Discord & Rhyme: An Album Podcast

Discord and Rhyme is a podcast where we discuss the albums we love, song by song.

010: X-Ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents (1978)

"The weird thing about all the plastic is that people don't actually like it, but in order to cope with it they develop a perverse kind of fondness for it, which is what I did.”

—Poly Styrene

DISCOOOORD AAAAND RHYME! ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR! This is our shortest, leanest episode to date, and it’s a rush! This podcast isn’t just prog, soul, and synths. We’re also into punk rock, and if it happens to have saxophones, well, that only sweetens the deal. In his first outing as host, Dan leads Rich, Mike, and Will through Germfree Adolescents by X-Ray Spex, a London punk quintet that existed aggressively for about a year before bandleader Poly Styrene started seeing visions of dayglo in the night and decided the life was too much for her. Adolescents’ 12 tracks are loud, colorful, diverse, and hilarious — though have a lyrics site on hand, because the brilliantly shrieky Poly can be nigh-on indecipherable. Germ-Free Adolescents turns 40 in just a couple of weeks, and we hope this episode earns it some new fans!


  • It’s our 10th episode! To celebrate, we’re giving one lucky listener their choice of any of the ten albums we’ve covered so far. Go to Twitter to enter! Contest ends on November 9, 2018.

  • We somehow neglected to mention that Poly Styrene passed away in 2011 of metastatic breast cancer, far before her time at the age of 53. But with Germfree Adolescents, she certainly left her distinctive mark on music and the world!

  • Happy almost-All Hallow’s Eve! Special thanks to our own John McFerrin, otherwise not present in this episode, for his fantastic line reading in the cold open.

  • In another early-going recording mishap, Dan accidentally recorded with his computer’s internal speakers, but once again thanks to our producer, Mike, he sounds pretty decent anyway!

  • After the world turned dayglo, Poly Styrene was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia for many years. Eventually she was properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and presumably things got better for her after that.

Other links

Discord & Rhyme Roll Call

  • Dan Watkins (host)

  • Rich Bunnell (moderator)

  • Mike DeFabio

  • Chris Willie Williams

  • John McFerrin (special guest appearance)

Germfree Adolescents tracklist

  • Art-I-Ficial

  • Obsessed with You

  • Warrior in Woolworth’s

  • Let’s Submerge

  • I Can’t Do Anything

  • Identity

  • Genetic Engineering

  • I Live Off You

  • I Am a Poseur

  • Germfree Adolescents

  • Plastic Bag

  • The Day the World Turned Dayglo

Other clips used

X-Ray Spex:

  • Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

  • Cigarettes

  • Poly Styrene - Dreaming


  • The Moody Blues - Lunch Break: Peak Hour

  • Black Sabbath - Fairies Wear Boots

  • Romeo Void - Never Say Never

  • Venetian Snares - Abomination Street

  • Yo La Tengo - Oh Bondage, Up Yours! (sort of)

  • The Rezillos - Flying Saucer Attack

  • The Slits - Typical Girls

Songs we mentioned but didn’t clip

  • Comet Gain - Pinstriped Rebel

  • XTC - River of Orchids

  • Talking Heads - (Nothing But) Flowers

  • The Ramones - Beat on the Brat

  • The Jam - Down In the Tube Station at Midnight

  • Sparks - Underground

  • George Michael - Careless Whisper

Band/album personnel

  • Poly Styrene – vocals

  • Jak Airport – guitar

  • Paul Dean – bass

  • Rudi Thomson – saxophone

  • B.P. Hurding – drums

  • Ted Bunting – saxophone on "Identity" & "The Day the World Turned Dayglo"

  • Lora Logic – saxophone on "I Am a Cliché"


“Discord & Rhyme (theme),” composed by the Other Leading Brand, contains elements of:

  • Amon Düül II - Dehypnotized Toothpaste

  • The Dukes of Stratosphear - What in the World?? ...

  • Faith No More - Midlife Crisis

  • Herbie Hancock - Hornets

  • Kraftwerk - Autobahn

  • Talking Heads - Seen and Not Seen

  • X-Ray Spex - Art-I-Ficial (this episode only)

You can buy or stream Germfree Adolescents at the usual suspects such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon. Follow Discord & Rhyme on Twitter @DiscordPod for news, updates, and other random stuff. Follow Rich @zonetrope and Dan @DanSWatkins. Special thanks to our own Mike DeFabio, the Other Leading Brand, for his peerless production work. See you next album, and be ever wonderful.

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