The X-Ray Spex were a punk band from England that was in the original punk movement and had a 15 year old, braces on teeth, female, lead singer named Poly Styrene.
As a 21 year old goth/punk I discovered X-Ray Spex after reading the book England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond by Jon Savage. Savage was part of the England punk scene so the book was full of interviews with people like John Lydon and Poly Styrene...and lots of candid photos from the time period. I became interested in wanting to hear the band so called up the local college station that played alternative music and had them play "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" during the song request hour.
It was love at first hear to me, who always preferred punk bands like The Clash, Adam and the Ants, and The Damned over The Sex Pistols or The Ramones.
I loved X-Ray Spex so much that I went on a quest to find the album Germ-Free Adolescents which was out of print in 1993. My then boyfriend, John, was able to track it down while on a road trip and made me a cassette copy of the album. I still have that cassette to this day and the album has gone out of print again after being released on CD a few years back.
When, I heard late Monday night that Poly Styrene had passed due to cancer it made me sad. She was quite young at 53 and was on the verge of releasing a new album after years of not being active in the music industry due to being bipolar.
Rest in peace, Poly Styrene.