Editors’ Notes With an arsenal of punk firepower—including Steve New (Rich Kids), Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols), Barry Andrews (XTC), and Ivan Kral (Patti Smith Group)—plus both David Bowie and The Stooges' James Williamson on board as producers, this would promise to be a pretty great album. Well, Williamson didn’t get along with Bowie, so he walked out. Then guitarist Steve New punched Bowie for hitting on his girlfriend, so he was out too (along with most of his guitar parts). But Soldier proved the truism that heavy conflict can make for great rock music, even if some critics chirped that there was too little guitar in this album’s mix. But less guitar means you get more Pop, and he’s on fire, especially when the themes have anything to do with survival or, um, conflict (“Knockin’ ’Em Down in the City,” “Dog Food,” “Take Care of Me”). There’s also classic eye-bulging Pop satire (“I’m a Conservative,” “Play It Safe,” “I Need More”). And you can hear truly how great a singer Pop had become by 1979; just listen to “Ambition.”

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