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"It was the best thing we ever did."
Charlie Ryan, drummer for the U-Men

"Solid Action" b/w "Dig It a Hole", the U-Men's first single, was released in the US in 1987 on 7" vinyl by Black Label Records (release number UM4012).

It features John Bigley on vocals and (credited as Mig Motto) bass, Charlie Ryan (credited as Circus Charlie) on drums, and Tom Price on guitar. U-Men manager Larry Reid (credited as Papa "The Evil Smurf" Reid) and the Ubongo Sound Shapists provide backing vocals.

Recording and production was done at Crow Recording, by John Nelson, under tight conditions: Larry had booked just four hours of studio time to record, mix, and master a tape; the band had yet to replace Jim Tillman, their former bassist; and they hadn't written any songs to record. And so the music they recorded wasn't written—just played, close together so they could watch each other, by trial and error.

It worked. "'Dig It a Hole' and 'Solid Action' was kind of a lightning strike," Tom Price has said. "That single got a lot of attention, got a lot of good reviews, and we got letters from a lot of people." In more recent years, they would serve as signatures for the band: both songs appeared in the 1996 grunge documentary Hype!; the U-Men's 1999 compilation album was titled "Solid Action"; and the very first thing in Sub Pop's announcement ("Sub Pop Will Release the Comprehensive Anthology From Legendary Seattle Band The U-Men on Nov. 3rd. Now Hear 'Dig It a Hole'") of the U-Men anthology was a YouTube video of the remastered "Dig It a Hole".


References

The U-Men. U-Men, Sub Pop, 2017. Liner notes.

"Solid Action" b/w "Dig It a Hole" at Discogs

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