The Absolute Game

The Absolute Game
Studio album by Skids
Released September 1980 (1980-09)
Recorded 1980 at The Manor and Audio International
Genre Post-punk, new wave
Label Virgin
Producer Mick Glossop
Skids chronology
Days in Europa
The Absolute Game

The Absolute Game is the third studio album by Scottish punk rock and new wave band Skids. Recorded in 1980 and produced by Mick Glossop, it was released in September 1980 by record label Virgin. It became their most commercially successful album, reaching No. 9 in the UK Albums Chart.[1]

Writing and recording

This album marks the first collaborative effort between Richard Jobson and new bassist Russell Webb, who continued to work together in the band The Armoury Show and also on Jobson's solo album Badman.

Musical style

Alex Ogg of AllMusic opined "Musically, the Skids were branching out and writing some illustrious pop tunes."[2]


Initial copies came with a limited edition second disc entitled Strength Through Joy, a collection of material recorded during The Absolute Game sessions but omitted from the album. Its songs apparently feature members of the band playing each other's instruments. Richard Jobson, the Skids' lead singer, later stated that this title had been taken from Dirk Bogarde's autobiography and was not based on the Nazi slogan "Kraft durch Freude". However, it continued in the controversial theme of the first release of Days in Europa, which had also been withdrawn after accusations of Nazi glorification.


The Absolute Game was released in September 1980. It reached No. 9 in the UK Albums Chart.[1]

Around this time the band was riven by internal rifts and disagreements, leading to various changes in personnel. Soon after the release and tour of The Absolute Game, Adamson and Baillie left the band.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Record Collector[1]

Shane Baldwin of Record Collector called it "their finest work, despite the fact that, by then, Jobson and Adamson's relationship had begun to founder. Endlessly inventive and perfectly executed, it deservedly became their most successful release".[1] Ira Robbins of Trouser Press wrote "Parts of The Absolute Game are just arty pretense, but the inclusion of substantial, engaging material makes it a reasonable addition to the collection."[3]

Track listing

All tracks written by Skids (Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson, Russell Webb and Mike Baillie), except "Out of Town", written by Jobson and Adamson.

Side A
1."Circus Games"  4:10
2."Out of Town"  4:08
3."Goodbye Civilian"  4:15
4."The Children Saw the Shame"  3:40
5."A Woman in Winter"  5:40
Side B
1."Hurry On Boys"  3:42
2."Happy to Be with You"  3:36
3."The Devils Decade"  5:42
4."One Decree"  3:23
5."Arena"  5:10

Strength Through Joy

Side A
1."An Incident in Algiers"  3:55
2."Grievance"  2:58
3."Strength Through Joy"  1:59
4."Filming in Africa"  3:39
Side B
1."A Man for All Seasons"  1:50
2."Snakes and Ladders"  4:01
3."Surgical Triumph"  2:13
4."The Bell Jar"  2:33


Additional personnel


  1. 1 2 3 4 Baldwin, Shane (April 2009). "[The Absolute Game review]". Record Collector.
  2. 1 2 Ogg, Alex. "The Absolute Game – The Skids | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  3. Robbins, Ira. " :: Skids". Trouser Press. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
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