Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Buzzcocks-Singles Going Steady

You already know this is a classic. Buzzcocks were the real deal and their early records and singles still sound amazing today. A common misconception is that the Buzzcocks were one of the bands who started up in the wake of The Sex Pistols. This is not true as they actually formed in 1975 and were releasing records before Lydon & Co. Singles Going Steady is a compilation of thier singles during the punk era and it is a totally essential document for anyone even mildly interested in Punk.

That being said, Buzzcocks were the poppiest of the first wave of punk bands. Their songs are universal and it shows as Buzzcocks songs have popped up in the strangest of places in the last few years, from car commercials (What Do I Get?) to one of the Shrek movies (Ever Fallen In Love?), places that you normally wouldn't find a bunch of punk rockers. There are those who would say that Buzzcocks aren't even a Punk band but a Pop group. Those people are wrong of course. Just because in the year 2008 we hear these songs as very accessible, poppy songs, back in 1977 this music came across as a lot more dangerous and edgy.

One of the things that Buzzcocks did that was very verboten in the punk world was write love songs. Tracks like Love You More don't get much sweeter with lines like I'm in love again/Been like this before/I'm in love again/This time's true I'm sure. It's not exactly Crass (see below) is it? Buzzcocks are said to have been the inventors of the "Pop-Punk" genre and it's easy to see why when listening to Singles Going Steady. The songs are simple, catchy and danceable, everything a good pop song should be. But the snottiness of punk is there as seen in the still naughty Orgasm Addict. Most bands don't release anywhere near this many amazing songs in a 30 year career yet Buzzcocks put out all the singles found here between 1976-1979. And odds are we'll be hearing these gems pop up in odd places for a long time to come.

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