Martha And The Muffins: Metro Music (1980)
The debut included the closest thing they ever had to a timeless hit, the wonderful "Echo Beach," understated, hypnotic guitar jangle and slithery keyboards highlighted by vocalist Martha Johnson's office-drudgery lyrics and infectious chorus hook, like a much less happy Go-Go's song (with sax!). There are other off-kilter near-pop tunes, like "Paint By Number Heart" and "Revenge (Against The World)," but much of the balance avoids obvious pop hooks in favor of more challenging, edgy art-rock that would dominate later releases, like the jarring, punk-tinged (punk as in Wire, not Pistols) "Monotone." Some holds up better than others, but overall it's an interesting document of the times.
The entire album was later re-released on the Far Away In Time compilation, joined by a few tracks from the next couple albums. (Alas, that doesn't stream, either.) Most of the album has been ripped to YouTube.
Here's the "Echo Beach" video:Here's a live take on "Monotone":Here's an audio rip of "Paint By Number Heart":...and an audio rip of "Revenge":