Why you haven’t heard it:
It’s a one-hit wonder by a punk band from 1979 that was hardly listened to, even upon its release. In the U.K., the Monks’ homeland, the band had one Top 20 hit before the Sex Pistols told all of Britain never to listen to the Monks’ full LP. They never released another song in the U.K., and in America they didn’t even exist.
Why it might be tough to get through:
There was a time when horrible (or wonderful, depending on your tastes) British accents, lewd lyrics and, well, punk in general, was popular, but that was a musical style that peaked in the early 80s. With song titles like “Drugs in My Pocket” and “Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face” the album paints a vulgar picture. If you aren’t already a punk fan, this album probably isn’t the best introduction to the genre.
Why you should listen to it anyways:
The album never slows down from start to finish, and it’s perfect to dance along to or pick you up if you’re feeling down. Every song can make you laugh. It does everything a peppy pop song should do, just presented in a radically different way, and across an entire album instead of one four-minute track.
The Monks were popular in one place—Canada, and Ontario in particular. The Monks only ever went on one tour, a three-week smash tour of Ontario. They’re beloved enough here that when musician Thomas D’Arcy wanted to do a tribute album, he had no shortage of Canadian artists to help him out.
The Monks were initially members of The Strawbs, a progressive-rock band, who wanted to make a spoof of punk rock. This led to the creation of Bad Habits, and explains the explicit and fun song titles.
The Monks released one other album exclusively in Canada, Suspended Animation, which went gold.
Best lines and songs:
“Yeah cause I got drugs for when I’m dancing, and drugs for down the club,
Drugs to watch a movie, I need drugs when I make love!” from the song “Drugs in My Pocket”.
“Oo when we kiss, we reach hi frequency/But I prefer the reproduction side” from the song “Love in Stereo”.
“Bad Habits”. The title track is relaxed and easy to sing along to, making it a good track to ease you into rest of the album.
“Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face”. The cheeky two-minute track is upbeat and fun, and really shows the spoofy image that The Monks were trying to cultivate with this album.
“Out of Work Musician”. This song’s message about the struggles that all musicians face at some point in their careers, rather than the glamorous celebrity life we often associate with musicians, makes it worth a listen.