In August of 1975, the world’s first punk record label was born. Ork Records: New York, New York is a tale of Terry Ork, a film-obsessed fugitive of Warhol’s Factory set. Ork’s impresario ear would pull damaged, literate new rock music from the pregnant Bowery grime of CBGB, resulting in debut 45s by Television and Richard Hell, as well as landmark recordings by the Feelies and Lester Bangs. It’s a tale of Charles Ball, who’d steer Ork Records through solo exploits by Big Star’s Alex Chilton and the dBs’ Chris Stamey. And it’s a tale told across 4 LPs (or 2 CDs) in scorching sides by Richard Lloyd, Marbles, Prix, Mick Farren, Cheetah Chrome, the Idols, the Erasers, the Revelons, Student Teachers, and more. The deluxe 190-page hardback book features evocative, unseen imagery, a portal opened by on-the-scene photojournalists as crucial to documenting punk’s conception in the squalid Lower East Side as the walls of CBGB itself. Ork Records: New York, New York is a visionary glimpse of punk and new wave as invented, nurtured, feted, and forgotten by the street-level artisans who attended the genres’ arrival.
Despite heaping praise on Six by Seven’s breakthrough second album The Closer You Get, the press seemed confused as to how to categorise them. The band straddled a fine line between post-Brit Pop, British rock and a much edgier kind of punk. Inspired by the Pistols and the Stranglers as well as US bands such as Sonic Youth and Mercury Rev, Six By Seven consciously wanted to write songs that would get played on the radio, as Chris Olley explains: “We wanted to fill a gap I think, fill it with the sort of music we would like to hear and buy ourselves; sort of Captain Beefheart doing pop.”
The Closer You Get reissue will be presented in all its former glory, without being remastered or tampered with, and will sound the same as it did when it originally came out. In homage to Beggars Arkive’ re-release of Olley’s heroes and labelmates, Mercury Rev’s Yerself Is Steam, the additional LP will be polybagged together with the album. It will feature Six By Seven’s third Peel session on one side and various b-sides and other Peel sessions on the other. The “Greatest Hits” CD will include a celebratory selection of songs from across their seven studio albums.