jacobs and Pete Abbott left, everybody said that the 4-Skins were dead. That is except Gary Hitchcock (manager) and Hoxton Tom, who somehow restructured the band back into a strong fighting force, adding two unlikely, but talented youngsters Paul Swain and Ian Bramson (aka Davis) to the group. But the ace card was the recruitment of ex-Last Resort vocalist Roi Pearce.

After a few showcase rehearsals, the band secured a deal with Syndicate Records, and recorded the band's second album, and a   track "On The Streets" to the "Son Of Oi!" album.

This LP suffered from the same 'mysterious' indie chart mishaps and the Good, the Bad and the 4Skins. The album was distributed by IDS, as was "Increase the Pressure" by Conflict and they were both released virtually on the same day. Whilst Conflict rose to number 2 in the indie chart, the 4-Skins were lurking somewhere outside the top30. Now, although Syndicate Records and Mortarhate Records (Conflict label) were a million miles away idealogically, they were actually friends, and it is here that some interesting fact start to emerge. Firstly, the albums were virtually selling the same, and in one week, the 4-Skins LP actually outsold the Conflict album, although this was not registering in the chart. But the most important fact highlighted by the IDS computer, was that the records were all but a few, selling in the same shops. So either the same shops were 'censoring' their returns, and/or the information wasn't getting through to the chart compilers. Although the band, in their opinion, were convinced something more suspicious was occurring at the chart compilers HQ, for when the compilers were informed how close Syndicate and Mortarhate were, the 4-Skins entered the chart, albeit lower than Conflict.

Nevertheless, this is a strong, interesting album mixing the 4-Skins raw sound with Roi's famous Last Resort growl, and makes it a unique album for that fact alone.

Roi Pearce - Vocals
Tom McCourt - Bass
Paul Swain - Guitar
Ian Bramson - Drums

Produced by Ian O'Higgins. Backing vocals Keith Bollock Brother. Recorded at Alaska Studios, London

Their best songs? In my opinion, One Law, Wonderful World, Brave New World and Evil






In mid 1984, the 3rd line up of the 4-Skins finally decided to call it a day. The knockers, resenters and full time backstabbers had taken their toll and the band decided to quit on their own terms with their pride intact. To record this moment and how they felt they amassed some close friends and played their last gig in a studio in Waterloo. This album is the result of that recording and captures them pounding their way out of the music business that took everything and gave them nothing but grief. It also gave Roi a chance to sing the 4-Skins classics on vinyl and acts as a testament to this line up's live show. The only complaint about the album was that quite a few fans moaned there were no Last Resort standards but as Roi said at the time "This is the 4-Skins not The Last Resort ... enough said."

This album, like their other Syndicate release "A Fistful of 4-Skins", suffered from mysteriously low indie chart placings even with high sales but that's another story!

When this album was released a lot of people, or should I say critics of the band, sighed with relief as the band they hated and were for some reason scared shitless of, were dead and gone. Well gone maybe but never dead in spirit and never forgotten as a recent "Best of" proved with high sales. This band, whatever line up, are no longer with us as performing artists but their spirit, guts, humour, wit and attitude will never die and the longer the mugs moan about it the longer they live on!!!

Gary Fielding

Roi Pearce - Vocals
Paul Swain - Guitars
Hoxton Tom - Bass
Ian Davis - Drums

Copyright Note: All photographs on this web-site are owned by Tom McCourt and he has given his permission for their use on this site and that they may be freely copied to other web-sites
Copyright (c)  2004 Tommy Cassidy.
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A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
Free Documentation License".

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".