Monday, September 29, 2008


"They brought to Punk something nobody else had managed or dared to attempt: Compassion..."

"Penatration - 2nd Greatest Band in the History of the World, no doubt about it."

New Wave, Punk

Neale Floyd - Rhythm Guitar (1978-1979)
Robert Blamire - Bass (1976-1979,2001-)
Pauline Murray - Vocals (1976-1979,2001-)
Fred Purser - Lead Guitar (1978-1979)
Gary Chaplin - Guitar (1976-1978)
Gary Smallman - Drums (1976-1979,2001-2006)
Graham Kaye - Drums (2006-)
Steve Wallace (ex-Forgodsake and Automatic) - Guitar (2001-)
Paul Harvey
( - Guitar (2001-2006)
Brian Atkinson - Guitar (2007-)
Billy Gilbert (ex-16 Forever, Chelsea,Hangups,Lurkers,Sleep Creature & The Vampires,Automatic etc.) - Guitar (2006-)

"Lovers of Outrage"


Pauline Murray - Vocals
Fred Purser - Guitar, Keyboards
Gary Smallman - Drums
Neale Floyd - Guitar
Robert Blamire - Bass
Robert Mason,Russell Mills - Cover Design
Mick Glossop ( - Producer,Engineer
Mike Howlett ( - Producer

1-11 are from the original LP V 2109
12 & 13 are from the single VS 192
14 is the b-side of single VS 226
15 & 16 are from the single VS 213

"Life's A Gamble"


01 Future Daze
02 Life's A Gamble
03 Lover Of Outrage
04 Vision
05 Silent Community

06 Stone Heroes
07 Movement
08 Too Many Friends
09 Reunion
10 Nostalgia
11 Freemoney
12 Don't Dictate
13 Money Talks
14 V.I.P.
15 Firing Squad
16 Never

Link to download:

When singer Pauline Murray saw a relatively unknown band called The Sex Pistols perform in a garage in North Yorkshire in 1976, she knew she was witnessing a musical revolution.The sheer energy of the group, combined with the fact that they didn't care about image, blew her away. The gig was the catalyst for Pauline's own punk-rock aspirations, and a year later she started her own band, Penetration.

The original 1976-1977 U.K. punk explosion produced 100 fantastic bands, but only a small handful ever get mentioned in the endless articles that pay homage to those days. Anyone who has been willing to go beyond the heavyweights or the since-deified has encountered rock & roll brilliance brimming with spirit, talent, attitude, great lyrics, and most of all (and this is what's most forgotten) variety. Penetration took a few singles before they really achieved greatness, but even their simplistic debut, the Mike Howlett/Mick Glossop-produced Moving Targets, had a slew of great songs for the amazing Pauline Murray to sing, and their second and final LP, the Steve Lillywhite-produced post-punk classic Coming Up for Air, just further established their lasting worth. But whenever turning someone on to the group, the LP that best reveals their greatness is definitely Race Against Time, a plain, black- and white-sleeved, authorized bootleg on Clifdayn Records that was released as the band was breaking up at the end of 1979. It consisted of nine 1977/1978 demos on side one, and seven more songs recorded live in Newcastle (and they could really bring it live, as seen on Race and at their New York gig at Hurrah). This 65-minute CD is a reissue of Race, with a proper sleeve this time, and even tacks on seven previously unreleased, hot John Peel sessions! All 23 tracks are more live, raw, hard, exciting, and one hell of a great rush, far less polished than the Howlett/Glossop/Lillywhite major-label outings. And Murray's savvy lyrics and impassioned singing are not to be missed. Once you get this, you'll want the two proper LPs (Moving Targets was reissued on import CD in 1990), and Murray's two excellent solo LPs, 1981's Pauline Murray & the Invisible Girls and 1989's Storm Clouds. ~ Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover, All Music Guide

Buoyed by the sheer magnificence of their "Don't Dictate" debut single, Penetration's debut album stands among the very last true greats of the first wave of British punk offerings. A glorious collision of adrenalized exuberance and astonishing energies, topped by Pauline Murray's unmistakably soaring vocals, Moving Targets wrapped 11 tracks across its two sides of vinyl, and it was the greatest indication of their quality that it wasn't till you reached the end that you realized "Don't Dictate" itself was absent. In its stead, "Stone Heroes," the explosive "Movement," and the swirlingly atmospheric "Vision" were all classics in the making, while a cover of Patti Smith's "Free Money" is simply spellbinding, crunchier than the original but more emotive, too. And then there's the opening bars of the title track, a hilarious reminder of how fast things were changing back then -- it's the Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun," and doesn't it sound old-fashioned! All of which illustrates the sheer versatility bound up in the band. In another lifetime, they could have given the likes of Led Zeppelinand Deep Purple a run for their money, at least in terms of demonstrating dexterity, and it was Penetration's bad luck that they were riding a wave that had little time for such abilities. Not that they allowed the disappointment to show. Moving Targets shrugs aside most of punk's archetypes as it rockets along, while the decision to cover the Buzzcocks' "Nostalgia" reminds listeners that Penetration weren't the only band around that didn't give a toss for fashionable accessories. Of course, that determination would lead to the disappointment of the band's second album -- and, thereafter, their demise. As of mid-1978, however, Moving Targets could only herald a dazzling future, while the Captain Oi! reissue depicts a glittering past as well -- five bonus tracks include both sides of the "Don't Dictate" and "Firing Squad" singles, to complete an irrepressible snapshot of Penetration in full pomp and glory. ~ Dave Thompson, All Music Guide

How did the idea for Penetration initially come together?

"It was just four teenagers who got together purely to play music for fun. There was no great master plan."

"I was from a very small pit village in County Durham when the mines were closing and nobody gave a damn about it, and our songs reflected that."(

I remember buying this album in 1979 which was originally pressed in luminous vinyl- most excellent! This was Penetrations first album featuring the vocals of Pauline Murray and the impressive although basic sounds of Robert Blamire on bass. The classic single 'Don't Dicate'is on track 12 and must be a must for any collector of the 'pure' punk sound of the late '70's. The follow-up singles 'Firing Squad' & 'Life's A Gamble are also included and both still stand the test of time!. While the album may not be considered a milestone I would have no hesitation in recommending this to sit alongside you copies of Never Mind The Bollocks (Pistols) and Another Music (Buzzcocks)."

"Right from the outset of the first track (Future Daze), it is abundantly apparent that this is not the standard punk fare of the time. The musicianship and production are far in advance of much that was on offer at the time. Most of the material has a light, airy feeling to it, but that doesn't mean that it's lightweight. Far from it, this is serious music for serious people. Songs like "Silent Community" and "Lover Of Outrage" still have meaning even now, some twenty-four years after initial release. Most of the material is self-penned, but there are cover versions that don't sound like filler "Nostalgia" (Buzzcocks original) and "Free Money" (Patti Smith), are both excellent songs, covered well by the band; Pauline Murray's vocal talent coming to the fore, as ever. This CD release also features 5 bonus tracks not on the orignal LP release. These are taken from two single releases: "Don't Dictate" & "Firing Squad", the remaining three tracks being the b-side material from these singles. All in all, an excellent debut LP, with addition of those extra tracks makes this a worthwhile purchase. The only reason this CD doesn't rate 5 stars is that the follow-up LP is, in my opinion superior. That alone, should pique your interest!"

"You would have been forgiven, after the punkiness of the early "Don't Dictate" single, for expecting 1978's "Moving Targets" to have been something like a cross between Buzzcocks (Pete Shelley's "Nostalgia" is covered here) and X-Ray Spex (Pauline Murray's voice sometimes sounding uncannily like that of the warrior in Woolworths, Poly Styrene).Despite being released on nearly unlistenable luminous vinyl, what Penetration actually served up was an adept and surprisingly mature set of songs. Murray and company had the confidence to let slower, reflective passages appear in some of the tracks, such as "Reunion", whilst speedier tracks like "Stone Heroes" conformed a little more closely to the amphetamine pace of the times. The original material is strong and the two covers (the second is Patti Smith's "Freemoney") well executed.
What makes Penetration stand out from the multitude of punk groups that sprang up in 1977 is Murray's distinctive and powerful voice, whilst her lyrics perhaps hint at a vulnerability and introspection that became all too evident in later years.
"Moving Targets" was a fine debut but also a dead end. There are places in which the guitar playing unpleasantly prefigures the "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal", which aspect of Penetration's sound helped ruin the dismally poor second LP, "Coming Up For Air". Unsurprisingly, the group split shortly after it.
At a reduced price this CD reissue is well worth having. The Invisible Girls' material is hard to find but showcases Murray's voice and songwriting even better."

"This CD is soooo good!!! It never grows old. Pure Punk Rock. Pity that Penetration was such an underrated group. I love Punk Rock (Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash, Blondie, Patti Smith) and I think Penetration stands side by side with the greatest ones."

More review:
COMING UP FOR AIR (1979,reissued in 2001)

Artwork By - BOLD images
Engineer - Ian Taylor (tracks 01-11),Mick Glossop (tracks 12-14)
Performer - Fred Purser , Gary Smallman , Neale Floyd , Pauline Murray , Robert Blamire Producer (tracks 01-11) - Steve Lillywhite
( and 12-14) - Mick Glossop , Mike Howlett
Written-By - Purser* (tracks: 03, 04, 06, 07, 11) , Smallman* (tracks: 09) , Floyd* (tracks: 01, 05, 08 to 10) , Murray* , Blamire* (tracks: 02, 06)

Recorded and mixed at Ridge Farm Studios and Phonogram Studios.


01 Shout Above The Noise
02 She Is The Slave

03 Last Saving Grace
04 Killed In The Rush
05 Challenge
06 Come Into The Open
07 What's Going On?
08 Party's Over
09 On Reflection
10 Lifeline
11 New Recruit
12 Danger Signs
13 Stone Heroes (Live)
14 Vision (Live)

Link to download:

1979 saw extensive touring, both in the UK and in the US. The group also released their second album, Coming Up for Air, despite starting to suffer internal disharmony and disillusion, especially on the part of Pauline. The band did eventually split up, and the break-up was announced at one of their last gigs: Newcastle City Hall on October 14, 1979. The show was was recorded and issued as a post-humous official bootleg.

The spiky aspirations of their debut album and first few singles notwithstanding, Penetration was always a more convincing hard rock band than most punks gave them credit for. The glee with which they unveiled a twin-guitar lineup, the faith they placed in songs with titles like "She Is the Slave" and "Shout Above the Noise," and, if hindsight be the guide, the accuracy with which they predicted the entire New Wave of British Heavy Metal outbreak — all these things place Penetration in a very different bag to that they normally wriggle around in. Guitarist Fred Purser went on to form the Tygers of Pan Tang. That should tell you everything. Released in late 1979, their second album, Coming Up for Air, is the sound of the group embracing that destiny. Critically pummeled at the time and often overlooked thereafter, it is a far cry from the scratchy urchins who unleashed "Don't Dictate" a mere year earlier, a rip-roaring, riff-heavy leviathan that places its focus on Purser and Neale Floyd's wailing guitars, then layers Pauline Murray's banshee-bark vocals atop of them. Unfortunately, in ripping apart the punk formbook, Penetration also tore up their songwriting manual. Without exception, the ten songs on the original album are uniformly leaden, while two live bonus tracks merely amplify the band's lumpen metal pretensions. Only "Danger Signs," the third bonus track and the band's last memorable single, stands proud, but even that is not a recommendation. (

After releasing “Coming Up For Air, ” and 3 years after forming you called it a day. What were the reasons for that?

Pauline :
"There was a lot of pressure and it was no fun anymore. We were also very, very tired from constant touring." (Quotes arond the time - “I never wanted to be in Penetration and to be worrying all the time. I wanted it to be fun, not to be always thinking of hit singles and cracking America and writing for the next LP.Why am I doing this ?..Why am I miserable ? ..What’s the point ? brings it down to the level of having a job.” )

What have you been up to in the intervening years?

"Since the break-up of Penetration in 1979, we have involved ourselves in various endeavours too numerous to mention, from roofer to recording studio owner to record production, to builder to printer, lecturer, security, doorman, band management, proprietor of rehearsal studios, record label, dishwasher, distributor, Stukist, painter, reflexologist, singer, drummer, bass player, guitarists, mother and father."

"There is really no comparison between Coming Up For Air and the other Penetration albums available on CD (e.g. Moving Targets, Don't Dictate). This is the first and still the best."
"Penetration's second studio album might have become more than what it is: a sad coda to a fine British pop band's career. With origins in punk, Penetraton gradually extended its style, while still maintaining a certain edge. Over-production troubled their first studio LP; their next would prove more troubling.
The two tracks from the single, "Come Into the Open" were crisp and exciing, and promised something special. But when the LP was released later on, the tracks from the single had all the treble pulled away from them. Even the two single tracks sounded dull. While the import LP is slightly brighter than the US version, it wasn't enough to push away the disappointment. Most frustrating of all is that the record company could have mixed these tracks so they'd sound crisp and special, like the singles; instead, they're muddy and dull.
Penetration has never been known for their lyrics. Paulline Murray has a great voice, but her lyirics have always been vague. This only adds to the problem."

More review:


Robbie Blamire - Bass
Gary Smallman - Drums
Fred Purser,Neale Floyd - Guitar
Pauline Murray - Vocals
Producer - Jeff Griffin

Originally recorded for the BBC 7th July 1979 at the Paris Theatre and broadcast the same month The Ruts


01 Danger Signs (2:37)
02 Lovers Of Outrage (3:59)
03 She Is The Slave (3:18)
04 Come Into The Open (2:54)
05 Movement (3:14)
06 Nostalgia (3:58)
07 Free Money (4:12)
08 Stone Heroes (3:45)

Link to download:

PENETRATION (1995) (Compilation)

tracks 10-13 Peel Sessions 05/07/1978
tracks 15-16 Peel Sessions 28/02/1979



Demos 1977-Jan 78:

01 Duty Free Technology
02 Firing Squad
03 Race Against Time
04 In The Future
05 Free Money
06 Never Never
07 V.I.P.
08 Silent Community
09 Don't Dictate

Peel Sessions 1978-1979:

10 Movement
11 Stone Heroes
12 Vision
13 Future Daze
14 She Is The Slave
15 Danger Signs
16 Last Saving Grace

Live At Newcastle Dec 78-Oct 79:

17 Come Into The Arena
18 Movement
19 Lovers Of Outrage
20 She Is The Slave
21 Too Many Friends
22 Killed In The Rush
23 Danger Signs (Alternative Version)

Links to download:
Big thanks for the covers Dave!

Although Penetration's debut, Moving Targets, is smoother and better produced, it doesn't pack the raw wallop and bristling energy of this collection of demos and live recordings cut from 1977-79. The live side, recorded in the band's hometown of Newcastle, provides the greatest thrills per song, but ultimately the Penetration saga is one of missed opportunity and overinflated expectations. Most importantly, "Don't Dictate" is here in demo form, and it still sounds pretty great, although the version that shows up on the CD reissue of Moving Targets sounds better. (
The original 1976-1977 U.K. punk explosion produced 100 fantastic bands, but only a small handful ever get mentioned in the endless articles that pay homage to those days. Anyone who has been willing to go beyond the heavyweights or the since-deified has encountered rock & roll brilliance brimming with spirit, talent, attitude, great lyrics, and most of all (and this is what's most forgotten) variety. Penetration took a few singles before they really achieved greatness, but even their simplistic debut, the Mike Howlett/Mick Glossop-produced Moving Targets, had a slew of great songs for the amazing Pauline Murray to sing, and their second and final LP, the Steve Lillywhite-produced post-punk classic Coming Up for Air, just further established their lasting worth. But whenever turning someone on to the group, the LP that best reveals their greatness is definitely Race Against Time, a plain, black- and white-sleeved, authorized bootleg on Clifdayn Records that was released as the band was breaking up at the end of 1979. It consisted of nine 1977/1978 demos on side one, and seven more songs recorded live in Newcastle (and they could really bring it live, as seen on Race and at their New York gig at Hurrah). This 65-minute CD is a reissue of Race, with a proper sleeve this time, and even tacks on seven previously unreleased, hot John Peel sessions! All 23 tracks are more live, raw, hard, exciting, and one hell of a great rush, far less polished than the Howlett/Glossop/Lillywhite major-label outings. And Murray's savvy lyrics and impassioned singing are not to be missed. Once you get this, you'll want the two proper LPs (Moving Targets was reissued on import CD in 1990), and Murray's two excellent solo LPs, 1981's Pauline Murray & the Invisible Girls and 1989's Storm Clouds. ~ Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover, All Music Guide

"This is a CD release for those of you who missed it in 1979 - Penetration put out an excellent LP of demos on one side and live cuts on the second on their own label for their fans who missed the early days. The original title was Race Against Time, and it contained almost all ther tracks listed here. The demos come from 1977-78 when they were just getting started in Newcastle, and the live set is from gigs played December 78 to October 79. They are all great versions of the songs that appeared on their later LPs on Virgin UK. If you think punk rock was just the Sex Pistols and 3 chord thrash, think again - Penetration was at the forefront of the new bands who could play and write great songs. Pauline Murray's voice made them stand out from the crowd, and they were excellent live. Pauline later went on to a solo career after the band split, but it was never quite the same. If you are looking for something fresh with an attitude, this is the CD to buy."

"Very few women can *really* sing rock and roll the way it's meant to be sung. Pauline Murray is one of them. Penetration was an amazing mix of metal and punk at a time when the two genres were at war. If you think women like Pat Benetar or the Heart sisters sing rock 'n' roll--it's only because you haven't heard the real thing."

"When "Moving Targets" was released just as punk and new wave was rolling in to wash away the excesses of bands like Yes and Genesis, it sat uneasily amongst releases by the Clash, Eddie and the Hot Rods, the Sex Pistols etc. On the one hand it clearly shared their DIY ethos and celebration of raw energy but on the other hand it equally clearly wasn't about denying the value of 'everything' that had gone before. In parts almost 'traditional' straight ahead rock, it embraced the new ethos without being defined by it. Perhaps partly as a consequence, Penetration didn't quite make it as harbingers of the new sound that would lay the foundations for the change in direction that came to fruition in the 80's. But, now that the 70's and 80's have both become ancient history, its possible to listen to Moving Targets unencumbered by the influence of passing fashions of the day and so appreciate just how good this 'missing link' between pub rock, punk, and grunge actually is. Tracks like Free Money, and Nostalgia For An Age Yet To Come fire up the hormones and make quibbles about whether or not they're 'really' punk seem silly and self defeating. This is a band that pumped. Who cares whether untrained voices are a good thing or bad a thing - the emotion and power is undeniable and the guitars simply roar. This is exhilerating music that reaffirms the belief that as long as that beat and power can move you you're alive and kicking, no matter how old and decrepit your doctor insists you really are"

The only summation one can make of the career of English punks Penetration is, what a disappointment. In 1977, Penetration released a classic chunk of punk rock defiance titled "Don't Dictate." With Pauline Murray's impassioned vocals (sounding a bit like X-Ray Spex's Poly Styrene) leading the way, this was a blazing piece of anti-authoritarian rant: loud, snotty, and proud. Sadly, it was to be the one song they remained best noted for (assuming there are people who still remember Penetration). The problem was that they traded in barely competent but energetic bashing and thrashing for a more "mature" new wave/"punk-ish" rock sound. As a result, their debut LP, Moving Targets, although it has its moments, never lived up to the promise of "Don't Dictate." Still, Pauline Murray was a force to be reckoned with. Easily one of the best singers to come out of English punk rock, she made the band interesting even when the songs weren't there, the production was overwrought, and the whole enterprise was terribly uneven. It was to the surprise of no one that by 1980 she was fronting a new band, the Invisible Girls, who based on Murray's strengths became known as Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls. Still, major success eluded Murray, and she later moved into singing more elegant, mainstream pop/rock, remaining one of England's best unknown singers. ~ John Dougan, All Music Guide

More bio:

Moving Targets (1978)
Coming Up For Air (1979)
Race Against Time (1979)(Compilation)
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (1991)
Don’t Dictate: The Best of Penetration (1995)
Penetration (1995) (compilation)
The Early Years (1997) (Compilation)
Live 1978-1979 (2008)

PENETRATION reformed in 2001 after a 21 year break and have been doing a few one off gigs and recordings over the last few years, the single ‘Our World’ will be out on 7” in October 2008(

After 23 years in 2000 Penetration came back. How did that come about?

"Various members of the band contacted me in the same week from out of the blue. I always said I would never reform the band but it just wouldn’t go away so I thought OK! Let’s give it a try!"

Penetration have been recording tracks towards a new album. Tracks completed so far include Guilty, The Feeling, Our World, 2 Places, Sea Song. These all feature the current line-up. The band will perform some of their new material at the Cluny, Newcastle on 3rd October. More live dates are being lined up.(

PAULINE MURRAY (solo after Penetration)

"Singer Pauline Murray,occasionally sounded like Siouxsie Sioux, but her vocals were far more melodic and girlish than those of her competitors."

"one of the best singers to come out the punk era with a warm, soaring voice that stood out like a jewel in a field of spitters and snarlers."

Any advice to young musicians starting out in the bizz?

"Make music for the love, not for the money. Cause there is none!"

PEEL SESSIONS (19/03/1980)

Line Up:
Pauline Murray - Vocals
Peter Howells - Drums
Robert Blamire - Bass
Alan Rawlings (from Cowboys International)- Guitar
Producer - John Etchells
Engineer - Nick Gomm


01 Sympathy
02 When Will We Learn
03 Dream Sequence
04 Shoot

Link to download:


New Wave, Pop Rock,Synth -Pop

Pauline Murray -Vocals
Dave Rowbotham
( - Guitar (1980)
Vini Reilly (from Durutti Column, -Guitar (1980)Robert Blamire - Bass
Steve Hopkins - Keyboards
John Maher (ex-Buzzocks, - Drums
Martin Hannett ( - Guitar,Bass (1980)
Dave Hassell ( - Percussion (1980)
Wayne Hussey ( - Guitar (1981)

Arranged By - Martin Hannett , Steve Hopkins
Engineer - Chris Nagle
Guitar - Vini Reilly , Wayne Hussey (tracks: 12 to 14),Guitar - Bernard Sumner (Joy Divison/New Order) (track 14)
Producer - Martin Hannett , Steve Hopkins

This album is dedicated to Martin Hannett who died in 1991

Tracks 12-14 originally released as "Searching For Heaven" (10") (1981)

"Mr X"


01 Screaming In The Darkness (3:36)
02 Dream Sequence 1 (3:19)

03 European Eyes (3:20)
04 Shoot You Down (2:07)
05 Sympathy (2:47)
06 Time Slipping (4:04)
07 Drummer Boy (3:03)
08 Thundertunes (3:23)
09 When Will We Learn (3:35)
10 Mr. X (4:27)
11 Judgement Day (4:25)
12 The Visitor (3:44)
13 Animal Crazy (3:16)
14 Searching For Heaven (2:59)

15 Dream Sequence II
16 Two Shots (7" 1980)

Link to download:

Read this:

VP :
You then “became” Pauline Murray and The Invisible Girls with Robert , released a classic debut album and worked with various people including producer Martian Hannet, Vini Reilly, Wayne Hussey New Order’s Bernard Sumner and John Maher From The Buzzcocks. This music was totally different from Penetration’s. Was this a case of you wanting to do something completely different after 3 years at the forefront of punk?

Pauline :
"The songs were written as normal, not intending to be any different but the Invisible Girls set up was very much a studio project with a different style of musician, more keyboard than guitar based."

The Invisible Girls were a rock band formed in Salford, Greater Manchester in 1978 to provide musical back drop to the recorded output of Salford punk poet John Cooper Clarke. The band was based around the nucleus of Joy Division producer Martin Hannett and keyboardist Steve Hopkins, with contributions from, amongst others, Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks and Bill Nelson. The band also played on the first solo album by Pauline Murray (lead singer of Penetration), the eponymous Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls.(

After Penetration split up in 1979, Pauline Murray (born 8 March 1958) got together with the Invisible Girls (who also played with John Cooper Clarke). Line-up was: Pauline Murray (vocals), Dave Rowbotham (guitar), Vinney Reilly (guitar), Robert Blamire (bass), Steve Hopkins (keyboards), John Maher (drums). John Maher plalyed at the same time also at the Buzzcocks. Sadly this co-operation didn't last long - little more than an year.There was very little punk in Invisible Girls records, the music was more like ethereal pop. Their only LP was producted by Martin Hannett who also had produced Joy Division and it reached n:o 25 on British chart. First single Dream Sequences peaked at n:o 67 on the British single chart.(

Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls; an age old reference that will hopefully have people searching out some records as much as scratching their heads in confusion. Murray of course was the voice in classic Northern England punk act Penetration, whilst The Invisible Girls were a legendary ‘backing band’ who performed on nearly all of John Cooper Clarke’s albums and who featured in their line up the legendary Martin Hannett as well as Steve Hopkins and Buzzcocks drummer John Maher. When you consider Pete Shelley was also a some-time member, you get some idea of their collective genius (though lets conveniently forget that Wayne Hussey also cropped up on the ‘Searching For Heaven’ single).

"After Penetration split, Pauline continued to work with bassist Robert Balmire and the fruits of their labours produced the classic “Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls.” An album so far ahead of its time in terms of sound and production (from Joy Divisions legendary producer Martin Hannett) that it appeared to languish in a sort of post-punk limbo. Some old fans found it “too pop”, whilst new fans didn’t quite know what to make of this dark, brooding “Electro pop.” This album clearly demonstrated what the 1980’s could have been, this was the sort of electronic music, with a menacing pop underbelly that should have ruled the airwaves in the early 80’s. Criminally the album sunk and we got “Einstein-A-“Bloody”-Go-Go” instead, it does however, remain a lost pop classic."


"This is from ex-Penetration lead singer Pauline Murray & her follow up band Invisible Girls. I was a "punk" in 1980 who owned the 7" from Penetration: Firing Squad. I loved that song and the b-side NEVERr. Found myself in a small shop in Greenwich Village one evening, near closing, and the clerk was spinning an amazing single. Turned out to be Dream Sequences by Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls. I snapped it up, then busted my ass to afford the album. This release from 1980. Britain and the US were on the verge of the age of Reagan and Thatcher. And this is like a hauntingly beautiful cry in the wilderness. Like Cassandra wailing against the pounding surf of the bleak future - the encroaching slavation of mankind. Pauline Murray has a soulful edge to her voice and delivers her poetic visionary lyrics against a deep blue background of sound that serves to alternately soothe and disquiet. A Masterpiece of post-Punk lushness and beauty. Get your hands on it - Wow."

"I really love this album. I bought it in 1980 as friends of mine played songs of this album on their pirate radiostation at the time. I really think this album has great vallue. The music is produced by the late Martin Hannett (of joy Division and Magazine production fame) and he did a fine job. Unfortunately, it was the only effort on album. Fortunately the beautiful 'Animal Crazy' and former 10" record is present too as a bonus !! Two very good reasons to get this one cd. I love the voice of Pauline Murray, and it really settles well with the Hannett production. The songs vary in nature, but all have their quality. I can't believe so few people discovered this album.... I believe even now she deserves a chance from a larger audience. Always will have very warm feelings for this album. Love to play it over and over. It somehow gets to you, and the songs easily pop up in your mind, which is more than pleasant."

"Pauline Murray emerged with Penetration in the white heat summer of Punk. After Penetration's demise Murray teamed up with Salford punk-poet John Cooper Clarke's occasional backing band The Invisible Girls and, guided by the production skills of Martin Hannet (who himself was one of the Invisible Girls), set about recording what, for me, is one of the finest pop albums to emerge from the post-punk era. This record sounds like one of the very best albums the Factory label never released (it originally appeared on the RSO label) - but with Hannet at the controls it was bound to have a Factory feel. But where it differs from the standard Factory fayre (if there is such a thing) it is that there is a definite pop sensibility running throughout the album. Dream Sequence, all breathy vocals and majestic keyboard swirls is like no song that Factory ever released but it still somehow manages to sound like a Factory single from start to finish - maybe its the production, doomy and dense but managing, within the tangled web, to allow breathing space. The catchiness of the mostly upbeat melodies never quite manages to let the listener escape the feeling of dread and foreboding - altogether an unsettling and strange experience. The album sank without trace on release despite being warmly received. It also has one of the best album covers you will see anywhere - beautifully designed by Peter Saville (another Factory link). The version of the sleeve used on the CD is a much reduced and less impactful version than that on the original vinyl album - seek out the vinyl version if you can. It is a great pity that this album is out of print in any format at the moment (2006), so if you see it, in any format, buy it, listen to it, love it, make it feel wanted. It deserves it. I submit reviews to Amazon fairly regularly and it is very rare that I give anything other than a 4 star rating. This is a lost classic that deserves the best rating available." "After Penetration collapsed under the weight of crude heavy metal guitar playing on their second LP ("Coming Up For Air", 1979), Pauline Murray and Robert Blamire hooked up with producer Martin Hannett and a varying selection of Manchester musicians (e.g. Vini Reilly, the odd Buzzcock).This 1980 LP does three things: it provides another setting for the trademark gated drum sound that Hannett introduced and which became a definitive mark of early 80s pop: it makes copious use of then still relatively novel synthesisers: most importantly, it showcases Murray's voice like no other material she performed.This was therefore an LP about two years ahead of its time. The audience that would buy Human League and later Simple Minds LPs by the thousands hadn't yet formed. Unfortunately, its ethereal sound and dancing rhythms were not punk and not yet popular, so it did not sell well.So fresh was the approach for the times Murray occasionally struggled to find a melody to suit some of the songs and her voice, but when it worked ("Dream Sequences", the bonus "Waiting For Heaven") the effect was nearly sublime.This is the best of Pauline Murray and a document of the emerging sound that would come to dominate 80s pop. It's well worth your money - if you can find a copy."

"This album is brilliant. Pauline Murray at her best. The album was critically aclaimed when it first came out, but never reached the success it deserved. This album is a must for every collection. Buy it now and transport yourself back to the early eighties with tracks like Dream Sequence and Time Slipping. The production on this album was unusual for its time but now seems bang up to date. Oh Pauline where are you now ?" "Strangely, I have been listening to a lot of old ‘80s synth pop just recently and tonight in fact am playing the eponymous 1980 album by Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls, Pauline Murray of course being the one-time voice of Penetration, and the Invisible Girls being Steve Hopkins and Martin Hannett, legendary Manchester producer. And is it synth pop at all? I don’t know. I do know it’s a great, atmospheric album full of the kinds of wintry, metallic noise that you might expect of Hannett, but also full of tremendous Pop tunes, notably ‘Dream Sequence 1’ and ‘Time Slipping’, which are just the kinds of soaring and trembling things you might expect me to fall for, helped on their way, as they were, by the inestimable Vini Reilly."


More review:

PAULINE MURRAY AND THE INVISIBLE GIRLS - Live In Amsterdam And Den Haag (The Netherlands) (1981)

The recordings heard here are two gigs from the promotional tour throught the Netherlands, recorded and broadcasted by VARA and KRO radio.

Track 01-08 are taken from the concert given at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on March 5. 1981.
Track 09-14 are taken from the concert given in Het Paard van Troje, in Den Haag, The Netherlands on April 3. 1981.

Tracklist :

01 Screaming In The Darkness
02 Searching For Heaven
03 Time Is Slipping
04 Dream sequence 1.
05 Two Shots
06 When Will We Learn
07 Mr. X
08 Animal Crazy
09 European Eyes
10 Thundertunes
11 Animal Crazy
12 Time Is Slipping
13 Dream Sequence 1.
14 Two Shots Left

Link to download:

Thanks to my friend for this!!

PAULINE MURRAY - Storm Clouds (1989)

Pauline Murray - Vocals,Guitar
Robert Blamire - Bass
Paul Harvey ( - Guitar
Tim Johnston ( - Drums,Percussion
Graham Henderson,Steve Hopkins,Peter Johnston
( - Keyboards


01 This Thing Called Love
02 Holocaust
03 Soul Power
04 No One Like You
05 Another World
06 Don't Give Up
07 Pressure Zone
08 Close Watch
09 Everybody's Talkin'
10 New Age
11 Time

12 Don't Give Up (B-side of Holocaust 12" 1984)
13 Aversion (B-side of Holocaust 12" 1984)
14 The Only Ones - Fools (1980 feat Murray)

Link to download:

You disappeared then turned up in 1989 with Pauline Murray and The Storm. Then disappeared again. What did you get up to in the years away from music?

"After the Invisible Girls I got very depressed and walked out of music and had to deal with many personal life changes. I eventually started to write songs again and play live which lead to the Storm album. In 1990 I set up Polestar Rehearsal and Recording studios in Newcastle, and it’s still going strong today!"

"Pauline Murray was never better than on the 1984 single Holocaust. While, in retrospect, it's somewhat hampered by its '80s keyboard sounds, it's still a powerful portrayal of a destroyed life. Murray's voice was never better: clear and open and almost anonymous. Not only does this give her singing a sense of honesty, she also becomes a cipher, an everywoman speaking out to all of life's fuck-ups. This really is one of those forgotten classics. 23 years on, I think it's ripe for rediscovery."(

"I have just been given a record player after being without one for the best part of 15 years and when digging out my old records discovered this gem. Pauline's voice sounds like it was sent from heaven and the music so melodic. I've had it out of storage for a little over 2 days and laready listned to it 8 times!!! Enough said?"


as Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls:
Untitled (1980)

as Pauline Murray:
Storm Clouds (1989)

(born 8 March 1958 in Waterhouses, County Durham, England) was the lead singer of punk rock band Penetration, originally formed in 1976.In May 1976 18-year-old Pauline Murray saw the Sex Pistols. Murray and her Ferryhill comrades became Pistols devotees, earning for themselves by late 1976 the title of 'Durham Contingent' (coined by the NME).Penetration soon began gigging and debuted on vinyl with their single, "Don't Dictate". The studio albums released were Moving Targets and Coming Up For Air and they have since released a Best of Penetration compilation album. After some brief success in 1978/79, they split up in 1980.Murray featured briefly with The Invisible Girls, which also included other ex-Penetration member Robert Blamire (usually credited as "R"), as well as other Manchester musicians who drifted in and out such as Vini Reilly, guitarist in the The Durutti Column. John Maher from Buzzcocks drummed for the band also. The album that resulted, produced by Martin Hannett, spawned the singles "Dream Sequence" and "Mr.X". Murray also provided vocal for The Only Ones on their track, "Fools".Murray worked sporadically as a solo artist under the name "Pauline Murray and The Storm" with Robert Blamire, Tim Johnston and Paul Harvey. She spent the next 10 years fronting various outfits. She is now back gigging with a rejuvenated Penetration

In 1990 she established Polestar Rehearsal Studios,which is located in the Ouseburn Valley cultural area of Newcastle-Upon Tyne.(

More info:

was a founder member of Penetration, a seminal Punk band from the North East of England.
He formed a new band Soul On Ice (Superior guitar-pop band) after left Penetration.Their one-and only album was never released (except a single called "Wide Screen), apparently because of management disagreements.

Now he has released his first solo album - MN001. "Always eclectic, Chaplin has combined his love of film scores and left-field rock, drawing on Can, Captain Beefheart and electronica to produce a unique cocktail of truly modern music"

Now he works for Sedgefield District Council as Enterprise Facilitator (

was the member of The Scars and also played with Patrik Fitzgerald (1979)
( He produced Puppy Fat too (
He is also lecturer in Graphic Design.

was a member of Tygers of Pan Tang (1982-1983) and Whisky Priests (1994-1995),also worked with China Drum (1994-1998) and This Aint Vegas (2005-2006),Toy Dolls etc.

More details here:

He established Trinity Heights Recording Studio during the late Nineteen Eighties. (

has been working on the new Penetration material; however, the recent gig at the Carling Academy was his last. He has a successful building business so Penetration are looking for a new drummer.

I found these two links but not sure if they really related to him?:

More info for Penetration: (lot of photos)

Interviews (Pauline Murray)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always: Many thanks for your efforts and the way you present things in their entirety! I have never cared about Penetration (I am more into synths than into guitars), but what you put together makes me very interested. This blog is just outstanding.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Invisible Girls album is a lost classic! Martin Hannett was just as interesting a musician as he was a producer, his backing tracks on this and the John Cooper Clarke LPs are great pieces of music in their own right. Once again your blog pulls another great surprise out of the bag!

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saltyka, is there a chance you re-up the Spoons albums?

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanx so much!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous paraloid said...

I just adored Pauline Murray and the invisible girls - had their vinyl - and have been looking for ages for digital stuff: unfortunately your downloads have (just !) been blocked, but thanks for the massive research and the affection you show them

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Saltyka and all. Thanks for this very great upload of Pauline Murray and Penetrations and the great job you do with your friends in this blog. I try to download all Pauline Murray and Penetration but all the link are dead... Is it possible you can reupload all link please ? Thanks in advance

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pauline Murray + Invisible Girl "Untitled" was removed. I wonder who's ruining all the fun?!

7:05 PM  
Blogger Maestro said...

Thanks for sharing great albums here.

I need any albums by Kashmir (Switzerland).

Kashmir (Switzerland)

Alarme (1979)
Je Suis... (1979)
Histoire Cruelle (1982)

So if you have any, please share it with me.
Thanks in advance.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Rebel84 said...

damn!!! damn!! damn!!

all links are dead! :(

Any chance of reup? at least compilations and pauline solos...


8:15 PM  
Anonymous Oliver said...

Many thanks for your great efforts. Your blog is great. Lot of fantastic music.
I'm searching for trick 17 for a long time. Always too expensive.
any chance to reupload it in your blog?
Greetings from Germany Oliver

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shit! I missed this post

please reupload please!!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lot of thanks for the kind messages!


Hi,i've attached a link under Moon Birds,hope you can take them.If you need more or have problem with the downloads message me please:)


Hi,im sorry Kashmir still missing but im trying to find them to share here

so the links are dead unfortunatelly:(((

In the next few days i will up some of them again with another file hosting service


11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your effort, but that link does not work :(

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


please try again,ive just added the right links.Im sorry for the inconvenience!


1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Salty,

yes, now it works. Thank you very much!


2:14 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Great post, I really like your blog, thanks a lot for the effort.

Sadly, the links for Penetration seems not working anymore...
Is it possible a reupload please ?


3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmh. I really cannot remember why I wanted the Spoons. Do not really like them, much is plain awful. Thank you anyway!

7:10 AM  
Blogger Maestro said...

Thanks for trying to find tracks by Kashmir.
I hope you can find and share them.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hi,i have Alarme and will post here within days. Their Je Suis album is the reissue of Alarme with the same tracklist (a friend of mine told me who sent Alarme album)


1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for Penetration fans:

so if you leave your email here i will send you the links (only for personal use so please dont share them in any other place!).Thanks


1:16 AM  
Blogger Rebel84 said...

Hi there Salty, I really would like that you sent the Penetration links to me, my email is

In advance thanks a lot!

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Salty, please send me the link Thanking you in anticipation!


4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would very much appreciate if you would send me the Pauline Murray and Penetration links. Thank you SO much!

1:55 AM  
Anonymous JT said...

Hi Salty,

Just found your page and love your work. I've been looking everywhere for the Invisible Girls album and would be over the moon if you could send me the links (please please please).
Thanking you in anticipation,

4:54 PM  
Blogger yuttre said...

Hi, Thanks for all music you give us.
Can i have the right links for penetration.....Thanks and good luck!

2:16 AM  
Blogger ELecTRik said...

Oh my gosh!
I found your site recently, and I must say I'm amazed by the quality of your posts. I'm a fan of Martha, Dury, Jankel, Zebras.. and still discovering some lost gems thanks to you. But Pauline! I just love her voice (and maybe not only her voice...). But I only have the Mr.X 7" and the Searching for Heaven 10", and never saw the others. So I would really appreciate you to send me the links for the albums in this post.
Thanks in advance!

12:01 PM  
Blogger djethell said...

Please can you post storm clouds again as I keep getting an 'error' page. I would really appreciate this I absolutely adore Pauline.
Kind regards

10:48 AM  
Blogger djethell said...

Please please please can you post storm clouds again as I keep getting 'error' page. Cheers, as I have never heard this album but absolutely adore everything else Pauline has done. Kind regards

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

salty salty salty thanks for the great stuff, can you please give me a link to Pauline's Storm Clouds album, i've got it on vinyl but need a digital version!!! to complete the collections. Penetration's new stuff is fantastic, can't wait for it to appear next year hopefully!

11:42 AM  
Blogger djethell said...

big thanks Mr. Salty,
D x

2:24 PM  
Blogger james stacher said...

Salty -

I just came across your blog the other day and i was BLOWN AWAY! The depth of research you give, the back catalogues of artists as well as popular works...THANK YOU!!!

I would love to have the penetration/pauline murray links, if you would share them with me.

thanks again for all your efforts! it's really appreciated!

2:11 AM  
Anonymous weller said...

hola,enhorabuena desde barcelona.
Me gustaria mucho que me enviaras el link de penetration(bbc live in concert)y el live in amsterdam 1981 de pauline murray.muchas gracias,thank you very much

8:20 AM  
Anonymous weller said...

oh my god,sorry.
mi correo es:
gracias otra vez.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Could you please email me the links to the PM & the IG live & the Storm Cloud album.


3:58 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I would like the Penetration and PM links. Thanks!

10:41 PM  
Blogger Wild Man Mikey said...

Wow, Salty - I just found your blog and am SO impressed at the work you put into it! I recorded the Penetration live at the BBC when it was broadcast and wore out the tape - I would really love to hear it again. If the links are active, could you please mail them to me at and I will love you and your blog for ever and ever! Thanks :-)

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi great info here! I have some of the penetration stuff and the invisible girls, could you send me the rest of the solo links? thanks!

3:33 AM  
Blogger Teye said...


i am looking for the storm clouds cd, has anyanone it as a digital file available

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent work on a much underrated band. Could you please mail me the links to the Penetration albums. Cheers!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, re-post the Invisible Girls material and the dutch concert.


8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please, repost or sent me the Invisible Girls archives to

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Salty and let me add my compliments to those above for the extensive research on Penetration ... stunning!

And I too am heartbroken that the links are down, particularly to the 1995 Penetration compilation which, on top of the Peel sessions, seems to have the early demos from Race Against Time, in my humble opinion the best recordings they did, and a worthy equal to Pistols, Clash etc. Penetration always suffered from a production problem - the songs were great, the performances too but Virgin's CDs left them sounding anaemic ... now, what Dave Goodman would have done with them !!!

Please pretty please mail me all of the Penetration links to, and you will have my eternal gratitude, cheers, Dave.

2:09 AM  
Blogger Max said...

I missed this the 1st time around and would love to get the links for it:

6:39 PM  
Anonymous olly said...

Interesting... only thing wrong here: Gary Chaplin formed Penetration, not Pauline. I know, I was there...

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info olly...perhaps you are Gary Chaplin????????


1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am incredibly happy to find your blog. Pauline is my singing idol since teenage years, but I never really had the whole album. I'm from Czech republic and there is not much known. Please send me a link to @
sorry for my English

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am searchin for the great work of Pauline Murray everywhere, it is rare to find it. Would be very happy with the links.

6:34 AM  
Blogger roc51 said...

Hi! Fantastic blog full of great artists. Is there any chance for uploads of all the Pauline Murray post-Penetration stuff? Many thanks again for the great blog!

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is any chance you can mail me links for the Pauline Murray material (studio and live) I would be very grateful...thanks!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you re-upload the invisible girls album please
I'm really missing two shots, Mr X b-side


2:29 PM  
Blogger bikeboy said...

Hi Salty - more great posts on PM & Penetration. Could I please get the links for Storm Clouds & live PM?

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, yet another plea for the Pauline's Untitled and Clouds albums...

thanks in advance!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Novemberer said...

Another one! Please upload The Invisible Girls' untitled LP, I've never managed to find the second version of Dream Sequence & am desperate to hear it... Many thanks. x

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am writing on behalf Pauline Murray, and we are trying to locate the whereabouts of the TV and Radio broadcasts she did with The Invisible Girls which we believe may have been broadcast by KRO and VARA. We believe the concerts given at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on March 5th 1981, and also from Het Paard van Troje, in Den Haag on April 3rd 1981 may be archived somewhere. Pauline is looking to release the original album with some added extras.

If you are able to help us in any way we would be extremely grateful.
Thank you for your time.


6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a wealth of info on Paulinre and the band, would love the links to the downloads -

4:16 AM  
Blogger Judge said...

In the slim chance of someone at this blog seeing this, I would love to have the links to these downloads. Please please please!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Diego Dávila said...

Hi, I want to download the album pauline murray live in amsterdam, plz help me to do that.

Im from Perú and I want to say thank you !

10:34 PM  
Blogger HJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:06 AM  
Blogger HJ said...

I see your wonderful blog (I used to visit it a lot some years ago, as we seem to share quite some musical favourites) is still online somehow. Unfortunately, most links to albums etc. are stone dead. Is there any possibility at all you could re-up Pauline Murrays 'Storm Clouds'?


4:08 AM  

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