...And No One Else Wanted to Play is the first full-length album from Canadian punk band SNFU. It was released on BYO Records in 1985. The album was engineered by David Ferguson, produced by BYO and SNFU, and recorded at Track Record Studios in Hollywood, California, United States.
The album was well received at the time of its release, hailed in punk circuits as "[o]ne of the best Canadian releases in a long time." Thereafter it remained an influential hardcore punk record which helped establish the skate punk subgenre. Writing for AllMusic, critic Paul Henderson called the album "[a] must for devoted fans of the genre and a worthy introduction to early-'80s hardcore for the uninitiated."
SNFU formed in November 1981, but recorded only demo and compilation material in their first three years together. They first became associated with BYO Records in July 1983 when they shared a short Canadian tour with Youth Brigade, the American punk band whose members ran the label. BYO offered SNFU a spot on their forthcoming compilation album Something to Believe In, due for release in early 1984. SNFU recorded the song "Victims of the Womanizer" at Mid Ocean Studios in Winnipeg in November 1983 for the compilation. When the track received much positive attention, BYO signed SNFU to a record deal.
In December 1984, SNFU traveled from their home of Edmonton to Track Record Studios in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California to record what would become their debut album. The trip proved difficult. Travel from Canada to Los Angeles was fraught with complications, as both bassist Jimmy Schmitz and guitarist Marc Belke were denied entry at various points. The group eventually succeeded in crossing the border, however, and sessions began.
The American thrash metal band Slayer was working on their Hell Awaits album at Track Record while SNFU was recording, and the two bands shared the studio. Dave Ferguson engineered the sessions, and Shawn Stern of BYO and Youth Brigade acted as the unofficial producer. The production credit was later given to SNFU and BYO. The group also took several extended breaks from recording to perform concerts in Arizona and California, their first US shows.
While the songs which appear on the record were written between 1982 and 1984, much of the material appearing on the album was new at the time of recording. The band's new material was faster and more aggressive than their previous output, and the songs represented a change in their musical direction. The title ...And No One Else Wanted to Play was taken from the chorus of the album's lead track, "Broken Toy."
The band played several Canadian shows in early 1985 prior to the promotional tour in support of ...And No One Else Wanted to Play. Drummer Evan C. "Tadpole" Jones had begun to suffer from exhaustion during the recording sessions, and he and Schmitz left the band after a show in late May. The new lineup assembled for the North American tour in support of the album included drummer Jon Card and bassist Dave Bacon.
The album was ultimately released in mid 1985. The original issue contained 15 tracks. Some later vinyl pressings and cassette issues of the album included a 16th track, a cover of Warren Zevon's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me". This track was recorded by Dave Mockford in 1986 while Card and Bacon were in the band, and was first issued on the It Came From the Pit compilation album.
SNFU biographer Chris Walter describes the early reviews of the album in underground punk sources as "uniformly good." In a review for Maximumrocknroll, noted artist Pushead praised the album's "[r]igorous energy pushing the limits of power with knocking flurry and extreme excitement" and called the album "a scorcher."
The album remained influential in hardcore punk circuits thereafter. Writing for AllMusic, Paul Henderson praised the band's mix of the "anger and rebellion" common to hardcore punk bands alongside its "wry sense of humor and warped but goofy subject matter" unique to the genre. Henderson awarded the album four out of five stars.
The album was also influential outside of the underground hardcore punk community. In February 2000, it ranked 56th on Chart Magazine's Top 100 Greatest Canadian Albums of All Time.
The initial release of the 12" LP featured a copyrighted image by Diane Arbus entitled Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, NYC. (1962). As the band was not granted permission to use the image, they were forced to issue subsequent pressings with replacement cover art.
For the following pressing, the band had an artist draw the boy with the hand grenade in place of the photo. This effort was much too close to the original to be safe from potential lawsuits, so two further versions were created. Hastily assembled in time for the band's supporting tour, the first replacement cover featured a family sporting rifles. The final and widest-issued version (shown above) featured a Christmas massacre scene, which includes a thickly-veiled allusion to the original Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park.
A total of four different covers have been used for various pressings of the album.
All songs by Ken Chinn and Marc Belke unless otherwise noted.Cassette and select vinyl pressings
Tracks 1–7 same as above
Tracks 9–15 same as 8–14 aboveMr. Chi Pig (Ken Chinn) – vocals
Muc (Marc Belke) – guitar
Brent (Brent Belke) – guitar
Jimmy Schmitz – bass
Evan C. "Tadpole" Jones – drums
Dave Bacon – bass ("Poor Poor Pitiful Me")
Jon Card – drums ("Poor Poor Pitiful Me")