Considering the degree to which the musical period spanning from '79 through '83 has been plundered in recent years, it's surprising nobody's ripped off Josef K yet. "Twee" in the best possible sense of the word, Josef K was an essential part of the early '80s "Scottish sound" (along with their more R&B-influenced friends
The band's roots lie in the Edinburgh of 1978. Unlike so many new UK bands at the time who drew inspiration from the first wave of English punk, Josef K took its cues from the arty American proto-punk rock underground, performing early covers of classics by
Josef K ultimately recorded five Postcard singles (six if you count the one on the shortlived pre-Postcard label Absolute during the two-year lifespan of the label. They recorded their "debut" album, Sorry for Laughing for Postcard in late 1980, but both the band and label determined it was too slickly produced and not properly representative of the band's blistering live sound, so it was shelved. Thus Josef K's only proper LP during their lifetime (and the only full-length ever put out by Postcard) was 1981's The Only Fun in Town. Recorded in less than a week, it was Josef K at their best, sometimes dour and sometimes glib, always spontaneous and never ponderous, it proved to be an enduring classic of the era.
Josef K broke up shortly thereafter. Vocalist Paul Haig went on to have a moderately successful career, subsequently exploring synth-based dance-pop, and deeper electronics, while the rhythm section of David Weddel and Ronnie Torrance joined Nick Currie (later known as
In 1987, Young and Stupid, a compilation culled from Josef K's many singles, appeared for the first time. It has been reissued twice since, each time adding new material. The