ARMY LIFE 7" (Exploited, 1980)
EXPLOITED BARMY ARMY 7" (Exploited, 1980)
DOGS OF WAR 7" (Secret, 1981)
ON STAGE LP (Secret, 1981)
PUNK'S NOT DEAD LP (Secret, 1981)
DEAD CITIES 7" (Secret, 1981)
ATTACK/ALTERNATIVE 7" (Secret, 1982)
TROOPS OF TOMORROW LP (Secret, 1982)
COMPUTERS DON'T BLUNDER 7" (Secret, 1982)
RIVAL LEADERS 7" (Pax, 1983)
LET'S START A WAR (Pax, 1983)
HORROR EPICS LP (?, 1985)
LIVE AT THE WHITEHOUSE LP (Combat Core, 1986)
JESUS IS DEAD 12" (Music for Nations, 1986)
DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR LP (Rough Justice/Music For Nations, 1987)
WAR NOW! 12" (Rough Justice/Music For Nations, 1988)
THE MASSACRE LP (Triple-X/Rough Justice, 1990)
BEAT THE BASTARDS LP (Triple-X/Rough Justice, 1996)
NOISE ANNOYS LP (Spitfire, due March 2003)
PUNK SINGLES & RARITIES CD (Captain Oi - has all 7"s from 1980-83 plus comp tracks)
TOTALLY EXPLOITED: THE BEST OF THE EXPLOITED CD (Taang!, 2001)
OI! THE ALBUM LP (EMI, 1980)
PUNK AND DISORDERLY vol. 3 LP (Anagram, 1983)
History and Discography compiled by Foffle
The Exploited started in 1978 or '79 in Edinburgh, Scotland after young Wattie Buchan left the army. Rumor has it his brother Terry actually started the band and Wattie took over shortly thereafter when Terry lost interest. Anyway, at this time the band's lineup was Wattie on vocals, Steve (aka Hayboy) on guitar, Mark on bass and Jimbo on drums. They began gigging heavily and as members started ducking out, Wattie soon became the only original member. Jimbo was the first to go when he left the band to go to college. He was replaced by Dru Stix. In 1980, the band released their first single, Army Life on their own Exploited Record Company.
As the Exploited started opening for more established bands such as the Cockney Rejects and UK Subs, the record shot to #6 on the independent chart and the band's following grew. Army Life actually stayed in the charts for five years striaght without ever going out for a week. For one reason or another, Mark and Steve were replaced by Gary McCormack and "Big John" Duncan, an accomplished lead guitarist whose style has been constantly immitated since then. In November 1980, they released Exploited Barmy Army which immedietly hit #4 on the independent chart and landed the band a record deal with Secret Records, who took over in distributing the two singles and released the Dogs of War 7" in April 1981, which eventually hit #2 in the independent chart and #63 in the national chart.
The Exploited's sound, fashion and stage antics had attracted a huge legion of dedicated punk and skinhead fans throughout Europe. They were adored for their "don't give a fuck" attitude and "live fast, die young" lifestyle. In mid-1981, Oi! Records released their imfamous Oi! compilation featuring two Exploited tracks, "Daily News" and "I Still Believe in Anarchy". Around this time, they also put out the first of many live albums, On Stage on Secret Records.
In May 1981, the group finally put out their first full-length LP, Punk's Not Dead featuring classics like "Cop Cars" and "Sex and Violence". The album hit #1 on the independent chart and #20 on the independent chart. It's been called the most important punk album since Nevermind the Bollocks ...personally, I wouldn't go that far, but whatever. Soon thereafter, they launched the very successful "Apacalypse" tour with Discharge co-headlining and Anti-Pasti, Chron Gen, and Anti Nowhere League as supporters.
The next big wave of success would come in the form of a 3-song EP called Dead Cities, which landed them their first television appearance on TOP OF THE POPS. The fans were disgusted and called the band sellouts. The appearance killed record sales completely (the day before TOP OF THE POPS, they sold 20,000 records...the day after, they sold 50). Around this time, Dru Stix was arrested for armed robbery and was sentenced to 7 years in prison and was quickly replaced by Danny.
Danny must've been slow in learning or something because Steve Roberts played drums on the next single (Attack/Alternative) and most of the next album, Troops of Tomorrow, whose title track was written by the Vibrators. This album, in my opinion, is the Exploited at their best and it took them on their first North American tour in summer 1982. Upon their return, Secret Records released the Computers Don't Blunder single and Danny was replaced by Wattie's little brother, Willie, who has since taken over the musical end of songwriting duties for the most part.
In 1983, the band recorded the Rival Leaders EP and Let's Start a War LP, but delayed releasing either when they decided to leave Secret Records and Gary and Big John quit. The band signed with Pax Records and secured the lineup with Billy on guitar and Wayne on bass. Production-wise, Let's Start a War was an obvious attempt at re-creating the sound they achieved on Troops of Tomorrow. The record didn't sell as well either, as the UK's punk scene started to steadily decline, although their popularity continued to grow throughout the rest of Europe. They also faced legal troubles after failing to pay OR credit artist Pushead for the drawing on the cover of the album. Wattie says they left it up to the label and that's why it never got done. However, none of this really meant squat to Wattie, whose main goal was to make exciting music, cause mayhem around the world and get fucked up and laid as often as possible.
After a short break-up in 1984, the band hit the road again with Karl Morris on guitar. 1985 saw the release of Horror Epics, which was a victim of over-production with there being so many effects on the drums that they sounded electric. The band embarked on another US tour which didn't go so well. Many shows were stopped before the band even got 1/4 way into their set and the tour was cancelled early after an on-stage fight between Karl and Wattie. Wayne and Karl left the band, claiming Wattie had ripped them off.
During this time off, they released Live at the Whitehouse on Combat Core recorded at D.C.'s 9:30 club on the previous tour. In 1986, they returned with Nigel on guitar and ex-UK Sub, Deptford John on bass with the 12" EP Jesus is Dead. After one tour, Deptford John quit the band, simply saying "It certainly wasn't due to musical differences." For the US leg of the "Jesus is Dead" tour, Wayne came back to fill his shoes before Tony joined permanently and the band released Death Before Dishonour in 1987, which was a cross between hardcore and crossover metal which was getting very popular. The Exploited were being influenced by the bands that they influenced like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and DRI.
Again with the lineup changes!!! Tony was replaced by Smeeks aka Mark Smellie. Whichever record label they were dealing with in 1988 (it gets kinda confusing here... either Combat Core, Music for Nations, Relativity, or Rough Justice) released another 3 songs from the Death Before Dishonour sessions in the form of the War Now! 12" which featured a dub remix of "Sexual Favours". After another world tour in 1988, Gogs replaced Nigel, Willie quit the band and Tony came back to play drums for 1990's punk/metal masterpiece, The Massacre, their fastest, most well-produced album to date. By 1991, Willie was back on drums and the band did their first show in Japan.
Around this time, the lineup changes became so frequent that it wasn't even worth keeping record of. In 1992, Slayer and Ice T did a duet medley of "War", "UK82" (their version was dubbed "LA92" and the lyrics were about the riots going on in LA at the time) and "Disorder" for the Judgement Night soundtrack. Also, in 1993, Big John temporarily joined Nirvana (making only one on-stage appearance with them) before they hired Pat Smear of the Germs as their permanent rythem guitarist. Theses events helped the Exploited's popularity like Metallica's sporting Misfits' t-shirts help theirs.
In '94, they began the slow process of making another album. The result was Beat the Bastards which was released in June 1996. Supposedly, they recorded the album with one lineup, had another lineup when it was released and toured with another lineup. Most fans will tell you this is not punk and the Exploited are a metal band now, but that's only true if you think punk becomes metal when you add a lot of Kirk Hammet-esque guitar solos and more technical parts to the music, in which case the Exploited have been metal all along. Whatever, you can't stay the same for two decades, all things evolve. Speaking of which, there is also a prevelant rumor that on the recent tours, Wattie has been sporting a mohawk-weave, as his own hair has long since disappeared.
They did another world tour and went through a long period of nothing (Except headlining the HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN tours every year and almost headlining the SOCIAL CHAOS tour in North America in 1999, but pulling out due to yet another collapsed lineup) until around 2000 when they began to work on a new album. Apparently, the thing holding them up is trying to find a full-time guitarist, but I guess they have that handled now. They've signed to Spitfire Records, who have re-issued all the Exploited albums and set a late 2002/early 2003 release date for the next Exploited album.
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