BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 13)

 

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And so we come to the 13th and final 45 released by Buzzcocks in their initial incarnation. The lyrics, written by Steve Diggle, kind of sum up how much of a chore it must have become trying to hit payola again now that the band had fallen out of favour.

Here in suburbia
There’s nothing left to see
Just want to spend my time running free

I’ve had enough of the day job
I can see farther than that
Just want to spend my time running free

The air of tension still is rising higher
Screaming emotions are singing to you
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)

Here in the engine room
A pulse shouts for a word
Just want to spend my time running free

I’ll pull out condition
There’s no need to face facts
Just want to spend my time running free

You better make a move before sleeping gets you
You better shape soon before the weak things make you
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)

Here in proles’ paradise
Experiments on the weak
Just want to spend my time running free

It’s a trick of the torment
You tend to forget yourself
Just want to spend my time running free

Your conscience may be changed as the plan gets harder
It’s just been rearranged to keep the strata
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)

Your conscience may be changed as the plan gets harder
It’s just been rearranged to keep the strata
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)
(No no no time no no no time)

It’s a sad, resigned lyric and it has a similarly sad and resigned tune to go with it.  But very listenable.

The b-side is a really strange one.  I never knew it until more than 20 years later (see last week’s posting for an explanation) and the first thing that hit me was that it sounded remarkably like Pete Shelley fronting The Boomtown Rats (blame the sax and shout a long chorus).  Was What Do You Know? the departing shot at the record label bosses who behind the scenes were looking for Buzzcocks to achieve the same sort of mainstream success of some of their contemporaries?  If so, it’s a great two-fingered salute to all concerned.  Even if it’s not, it was a fine way to go out.

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Running Free
mp3 : Buzzcocks – What Do You Know?

Right who’s next for the Sunday singles treatment?

6 thoughts on “BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 13)

  1. There’s something timelss about Running Free. It also reminds me a bit of The Clash in parts – well a Mick Jones written Clash song. I’ve previously mentioned that the final songs from Buzzcocks have always resonated with me. The air of alienation still strikes a cord 35 years later.
    What Do You Know is such a wonderful parting shot. It’s defiant and wide eyed. The mask have been removed of and the curtain pulled back. But I don’t get Boomtown Rats JC, much to confident. This is Buzzcocks all grown up.

  2. I love ‘What Do You Know?’. Not sure what it sounds like — I can hear the E Street band and Spiders from Mars just as as easy as the Boomtown Rats. Not sure, but I never tire of it. Bless the Buzzcocks — I loved this whole ’77-’80 run.

    As for the next singles series, I’m still holding out for PJ…

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