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  • Avg Rating:4.63 / 5
  • Ratings:158
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Tracklist

Launderette
Private Armies

Credits (4)

Notes

This single by music journalist Vivien Goldman was allegedly recorded when "PiL snuck her into the Manor (studios)" during The Flowers Of Romance sessions in late 1980, with PiL also reportedly paying for most of the recording costs. It seems this is how Lydon earned his co-producer credit.

Steve New (aka Shooz) plays "drum bits" on the A which was presumably recorded at the same time as PiL's 'Pied Piper' which appeared on the Machines compilation.

It was first released in April 1981 by 99 Records (2) as the Dirty Washing EP, which also includes P.A. (Dub). This additional track was not included on the August 1981 Window 7", but was also available on the New Age Steppers - The New Age Steppers LP, there titled "Private Armies".

Versions

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8 versions
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Cover of Dirty Washing, 1981-04-00, VinylDirty Washing
12", 45 RPM, EP
Gold/Black Labels
99 Records (2) – 99-05EPUS1981US1981
Recently Edited
Cover of Launderette, 1981-08-21, VinylLaunderette
7", 45 RPM, Single
Window – WIN 1UK1981UK1981
Recently Edited
Cover of Launderette, 1981-09-00, VinylLaunderette
7", 45 RPM, Single
Virgin – 101581France1981France1981
New Submission
Launderette
7", 45 RPM, Single
Window – WIN 1UK1981UK1981
New Submission
Cover of Launderette, 1981-08-21, VinylLaunderette
7", 45 RPM, Single
MPO
Window – WIN 1UK1981UK1981
New Submission
Cover of Launderette, 1981, VinylLaunderette
7", 45 RPM, Single, White Label
Window – WINDOW 1UK1981UK1981
New Submission
Cover of Dirty Washing, 1981, VinylDirty Washing
12", 45 RPM, EP
Green/Black Labels
99 Records (2) – 99-05EPUS1981US1981
New Submission
Cover of Launderette / Private Armies, 2020-04-24, VinylLaunderette / Private Armies
7", 45 RPM, Single, Limited Edition, Reissue
Staubgold – staubgold 155Germany2020Germany2020
New Submission

Reviews

andrewjayemusic's avatar
I don't buy many 45s but I think this is the first very visibly warped one in my collection.
Daniel_Richter_68's avatar
It blew my mind the first time I heard this song. Very Velvet Underground influenced.
Bradx's avatar
Bradx
1981 was probably the last great year of UK post-punk before things got diluted with New Romantics and suchlike creeping onto the scene. So it's perhaps fitting that 1981 saw the release of one of the all-time greatest post-punk singles - Vivien Goldman's Launderette.

My friend Lyndon (in '81 a 20 year old with the record collection of a wealthy middle-aged man) always copped the best new records and I generally just went out and bought what he did. He used to buy a ton of records and then leave them 'round my house for me to listen to. (Great education, why I bothered with A levels I don't know). I knew him from 77 - 81 so this was one of the last records he hipped me to, more than likely. When we first met we were both 16 and it was amazing at the time to meet a teenager with thousands of records. They were very pricey back then.
Anyway - I digress.

This record combines excellent songwriting (lyrically and melodically) with heavy dubwize production and yet it also has a sublime pop sensibility. At the time Vivien was known as a music journalist (I remember her best from Melody Maker but I think she wrote for the other main two inkies as well - Sounds and NME) so this record came as a genuine bolt from the blue. Just check the credits - a massive who's-who of movers and shakers in the post punk and reggae early 80s milieu.

I ran out to buy the 12" which was easy to get as a new release in '81. A bit later I found the Window 7" in a bargain bin for £1. My life was complete (I've never seen the French issue though).

Great to see the new collection which compiles the 12" and rounds up other essential recordings from the era.