First album by New Model Army, released 1984.


After several singles that did well on the indie charts and gathering a small but devoted clog-wearing following in northern England, Justin Sullivan and his band hit the album scene with this eight-track, 30-minute LP/EP, re-released in 1987 as The Independent Story.

Vengeance comes at the peak of Margaret Thatcher's power, following the Falkland Islands War and the miners' strike, and in the midst of the deteriorating social and economic conditions blamed on Thatcherism. Most of this album protests what she represented and the direction the country was headed under her rule. Although the album fell out of favour with the band soon after its release and had for the most part disappeared from their live sets by 1987, it defined the band's public image for many years to come.

While it did put them in the limelight, the band were far from the musical peak of their next couple of albums. Vengeance is basically a punk rock album and displays suitably minimalistic tendencies at times. Overall though, it's a solid work with some of their most frank and angry lyrics as its high point.

Track listing:

  1. Bittersweet (Sullivan/Morrow, 1983)
  2. Betcha (Sullivan/Morrow/Tompkins, 1980)
  3. Tension (Sullivan/Morrow, 1982)
  4. Great Expectations (Sullivan/Morrow, 1982)
  5. Waiting (Sullivan, 1983)
  6. Christian Militia (Sullivan/Morrow, 1983)
  7. Notice Me (Sullivan/Morrow, 1983)
  8. Smalltown England (Sullivan/Morrow, 1982)
  9. A Liberal Education (Sullivan/Morrow, 1981)
  10. Vengeance (Sullivan, 1983)
  11. Sex (The Black Angel) (Sullivan/Morrow/Heaton, 1984)
  12. Running in the Rain (Sullivan, 1983)
  13. Spirit of the Falklands (Sullivan/Morrow, 1982)
  14. The Price (Sullivan/Morrow, 1984)
  15. 1984 (Sullivan, 1984)
  16. No Man's Land (Sullivan, 1984)
  17. Great Expectations (Peel session)
  18. Notice Me (Peel session)

Tracks 6-13 make up the original release of Vengeance. The remainder are singles and B sides from 1980-1984.

Tracks that stand out on this album are A Liberal Education, Vengeance (a song about Nazi war criminals escaping justice) and Notice Me. "Lib. Ed.," as the former track is known to the band's followers, remains the fans' battle cry to this day. Lib. Ed., Smalltown England and Vengeance were the only tracks from the band's pre-1985 material that were still featuring in their live sets in 2000.

Venge"ance (?), n. [F. vengeance, fr. venger to avenge, L. vindicare to lay claim to, defend, avenge, fr. vindex a claimant, defender, avenger, the first part of which is of uncertain origin, and the last part akin to dicere to say. See Diction, and cf. Avenge, Revenge, Vindicate.]


Punishment inflicted in return for an injury or an offense; retribution; -- often, in a bad sense, passionate or unrestrained revenge.

To me belongeth vengeance and recompense. Deut. xxxii. 35.

To execute fierce vengeance on his foes. Milton.


Harm; mischief.



What a vengeance, ∨ What the vengeance, what! -- emphatically. [Obs.] "But what a vengeance makes thee fly!" Hudibras. "What the vengeance! Could he not speak 'em fair?" Shak. -- With a vengeance, with great violence; as, to strike with a vengeance. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913.

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