This ambitious release paired four songs on two 7" singles with an impressive 144-page hardcover book that featured several short essays on the revolution, along with a remarkable collection of photographs taken by journalists aligned with the revolutionary forces. If the book is hardly the final word on the Spanish Revolution, it's a powerful and enlightening visual document that casts a fresh light on a major historical event little understood by most of nowadays people.
In many ways, the book is such a strong piece of work that the music which accompanies it nearly pales in comparison, though it certainly finds the Ex in excellent form. The lyrics to all four songs were adapted from songs and essays by leaders of the 1936 revolt, with two in Spanish and two in English; on "El Tren Blindado" the band even trades in their traditionally jagged electric guitar sound for an acoustic arrangement that approaches the tone of Spanish folk music. Rabble-rousing has always been high on the Ex's list of priorities, and this music - especially the passionate "They Shall Not Pass" and "People Again" - find them inviting the spirit of the revolution as if it occurred five minutes ago, not 50 years past. It's heady, powerful stuff. This remarkable package was reissued in 1998, with the two 7" singles replaced by a pair of 3" CD's, and it's well worth seeking out for students of radical history as well as followers of passionate, uncompromising rock & roll.
|A1||They Shall Not Pass||3:47|
|A2||El Tren Blindado||3:06|
The Ex - 1936 - The Spanish Revolution (1986)
(256 kbps, cover art included)