TITLE: Spiral Scratch
YEAR RELEASED: 1977
CHART ACTION: #31 UK (1979 re-release)
SINGLES: It was an EP
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Boredom is the key cut.
LINEUP: Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, John Maher.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Young Manchester lads see the Sex Pistols, wonder why is this so hard, form a band, and self-release the ‘third’ punk rock album in the UK, and the first totally DIY. Oh, and it’s darn good, too.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Five hours to record and mix. Five hundred pounds to produce and manufacture. 1,000 copies sold out, like that. And it wasn’t because it was a novelty. It also proved to everyone that you didn’t really need a record company to get an album done. If it was good, people would buy it and shops would carry it.
This is Howard Devoto’s only recorded works with the Buzzcocks – he jumped ship soon to form Magazine which made some fine music on its own. So if you’re used to hearing Shelley as the lead singer of Buzzcocks, Devoto’s got a different sound. The attitude’s the same, though.
NOTES & MINUTAE: This also kick-started the career of producer Martin Hannett, who became famous as the producer of Joy Division.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. They’ve never appended this onto anything that I could find. But it’s available as a stand-alone and worth it.
GRADE: A : No two ways about it – historically and musically this is a must have,