NEW BOXSET : ‘RUSTY EGAN PRESENTS BLITZED!’ – first ever fully-curated box-set of his trailblazing Blitz Club 1979-1980 DJ classics – out 28th June 2024 (via Demon Music)

Rusty Egan DJing at the Blitz Club MED RES (c) Peter Ashworth 1979














“I used to go to Rough Trade and stand there all day, waiting to hear something. I was a crate digger. I was out there looking for music to play, because there wasn’t really anything except the stuff the record companies were sending you, the stuff they thought was punk: The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’, ‘Back of My Hand’ by The Jags, which wasn’t right at all. The Members were doing ‘Sound of the Suburbs’ – I was inventing the sound of the future.” (Rusty Egan)

“I think Rusty was the first truly modern British DJ” (John Foxx)

Demon Music will release a new box-set, ‘Rusty Egan Presents BLITZED!’ on 28th June 2024, the first ever fully curated, truly definitive compilation of key tracks played by the pioneering DJ, remixer, producer and drummer during his legendary DJ sets at his trailblazing Blitz Club between 1979-1980.

Available on deluxe 4CD and 4LP 140g vinyl formats, both including extensive sleeve notes by The Guardian’s chief rock & pop critic Alexis Petridis as well as an introductory essay by Rusty Egan, the 4CD version is a 66-track affair featuring more than 5hrs of Blitz Club classics whilst the compact 4LP 140g vinyl set, mastered by Phil Kinrade at AIR Studios, features a 36-track selection of the music the renowned DJ was playing at the Blitz during the groundbreaking London club’s eighteen month run.

In addition to these two physical formats, Egan has also compiled a comprehensive, exhaustive 250+ track Official Blitz Club Spotify playlist version of this new box-set (accessible via Rusty’s Spotify page here or via a QR code in both 4CD & 4LP vinyl box-set formats), which represents a major chunk of his Blitz Club DJ box in 1979-1980.  This Spotify version includes tracks and remixes unavailable for physical release due to licencing restrictions and runs to an incredible 22hrs in length!

Initial pre-orders for ‘Rusty Egan Presents BLITZED!’ will additionally include an exclusive signed colour print of Rusty Egan DJing at the Blitz Club – a previously unseen photo taken in 1979 by legendary music photographer and designer Peter Ashworth and personally autographed by Rusty.

Pre-order the ‘Rusty Egan Presents BLITZED!’ box-set here

 “The ethos was that everybody in that club could be heroes, just for one day and my DJ set lists at the Blitz were designed to make YOU the star – on the dancefloor, at the bar or just standing there in your finest on a dreary Tuesday night,” remarks Egan of the innovative music he has compiled for this new box-set.  “You could be whoever you wanted to be – your life was going to be great and the ‘80s were here.  The late ‘70s had been so grey and drab and I wanted the music I played each week to instantly transport you somewhere else – maybe to Europe with a few film noir references or to Japan via some exciting new electronic sounds.  Of course there were lots of robotic vocals sung in German, Russian, French and English too.”

As Egan says, Britain was a bleak place to be in the late-Seventies, only just starting to emerge from the grip of the three-day working week and the regular power cuts that had plagued the nation for years, as well as the most significant strikes since the general strike of 1926 as gravediggers, hospital cleaners, truck drivers, school cafeteria workers, pilots, train drivers, printers and binmen (to name but a few) took industrial action over the winter of 1978-1979. The mass disruption and freezing conditions of those grim months earned this period the title of the ‘Winter of Discontent’ and a powerful place in collective memory.

It was against this backdrop that Rusty Egan and Steve Strange decided to start their own weekly central London club night at Billy’s in 1978, heartily sick of the regular violence they encountered on evenings out in the capital’s venues at that time. Their new club night was an instant success but the Soho bar’s owner greedily decided to double his prices, so the duo moved it after just a few weeks to a dusty World War II themed Covent Garden wine bar called the Blitz, opening there in February 1979 amidst its candlesticks, gingham tablecloths, Winston Churchill portraits and metal wartime posters.

The pair had originally met briefly backstage at an early 1978 Welsh gig with Rich Kids – the short-lived post-punk band put together by ex-Sex Pistol bassist Glen Matlock and featuring Egan on drums (following a brief stint drumming with The Clash), Steve New on guitar and former Slik teen-hero Midge Ure on vocals.  Regularly bumping into each other at various London punk gigs that summer, Egan (the son of musical parents who ran an Irish showband) would often let the 19-year-old Welshman sleep on the floor of his flat.  Money was tight; Strange was just down from the valleys and barely scraping a living as a shop assistant at the new PX fashion boutique in Covent Garden whilst 21-year-old Egan was by now out of work – Rich Kids had split and a brief stint drumming on sessions with various bands had also come to nothing.

With Strange taking control of the door/front of house whilst Egan handled DJ duties, the Blitz Club soon established itself as the place to be (and the place to be seen) on a Tuesday night in London.  Attracting a crowd of like-minded, artistically rich but (mostly) financially poor individuals, the club took on a ‘collective’ feel, where squat-dwelling former punks as well as art and fashion students from nearby Saint Martins could mix without fear, helping each other out in whatever way they could with their latest projects and ideas, all set to the soundtrack of Egan’s rapidly expanding record box.  As Spandau Ballet manager and Blitz Club regular Steve Dagger remarked, “They had to make it work – there was no Plan B or even any thought of failure.”

As the unseen photos by Sheila Rock, Peter Ashworth and Terry Smith (flown-in specially from New York by Time Magazine to cover the exciting new club photo-reportage style) in the box-set’s booklet attest, creativity was your entry ticket to the new club night.  The ’Blitz Kids’ (as the tabloids named them) were “kids who’d grown out of the twentieth century” according to author and cultural commentator Peter York and their number included soon-to-be major British designers like Katharine Hamnett, Melissa Caplan, John Galliano, Stephen Linard and Stephen Jones, who would mix with young artistic talent such as Grayson Perry, John Maybury and a then 15-year-old Tracy Emin, amongst others.  Many of the aspiring musicians soon to become British pop’s most innovative early Eighties exports would be there on a regular basis, including the Blitz Club’s cloakroom manager Boy George, Sade, Spandau Ballet, Billy Idol, Ultravox, Visage, Adam And The Ants, Bananarama, Marilyn, Gary Numan, Siouxsie and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.  All were soaking up the sounds Egan was seeking out during his regular record buying trips to the Continent – a propulsive, mostly electronic sonic palette which he would serve up on a weekly basis with the aim of exciting and inspiring this new generation of extravagantly-dressed young artists, designers, fashionistas, club impresarios, actors, broadcasters, journalists, writers, music moguls, DJs and future pop royalty, all busily plotting worldwide domination within the club’s Covent Garden confines every Tuesday night.

The Blitz Club’s glamorous reputation spread rapidly and the venue became steadily more packed each week. Strange was forced to introduce a tougher door policy, not through any particular sense of elitism (although any eager hopefuls were expected to have made at least a decent effort to appear fashionable and impress him) but to adhere to the capital’s strict fire safety restrictions on numbers whilst keeping any potential troublemakers out of the club’s safe space.  The new door policy meant he famously refused Mick Jagger entry to the Blitz Club one night (although disputed, it was claimed this was due to Strange’s annoyance at the Rolling Stones frontman trying to get in whilst wearing jeans and a baseball cap).  David Bowie and his entourage were snuck around the rear of the building in May 1980 though, despite the club being completely full to capacity that night.  Always artistically and socially curious, Bowie was there to keep a close eye on what was happening as well as to recruit extras (including Strange himself) for his and David Mallet’s ‘Ashes To Ashes’ promo clip, at that time the most expensive music video ever made. Despite his solo catalogue being unavailable due to licencing restrictions,  David Bowie’s fingerprints (and influence) are all over this new box-set;  as well as his well-documented work on featured tracks by Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, that’s Bowie playing saxophone and duetting (alongside the Spiders From Mars) with Lulu on her storming version of his “The Man Who Sold The World.”

Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, whose band were advised by Rusty to go straight out and buy a synthesiser in 1979 and would play their first ever public gig at the Blitz Club’s Christmas party later that year, says of this new compilation; “The Blitz Club, with Steve Strange’s curated ragamuffins and Rusty Egan’s electro soundtrack, was the engine room for the ‘80s. Spandau Ballet was forged from that heat. We were determined to make our own advances into the new culture we wanted to lead. Vinyl was just one of our mediums. Here are the tunes we danced to, planned over, posed and gazed to. Energy poured out of this backing track.”

 Although the late Seventies had seen a steady line of new, affordable synthesisers which led to a number of key independent proto-electronic single releases (some literally recorded in bedrooms) by young British mavericks like The Normal, Thomas Leer & Robert Rental and Vice Versa, and despite his own regular overseas record buying trips, Egan soon realised he still didn’t have enough electronic music to play in his DJ sets at the Blitz.  He decided his best course of action might simply be to make his own future-facing music in conjunction with his like-minded former Rich Kids bandmate Midge Ure.  The duo recorded a number of more electronic-focussed demos in the basement of EMI’s Manchester Square Studios in 1979, but the major label wasn’t keen on what they heard.  Enlisting Billy Currie (of Ultravox Mk.1 and Tubeway Army renown), Magazine’s John McGeoch, Dave Formula and Barry Adamson and, after initially considering teenage French model & singer Ronny (who Ure & Egan had also been demoing with their spare studio time at EMI), Egan suggested his Blitz Club co-owner and friend Steve Strange might actually be ‘the face’ they had been searching for to front their new British synth supergroup, Visage.

The remix of Visage’s ‘Fade To Grey’ on this new box-set is actually Rusty Egan & Midge Ure’s 06.42 original 1980 Dance Mix with its long phased drum outro, the exact version the DJ would play via cassette in the Blitz Club.  The band’s record label had declined to issue a UK 12” remix upon the initial release of the worldwide smash hit single – “Our A&R man at the time told us that nobody would want to dance to it anyway,” says Egan. This 06.42 remix was eventually released on an eponymously-titled mini-LP in North America twelve months after the single had already become a worldwide smash hit.  It was also tweaked and edited down by Egan & remixer John Luongo for release as the 12” Remix on Visage’s first ever best of album in 1983.

As well as a host of electronic classics, this new ‘Rusty Egan Presents BLITZED!’ box-set includes many hard to find extended remixes and edits from artists like Grace Jones, Roxy Music and Kraftwerk.  In a rare move, the legendary Düsseldorf act agreed to the use of two of their tracks on their friend’s new compilation, including a scarce promo edit of their seminal track “Radioactivity.” As Egan says in the box-set’s liner notes, “When you play Kraftwerk records, it doesn’t matter how loud you play them – they never distort.  It’s a perfect sound.”

The Human League/B.E.F./Heaven 17 and Electronically Yours podcast founder Martyn Ware, an artist featured twice on this new box-set via The Human League’s debut independent 7-inch “Being Boiled” as well as the Sheffield synth act’s transitional 1979 disco-pop track “I Don’t Depend On You” (issued under the nom de plume The Men), recently described Egan as an animateur – a person who enlivens or encourages something, a musical professional whose role is to engage audiences with a new or unfamiliar form of music – and it’s a perfect description of the man whose relentless enthusiasm continues to shine through, almost five decades into his storied career.

Egan & Strange moved on from the Blitz after little more than eighteen months and opened their Club For Heroes at the more upmarket Barracuda Club on Baker Street in June 1981.  This new venture quickly became a new mecca for a voracious London paparazzi, keen to photograph and cash-in on the club’s glamorous visiting international stars such as Michael Jackson, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Kid Creole, Kraftwerk, Talking Heads, Yellow Magic Orchestra and Mick Jagger (presumably more suitably attired this time).

Aside from groundbreaking work via his own band Visage (and his early punk days playing with both The Clash and Rich Kids), Egan has occupied the drum stool across a number of other projects in his near 50-year career, including Skids (guitarist Stuart Adamson was a Blitz Club regular – witness Rusty’s explosive drum intro to the band’s ‘Animation,’ taken from their 1979 ‘Days In Europa’ album, on this new box-set), Phil Lynott, Ronny, Midge Ure, Shock, The Senate and more; he signed a young Soft Cell to their first deal with his own publishing company (Metropolis Music); he booked and flew Madonna to play her first ever UK public live show at Camden Palace (his & Strange’s final club venture), also giving Fat Tony his first DJ job; he booked Run D.M.C. to play one of their first UK shows at his London Lyceum club night Playground in spring 1985.  Additionally, he has mixed and remixed a whole plethora of acts including Madonna (Egan provided 12” remixes for her 1982 debut single ‘Everybody’), U2, Moby, La Roux, Mylene Farmer, Afrika Bambaataa, Nona Hendryx, B-Movie, Spear Of Destiny, Space and Anne Clark.

Still working as a gigging DJ on a weekly basis whilst putting the finishing touches to his much-awaited second album of electronic music collaborations (due late-2024 and titled ‘Romantic’), Egan is planning a return to live music as well as an immersive theatrical experience based on the Blitz Club.  Ever the colourful storyteller, he also plans to finally release his long-awaited autobiography; “I wrote 350 pages of it during lockdown, but then the lawyers got hold of the manuscript and told me I just couldn’t include a lot of it for legal reasons, so it’s down to 50 f**king pages again now.”

‘Rusty Egan Presents BLITZED!’ is out 28th June 2024 and available to pre-order now here


Rusty Egan Presents BLITZED!’ – tracklistings


4CD BOX-SET (cat no. EDSL0185)



01 The Human League – Being Boiled (Fast Product version)

02 Tubeway Army – Down In The Park

03 Magazine – Permafrost

04 Vice Versa – New Girls Neutrons

05 Fad Gadget – Back To Nature

06 Pretenders – Private Life

07 Iggy Pop – Nightclubbing

08 The Normal – Warm Leatherette

09 Throbbing Gristle – Hot On The Heels Of Love

10 Thomas Leer & Robert Rental – Day Breaks, Night Heals

11 Shock – R.E.R.B.

12 The Glitter Band – Makes You Blind

13 John Foxx – Burning Car

14 Yello – Bostich (album version)

15 Dalek I – Dalek I Love You (Destiny)

16 Cowboys International – Thrash

17 Joy Division – Shadowplay

18 Cabaret Voltaire – Nag Nag Nag

19 Ultravox! – Hiroshima Mon Amour



01 Sparks – The Number One Song In Heaven (long version)

02 Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Electricity (1980 Dindisc version)

03 Ultravox – Passing Strangers

04 Kraftwerk – Radioactivity (edit)

05 Lulu – The Man Who Sold The World

06 Jeff Wayne   – The Eve Of The War (disco re-mix)

07 Don Armando’s 2nd Avenue Rhumba Band – I’m An Indian Too

08 Japan – Life in Tokyo (short version)

09 Blondie – Heart Of Glass (12” version)

10 Amanda Lear – Follow Me

11 Wolfgang Riechmann – Wunderbar

12 Eno, Moebius, Roedelius – Broken Head

13 M – Pop Muzik (12” version)

14 Barry De Vorzon – Theme From ‘The Warriors’

15 Roxy Music – Angel Eyes (extended remix)

16 Suicide – Dream Baby Dream (long version)



01 Grace Jones – La Vie En Rose

02 Throbbing Gristle – Hamburger Lady

03 The Walker Brothers – No Regrets

04 Hot Chocolate – Put Your Love In Me

05 The Men – I Don’t Depend On You

06 Metro – Criminal World

07 Billy Cobham – Spanish Moss – A Sound Portrait: Storm

08 Cerrone – Supernature (12” full length version)

09 Garçons – French Boy

10 Lori And The Chameleons – Touch

11 Visage – Moon Over Moscow

12 Kraftwerk – Schaufensterpuppen

13 Mick Ronson – Only After Dark

14 Landscape – Japan

15 La Dusseldorf – Rheinita (single version)


CD FOUR          

01 The Cure – A Forest (album version)

02 The Regents – 7 Teen

03 Zaine Griff – Ashes And Diamonds

04 Spandau Ballet – To Cut A Long Story Short

05 Telex – Moskow Diskow

06 Taxi-Girl – Mannequin

07 Silicon Teens – Memphis Tennessee

08 The Slits – I Heard It Through The Grapevine

09 Simple Minds – Changeling

10 Skids – Animation (edit)

11 Giorgio Moroder – Chase (from ‘Midnight Express’ soundtrack)

12 Rinder And Lewis – Willie And The Hand Jive (12” version)

13 Visage – Fade To Grey (1980 Dance Mix)

14 Gina X Performance – No G.D.M.

15 Vangelis – Chung Kuo

16 Lou Reed – Perfect Day







The Human League – Being Boiled (Fast Product version)

Tubeway Army – Down In The Park

Fad Gadget – Back To Nature

Vice Versa – New Girls Neutrons

Throbbing Gristle – Hot On The Heels Of Love



The Normal – Warm Leatherette

Cabaret Voltaire – Nag Nag Nag

John Foxx – Burning Car

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Electricity (1980 Dindisc version)

Shock – R.E.R.B.






Ultravox! – Hiroshima Mon Amour

Magazine – Permafrost

Hot Chocolate – Put Your Love In Me

Visage  – Moon Over Moscow



Sparks  – The Number One Song In Heaven (long version)

The Glitter Band – Makes You Blind

The Regents – 7 Teen

Roxy Music – Angel Eyes (extended remix)






The Men – I Don’t Depend On You

Barry De Vorzon – Theme From ‘The Warriors’

Rinder And Lewis – Willie And The Hand Jive (12” version)

Grace Jones – La Vie En Rose



Kraftwerk – Schaufensterpuppen

Ultravox – Passing Strangers

Iggy Pop – Nightclubbing

Gina X Performance – No G.D.M.






Mick Ronson – Only After Dark

Simple Minds – Changeling

Skids – Animation (edit)

Japan – Life In Tokyo (short version)

Amanda Lear – Follow Me

Spandau Ballet – To Cut A Long Story Short



Yello – Bostich (album version)

Giorgio Moroder – Chase (from ‘Midnight Express’ soundtrack)

Visage – Fade To Grey (1980 Dance Mix)

Lou Reed – Perfect Day


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