27 user 13 critic

Urgh! A Music War (1981)

R | | Documentary, Music | May 1982 (USA)
Punk, New Wave, Reggae and Techno bands from Europe and the US recorded live in several locations in 1980. The biggest names on the bill are the Police and UB 40 but every performance is a ... See full summary »


Derek Burbidge




Cast overview, first billed only:
Wall of Voodoo Wall of Voodoo ... Themselves
Stan Ridgway ... Self - Wall of Voodoo
Marc Moreland Marc Moreland ... Self - Wall of Voodoo
Chas T. Gray Chas T. Gray ... Self - Wall of Voodoo
Bruce Moreland Bruce Moreland ... Self - Wall of Voodoo
Joe Nanini Joe Nanini ... Self - Wall of Voodoo
Toyah Willcox ... Self (as Toyah Wilcox)
Joel Bogen Joel Bogen ... Self - with Toyah Wilcox
Pete Bush Pete Bush ... Self - with Toyah Wilcox
Charlie Francis Charlie Francis ... Self - with Toyah Wilcox
Steve Bray Steve Bray ... Self - with Toyah Wilcox
John Cooper Clarke John Cooper Clarke ... Self
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark ... Themselves (as Orchestral Manoeuvres)
Paul Humphreys Paul Humphreys ... Self - Orchestral Manoeuvres
Andy McCluskey Andy McCluskey ... Self - Orchestral Manoeuvres


Punk, New Wave, Reggae and Techno bands from Europe and the US recorded live in several locations in 1980. The biggest names on the bill are the Police and UB 40 but every performance is a jewel, a time capsule of the influenced and the influential in rock music right up to today. Written by Raymond Clay <banquosa@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Live it... 'Cause You Can't Stop It! See more »


Documentary | Music


R | See all certifications »

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User Reviews

Must see for hardcore new wave fans
28 August 2005 | by treemarcSee all my reviews

As everyone has already mentioned, you get over 30 performances, and at least half of them are classics. There are a few gems in the ones you've never heard of, and at least 5 or 10 you'll be wishing you had it on DVD so you could hit skip.

The highlights- Oingo Boingo does "Ain't This The Life" from their first EP. The song itself is kinda rare (unavailable on CD except for their live Farewell album), and I've never seen Elfman so manic. (Coked-up?) Wall Of Voodoo does "Back In Flesh" and gets a tiny skit as well. Gary Numan does "Down In The Park" while driving a neon tank. Devo does the always great "Uncontrollable Urge". XTC performs- well I can't remember, but it's rare enough just seeing them perform. Dead Kennedy's whip through "Bleed For Me", complete with typical Jello Biafra opening rant. Joan Jett SMOKES "Bad Reputation". Surf Punks do an amusing "My Beach". Lux Interior of the Cramps wears a nearly-criminal pair of leather pants and deep throats a microphone during- I forget what song, but it's good. Klaus Nomi is, well Klaus Nomi- you may hate it, but it sure isn't boring. And of the bands you've never heard of, you'll never forget Skafish's "Sign Of The Cross".

There are also good performances by Echo & The Bunnymen, OMD, The Police, Gang Of Four, X, Go-Go's, Magazine and a few others, but they never really stood out to me. I thought Pere Ubu's performance was substandard- I'm not a big fan, but I saw them once in the early 90's and they were great. Most of the unknown bands are just kind of dull, a few prove why they're unknown, like Athletico Spizz (or something like that- the one with the Silly String.) This is hard to find, but there are a lot of rental copies still floating around out there. I think it was on CBS/Fox video, so I don't know why it hasn't been put out on DVD.

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Release Date:

May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Urgh! A Music War See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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