BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 7)

All the while that Ever Fallen In Love was riding high in the charts so too was Love Bites the album it had been lifted from.  Like many other bands who were coming to the fore in the post-punk/new wave era of 1978 Buzzcocks were quite prolific and it was no real surprise when it was revealed that a brand new song was set to be the next 45.

The problem was that Ever Fallen In Love showed no sign of drifting out of the charts completely and so United Artists delayed the release of its follow-up all the while claiming, with the support of the band, that it was even better than the big smash.

In the event Promises was eventually released in late November 1978 but it only reached #20 in the charts as opposed to the previous single’s #12 showing.  However, it is worth remembering that this particular single was in the shops in the run-up to Christmas 1978 – indeed it was in the Top 30 on Xmas Day – and it is very likely that it actually sold more copies and in effect became the band’s best-selling 45.

It is an absolute belter of a record which, if there hadn’t been an Ever Fallen In Love would probably have been held up as the band’s all-time classic.

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Promises
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Lipstick

The b-side uses the same tune as Shot By Both Sides, the debut single by Magazine – a song which had been attributed to Devoto/Shelley.  But Lipstick is attributed solely to Pete Shelley thus robbing Howard of some deserved royalties.

 

BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 6)

A bona fide classic and one of the greatest singles of all time.

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Just Lust

It charted for 11 weeks all told, spending 8 weeks in the Top 40, five of which were in the Top 20, peaking at #12.

That was back in September – December 1978. Almost 40 years ago (gulp!!)

Cracking b-side too.

There’s something unjust however, when a hugely inferior cover by Fine Young Cannibals in 1987 enjoyed greater chart success by reaching #9.

 

BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 5)

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I was really sure that Love You More was a much bigger hit than #34. I think it’s the fact that it hung around in the Top 50 for a while that leads to that conclusion but its chart run was 41,34,35,35,60,53 and so yup, mid-30s it was.

What it did do was get the band their first all-important appearance on Top of The Pops in July 1978 thus instantly making their name and sound recognisable to millions more people overnight. Which sort of set them up for the rest of the year. In the meantime, enjoy the magic of the 1min 45 second pop single and its rather spendid b-side:-

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Love You More
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Noise Annoys

Till next time.

BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 4)

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February 78 had seen them hit the charts with What Do I Get?. The following month saw the debut LP Another Music In A Different Kitchen hit the shops and to many a surprise, none of the old singles were included among its eleven tracks.

The record label were keen to promote the LP with a single. The band weren’t too keen – they were already well advanced with plans to get a second album im the can and new songs were earmarked for singles. But in the end two of the ‘Kitchen’ tracks were chosen and put out as a single a full month after the LP had gone on sale. The sleeve was also a bit on the lazy side – unarguably the least attractive of them all.

mp3 : Buzzcocks – I Don’t Mind
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Autonomy

In the circumstances, reaching #55 wasn’t too bad.

BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 : (Part 3)

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After the self-inflicted wound of Orgasm Addict, the band enjoyed their first taste of chart success with the follow-up, released on 3 February 1978. But they made sure nobody could play the b-side on the radio:-

mp3 : Buzzcocks – What Do I Get?
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Oh Shit

A #37 hit. Deserved much better as it is one of the most underrated post- punk pop tunes of all time.

Bonus Peel Session version from 7 September 1977:-

mp3 : Buzzcocks – What Do I Get? (Peel Session)

BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 2)

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Howard Devoto might have left the band after the release of the Spiral Scratch EP, but the band decided that one of the songs he had co-written with Pete Shelley should be the debut single now that they had signed with United Artists, one of the first punk groups to end up at a major label.

The choice of said single was designed to court controversy, as was all the rage in November 1977:-

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Orgasm Addict

Not surprisingly, it was banned from radio stations up and down the country and so very few people got to hear it and even fewer bought it. That so few copies were purchased before UA deleted it means you need to pay £10-£15 nowadays for a copy that’s in decent condition.

Incidentally, Pete Shelley now considers the song to be embarrassing. I’m sure that Howie D also doesn’t consider it to be his finest moment, funny as it probably seemed at the time.

Here’s your bass-heavy and rough b-side in which Pete struggles occasionally to hit his high notes:-

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Whatever Happened To….?

Enjoy.

BUZZCOCKS SINGLES 77-80 (Part 1)

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I’ve gone for Buzzcocks to be the next band in the lookback at the singles set of series. Not only are the songs for the most part rather spoecial, but many of the sleeves were among the best designs of the post-punk era.

In the beginning was this.

Spiral Scratch is an EP and the debut release by English punk rock band Buzzcocks. It was released on 29 January 1977, and was the first punk record to be self-released (that is, without the support of an existing record label). It is the third record ever released by a British punk band (preceded only by The Damned’s “New Rose” and the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the U.K.”). The EP is the only Buzzcocks studio release to feature original singer Howard Devoto, who left shortly after its release to form one of the first post-punk bands, Magazine.

When reissued in 1979, it reached number 31 in the UK Singles Chart.

According to Devoto, “It took three hours to record the tracks, with another two for mixing.” Produced by Martin Hannett (credited as “Martin Zero”), the music was roughly recorded, insistently repetitive and energetic.

The band had to borrow £500 from their friends and families to pay for the record’s production and manufacture. The EP was released 29 January 1977 on their own New Hormones label. The disc quickly sold out its initial run of 1,000 copies, and went on to sell 16,000 copies, initially by mail order, but also with the help of the Manchester branch of music chain store Virgin but also with the help of the Manchester branch of music chain store Virgin, whose manager took some copies and persuaded other regional branch managers to follow suit.

mp3 : Buzzcocks – Breakdown
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Time’s Up
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Boredom
mp3 : Buzzcocks – Friends Of Mine

Enjoy.