Jump to content

Punk Bands


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 97
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 3 months later...



With original vocalist Howard Devoto, from the year of 1976, and just in case anyone is in any doubt as to the Buzzcocks punk rock credentials:


"Boredom" is also one of my favourite earworms. Seldom a day goes by without me launching into its intro.

"Breakdown" From 1976

After the departure of Devoto to form Magazine, Pete Shelley took over on lead vocals. From this point onwards, the band developed a more consciously melodic sound- and scored a string of chart hits, whilst maintaining a punk-rock edge.

"Oh Sh*t!"

"Fast Cars"

"Ever Fallen In Love (With SomeoneYou Shouldn't've?)" Live at Manchester Free Trade Hall 1978

"I Don't Mind"


"Sixteen Again"

"What Do I Get?"

"Everybody's Happy Nowadays" Live on German TV in 1979

And, featuring guitarist Steve Diggle on lead vocal for a change: "Harmony In My Head"

"Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore"

Link to a pretty comprehensive and accurate history of the Buzzcocks

Their "Singles Going Steady" compilation is about as good a "greatest hits" package as you'll get from any (punk) band.

However, as well as being repeated hit-makers, one feature which set Buzzcocks apart from many of their contemporaries was their penchant for making good albums, complete with musical accomplishment, songwriting craft and little in the way of "generic filler material". "A Different Kind Of Tension", "Another Music In A Different Kitchen" and "Love Bites" are all class.

Take it from one who knows. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also beginning with B, I include The Boomtown Rats here as a curio and a bone of contention.

The Rats pre-existed punk, as a "pub-rock" / blues influenced by the likes of Dylan and The Stones. However, they were undoubtedly inspired into action by the Pistols and The Clash- Geldof makes no secret of his punk epiphany- as well as the hard-hitting blues of Dr Feelgood, which also fed into the nascent punk-rock explosion. Their early singles certainly reflect these influences.

Subsequently the Rats would become "poster-boys for the punk-rock generation", and were (perhaps unfairly) mistrusted and reviled as bandwagon-jumping charlatans by the precious street-cred-obsessed punk audience. Their commercial success continued unabated however, and they first topped the charts with the overtly Springsteen-influenced "Rat Trap". They had a string of pretty fine pop singles (e.g."Someone's Looking At You", "Like Clockwork", "Diamond Smiles"), before they eventually scored their international super-hit "I Don't Like Mondays", with which everyone identifies them. But they were, in the first instance a pretty exciting punk-rock band.

"Looking After No. 1"

"She's So Modern" sadly curtailed seconds before the abrupt climax. Doncha just hate it when that happens? :(

"Mary Of The 4th Form"

"Like Clockwork"

It's pretty much "new wave" by the time you get to "Diamond Smiles", but still quite stirring stuff, nonetheless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

It recently dawned on me that I have missed out a pretty crucial "A" band - Alternative TV

Alternative TV (often referred to by fans as ATV) were an English rock band, formed in London in 1976. Their punk rock and post-punk sound has proven influential for several musical artists.

As the founding editor of the pioneering Sniffin' Glue fanzine, Mark Perry gained attention in the English punk scene. He formed the band whilst producing the fanzine, although eventually diverted his energies solely to this band.

Key members of the band were Perry and Alex Fergusson, who described their music as "closest to Can and reggae-type rhythms".

The band's debut single was "Love Lies Limp", a free flexi disc issued with the final edition of Perry's Sniffin' Glue fanzine. On this single Perry and Fergusson were accompanied by John Towe (ex Generation X) and Tyrone Thomas. Towe left to join the Rage as was replaced by Chris Bennett, so completing a line-up which early punk fans consider to epitomise the punk era (the band subsequently underwent extensive line-up changes). Shortly afterwards they released the "How Much Longer" / "You Bastard" 7" in December 1977, the A-side being a critique of youth culture apathy.

Soon thereafter at the end of 1977, Perry sacked his chief collaborator Fergusson. The latter went on to form Cash Pussies and, a few years later, Psychic TV along with Genesis P Orridge. Fergusson was replaced by Dennis Burns.

A dub influenced single, "Life after Life," was released as well as a critically acclaimed debut album, The Image Has Cracked. The band's second album, Vibing Up the Senile Man saw the band take a more explicitly experimental direction however, which alienated many of their followers as well as the music press. Around the same time, a live LP, split with commune-dwelling hippy band Here and Now was released (a document of their tour together), marking the band's movement further away from the ever more predictable punk/new wave scene.

"Action Time Vision", a crucial track in the pantheon of UK punk.

"How Much Longer?", a trenchant critique of the contemporary youth culture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Obviously, the first UK punk band that springs to mind is The Clash, but I fear I haven't time to deal with them just now.



Gene October was the unlucky man of punk, in many ways. A lithe and energetic figure, he was in the right time at the right place, an instinctive rock'n'roller, a natural frontman, a potential Jagger for the punk-rock generation.

Inspired directly by The Pistols, he swiftly formed his own band from the remnants of London SS (which also spawned The Clash) The original line-up featured Billy Idol (guitar), Tony James (bass) and John Towe (drums) who soon deserted him to form Generation X. A rapid turnover of band-members would become characteristic throughout Chelsea's existence, with October the only constant presence.

Youtube does Chelsea few favours: classic early singles such as "Right To Work", "Urban Kids", "No Flowers" are poorly represented by several of those "watch me putting plastic onto a turntable clips", whilst TV footage is rare and does scant justice to their material, or to their reputation as a rocking live act. (Live footage is almost all from their recent "Chelsea Reform For Punk Festivals" outings; still putting on apretty good show, mind you.

However, here (below)is a link to perhaps my favourite Chelsea single, "Evacuate", which Stewart Copeland (of the Police) voted his Single Of The Year in 1981 (in Smash Hits magazine.) The Police made quite a few of their early live appearances as bottom-of-the-bill support act to Chelsea; this was pre-Andy Summers period, when The Police still had aspirations to become a serviceable punk band).

Chelsea - "Evacuate"

For anybody interested in Chelsea, the double CD anthology "Urban Kids" would be something worth procuring: Product Info

Edited by Guest
Add product info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

C is also for Cock Sparrer

Cock Sparrer (initially Cock Sparrow) are a punk rock band formed in 1974 in the East End of London, England.

Although they never enjoyed much commercial success, the band is considered one of the most influential streetpunk bands in history, helping pave the way for the late-1970s punk scene and the Oi! subgenre. Their style was influenced by pub rock, glam rock and raw 1960s beat music as delivered by bands like the Small Faces and The Who. Their lyrics mostly dealt with topics related to the daily lives of working class people.

Cock Sparrer was founded by Colin McFaull, Mick Beaufoy, Steve "Burge" Burgess and Steve Bruce - who had known each other since the age of 11. Playing in nightclubs in and around London, they developed the style that was later to be known as streetpunk or Oi!. In 1976, the band met with Malcolm McLaren, who allegedly offered to sign the band alongside to his newest discovery, the Sex Pistols. According to the members of Cock Sparrer, the deal never happened because Mclaren refused to buy them a round of beers. Another explanation is that they refused to cut their hair as McLaren wanted.

In 1977, Garrie Lammin (Burge's cousin) joined in as second guitarist and the band secured a deal with Decca Records, who were hoping to cash in on the now blooming punk movement. The first Cock Sparrer single was "Runnin' Riot", released in May 1977. It did not sell well, nor did the following singles, and Decca dropped the band in 1978...

Cock Sparrer disbanded in 1980, but in 1981, old Cock Sparrer songs were included on several Oi! compilation albums, and interest in the band began to rise again. They reformed in 1982 and signed to Carrere Records, which released the "England Belongs to Me" single. The next release was the band's debut album Shock Troops in 1983. It included the songs "Where Are They Now", "I Got Your Number"' and "Riot Squad." In 1984, Beaufoy left the band and was replaced by Shug O'Neill, who was later replaced by Chris Skepis. The album Running Riot in '84 was released in October 1984.

I include Cock Sparrer, partly because of their huge influence on what would later become known as "street-punk" or, alternatively, "Oi!"; the staunchly working-class splinter-group of the punk movement, which distanced itself from the scene's left-field, art-school pretentions.

The other reason I include them is that, although Cock Sparrer's early singles flopped (in relation to the commercial success of many of their contemporaries), the re-formed early 80s line-ups released a pair of cracking albums, "Shock Troops" and "Running Riot In '84", of which I'm rather fond.

"Shock Troops", in particular, is choc-full of cracking tunes with memorably anthemic choruses.

The band's career was blighted by alleged associations with right-wing nationalism (and the violence that goes with it)- perhaps due to one of their standout tracks "England Belongs To Me" and the band working-class, skinhead fan-base - though the band have distanced themselves from any such political affiliation. Certainly, there are lyrics (on both the albums I mentioned) that would serve to counter the suggestion that Cock Sparrer are, in any way, right-wing sympathisers or advocates of racist violence. Personally, I'd still prefer them without the dubious elements of their fan-base.

Cock Sparrer are still around and have a deserved reputation as an excellent live act, though my enjoyment of their storming set at Blackpool 2007 was tempered somewhat by being surrounded by sweaty, unshirted macho skinheads (many from Europe & beyond) engaging in muscle-flexing, fist-clenching acts of (homo-erotic?) male bonding. But that's another story, for another day...

Cock Sparrer: "Where Are They Now?"

Cock Sparrer: "I Got Your Number"

Cock Sparrer: "Working"

"Cock Sparrer: We're Coming Back"

Cock Sparrer: "Watch Your Back"

Cock Sparrer : "Think Again"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

C is for Cock Sparrer is making me laugh happy little subversive laughs. :D

Even though they incorporated elements of ska, disco, pop, doo wop, Blondie is my favorite punk band, along with The Ramones. I also dig The New York Dolls. No one has mentioned punks shirtless grandpa Iggy Pop yet.

In the full interest of being a nerd- Punk Wiki

Link to comment
Share on other sites

C is for Cock Sparer is making me laugh happy little subversive laughs. :D

Even though they incorporated elements of ska, disco, pop, doo wop, Blondie is my favorite punk band, along with The Ramones. I also dig The New York Dolls. No one has mentioned punks shirtless grandpa Iggy Pop yet.

I dig Blondie, Ramones, The Dolls and Iggy too, m'dear. However, in this thread I'm focussing my efforts on providing an "A-Z Guide to classic-era UK Punk" for a largely clueless international audience, giving particular attention to some of the lesser-known but nonetheless essential artists. ;)

Keep reading, folks; I'll try to keep it interesting. :content:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The very same. The one who rose to prominence as frontman for Generation X. That's the fella!

(I'll deal with Generation X later. It'll be a few months yet, at this rate, before I get to "G". :D )

that's cool, I always only associated him with 80s pop-punk-rock (Rebel Yell, White Wedding, Eyes without a Face) :P

but take your time, I'll be here reading when the time comes :popcorn:

Edited by Guest
too slow, too slow :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ramones always got plenty of "punk respect" in this neck of the woods (the UK). If it hadn't been for the UK punk explosion- in which the Ramones certainly played an influential part (a point which has never been denied)- it's doubtful most of y'all would even have heard of the Ramones, even though they came from your side of the pond. It took the UK punk thing to propel your (ultimately-influential but at the time absolutely-marginalised) proto-punks into the commercial limelight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Still with the letter C

I've never quite understood the reluctance of some to recognise The Clash as a punk band. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the US didn't really embrace them until a bit later on, "London Calling", their third album, by which time they had shaken off the shackles which the restrictive label of "punk" had forced upon them. But just because a band had the intelligence, open-mindedness and musical skills to diversify beyond a narrow interpretation of punk as simply "angry three-chord thrasherama", that should not exclude them from being recognised as essential to the original punk phenomenon. (Similarly: The Stranglers, The Damned, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Wire (for example) were all key figures in the nascent punk phenomenon, but ultimately achieved critical respect and career longevity by embracing diversity, possessing musical vision, escaping the limitations imposed by public perception of the punk-rock cliche.

Any knowledgeable and properly-researched documentary account of punk would pitch The Clash right there in the eye of the hurricane. Whilst they are not the most significant band in the history of UK punk, they are certainly in the Top Two. I guess this might come as a surprise to anybody whose initiation to the band was the landmark "London Calling", the experimental dubby mishmash of "Sandinista" or their supposed creative peak "Combat Rock", but it shouldn't. They were one of the great rock'n'roll bands, yet a lot of their product wasn't what you would call "rock'n'roll". None of this precludes them from being rightly remembered also as one of the essential punk bands.

"What's My Name?"(early live)

"Garageland"(early live)

"I'm So Bored With The USA" & "London's Burning"(early live)

"Capital Radio" and "Janie Jones"(early Live)

"Career Opportunities"(Live)

"Protex Blue" (Live in France, 1977, Mont Marsan Punk Festival)

"Tommy Gun"(rare live TV appearance 1978)

"White Riot"

"White Man (In HammersmithPalais)"

Nuff said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...