4/15/17

Buzzcocks - Parts 1-3 (1980)




















It might sound weird, but as a "first-hour" Buzzcocks fan, the period I cherish the most in their discography is the second side of A Different Kind Of Tension LP released in September 1979, and these 3 singles released as Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, with reversed A and B-sides (one by Pete Shelley, one by Steve Diggle) according to samples, and that were maybe supposed to provide a longer series (but this will surely be explained a near-to-be-published biography written by Tony McGartland). What is so remarkable in this series is that the band has left his lightweight approach of punk for darker, harder and oblique options. Buzzcocks always had this little more class-touch compared to other bands issued from the punk movement (even compared to Wire) and here, allied with a denser and deeper music, full of new instruments (horns, cello) and a harder visual, they reached the top of what could be expected by punk. Moreover lyrics are no more about romances but about psychic distorsion or mental confusion in Shelley's ones, and down-to-earth everyday living condition in Diggle's ones. Released in August, October and December 1980 respectively, these 3 part-singles were the epitome of the band grandeur. Unfortunately it was too their swansong since they soon disbanded the next year, Pete Shelley beginning a solo career (with Martin Rushent helping for production) which, on paper, should have been a triumph but was not, either musically (although the 2 first albums have their moments, but too much synthetic for me) or commercially. So, here are these 6 great songs. Note that among them, only Diggle's "Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore" is regularly played on stage to this day (saw them recently in Paris and it was). But in 2016, it seems they played for the first time since 1980 "Strange Thing" and "Running Free", 2 of the bests of the load. Catch this gem here. Below I posted the front and back cover sleeves (note that sometimes the front and back were reversed) and a video from the song, with one clip (not really good) that was shot for "Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore"

















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