Category: Buzzcocks

The Buzzcocks – Love Bites

ARTIST: Buzzcocks                           220px-BuzzcocksLoveBites

TITLE: Love Bites

YEAR RELEASED: 1978

CHART ACTION: #13 UK

SINGLES: Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) (#12 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Operator’s Manual

LINEUP: Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, Steve Garvey, John Maher

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second full album by the pop-punk band is a bit ragged. With their best songs saved for singles the deep cuts seem lackluster.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Working fast was the ethos in the punk and post-punk era, and with the singles released around this time shows that Pete Shelley had the songwriting chops.

Yet it seemed that as the record moves on to side two, it runs out of steam. The fantastic single “Ever Fallen in Love” is definitely worth the price of admission, but as we move to side two it definitely feels that the Buzzcocks needed to fill up the numbers instead of making great art.

A lot of this is still quality stuff, and the packed deluxe edition is fantastic. But the original album isn’t as shiny as their first releases.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They started recording just six months after their first album was released.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the great non-album singles released around the time (“Love You More” (#34 UK), “Noise Annoys”, “Promises” (#20 UK)), and demos, Peel Sessions, etc.

GRADE: B:  I just didn’t feel this as much as their debut album.

Buzzcocks – Another Music in a Different Kitchen

ARTIST: Buzzcocks 220px-Buzzcocks_-_Another_Music_In_A_Different_Kitchen_album_cover
TITLE: Another Music in a Different Kitchen
YEAR RELEASED: 1978
CHART ACTION: #15 UK
SINGLES: I Don’t Mind (#55 UK), Moving Away from the Pulsebeat
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Fast Cars
LINEUP: Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, Steve Garvey, John Maher
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After their landmark EP and a couple of singles, a revamped Buzzcocks lineup releases a classic album.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Two guitars, a bass and a drum kit – that’s all you really need for rock and roll. Punk rock put that basic lineup back into focus, and the Buzzcocks proved you can create wonderful songs and sounds with those basic building blocks.

Maher’s drums provide a solid backbeat. Garvey’s bass is both anchoring and expressive. Diggle and Shelley crank through basic guitar riffs with Shelley’s infrequent solos adding tension and drama. Shelley’s voice is perfect for the songs as well, no matter if they’re Diggle’s, or ones leftover from the Howard Devoto era.

Over here in the States, we were still in the disco era with some new wave kids being hip to the new sounds. We missed albums like this – but it’s not too late to enjoy them now.

The only complaint is some of the sequencing is odd. Case in point “Fiction Romance”
and “Autonomy” are back to back, and they feature the same basic guitar pattern and riff. In fact you may think “Autonomy” is a continuation of the former.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The album title was based on an art piece from Linder Sterling. Also, a pre-album single B side (“Oh, Shit”) was the subject of a job action by a pressing plant because the workers thought it obscene. Maybe that was the reason the great single “What Do I Get?” only hit #37.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, it contains some great singles (“Orgasm Addict” and “What Do I Get”), John Peel sessions, live cuts and demos.

GRADE: A: So close to a perfect record, but sequencing does it in on Side 2. Still, a must have or hear or whatever, especially the deluxe version’s singles (and B-sides)

Buzzcocks – Spiral Scratch

ARTIST: Buzzcocks
TITLE: Spiral ScratchR-401790-1424848968-4119.jpeg
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,