Full disclosure: I don’t like the Buzzcocks. Until hearing this debut, I’d only ever heard A Different Kind of Tension and that record likely biased me towards this one and its importance.
The Buzzcocks were one of the first successful UK punk bands, even if it took them forever to get their debut out. Much like the Pistols, who released their debut album something like a year after their debut single, the Buzzcocks didn’t put out their debut LP until well over a year after their debut EP, for some reason. That’s relevant because this version of punk was something they’d already pioneered well before this record came out, which makes me inclined to rate it higher than I want to.
Because this is a very influential version of punk: fast, loud, full of attitude but catchy, almost poppy. It is pop punk in utero or, if you prefer, a more punk version of The Jam or power pop or something. Though it pains me to say it, it’s arguable that the Buzzcocks’ version of punk is as influential, or even more influential, than the versions of punk from the other seminal UK bands. I just happen to prefer those versions.
If you prefer your punk on the poppy side, this record might be your ideal first wave UK punk record. It’s short and too-the-point and full of catchy songs. I’d just rather listen to The Clash or The Damned.
- “Fast Cars” Howard Devoto, Steve Diggle, Pete Shelley 2:26
- “No Reply” Shelley 2:16
- “You Tear Me Up” Devoto, Shelley 2:27
- “Get on Our Own” Shelley 2:26
- “Love Battery” Devoto, Shelley 2:09
- “Sixteen” Shelley 3:38
- “I Don’t Mind” Shelley 2:18
- “Fiction Romance” Shelley 4:27
- “Autonomy” Diggle 3:43
- “I Need” Diggle, Shelley 2:43
- “Moving Away from the Pulse Beat” Shelley 7:06
- Pete Shelley – lead guitar, lead vocals
- Steve Diggle – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Steve Garvey – bass guitar
- John Maher – drums, percussion