Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Buzzcocks


03-16-10 The Buzzcocks


Lately, I have been playing / enjoying The Buzzcocks.


CDx3 PRODUCT (3CD) EMI UK CD PRT 1

1989 61 TRKS (70's recordings) 1st 3 x albums

CD5 SPIRAL SCRATCH (EP) MUTE US 9122.2

1977 4 TRK CD5 ('00 issue)

7" SPIRAL SCRATCH (EP) (PS) NEW HORMON ORG 1

1977 4 TRK EP; with pic sleeve – re-issue?

CD TIME'S UP DOCUMENT DCD 2

1976 11 TRKS ('91 issue)

CD TIME'S UP MUTE UK SCRATCH 2CD

1976 11 TRKS ('00 issue)


I didn’t start out listening to The Buzzcocks. I started with Magazine. I probably tried “Real Life” because the cover looked so obtuse – and I was pleasantly surprised by the keyboards. Also very intrigued by Howard Devoto. I had been ‘resistant’ to “punk rock”, but Magazine seemed good anyway. Manchester, England.


Flash forward to 1989…1990. Living in England, it made sense to get a 3CD boxed set of the works of The Buzzcocks. There didn’t appear to be any Howard Devoto performances in the box, however. But each of their 3 x albums and all of the singles were in there. (And certainly some Howard Devoto songs were in the box.)


Off of the top of my head, my favorite post-Devoto Buzzcocks songs are “Late For The Train”, “Oh Shit” and “Hollow Inside”. But I can still easily listen to the 3 x United Artists UK Buzzcocks LP’s – they all sound pretty good.


I probably found my first “Spiral Scratch” EP about a year or so into my Magazine fandom. Magazine did have some rather, er, ‘punk’ singles – the original “Shot By Both Sides”, “My Mind Ain’t So Open” etc. – but I found “Spiral Scratch” to be very amusing. No trouble hearing the humor in this music. “Breakdown”, “Time’s Up”, “Boredom” and “Friends Of Mine” – fine songs all. Recorded with Martin Zero Hannett at the end of 1976 and D.I.Y.-released towards the end of January, 1977.


In 1977, I was still busy with “Suspiria” by Goblin. And getting my own band together.


In 1991 or 1992, I got my first 11 track CD of what are likely Buzzcocks (with Devoto) demos, issued as “Time’s Up” on the tiny Document label. “Lester Sands (Drop In The Ocean)” is a pretty fun song. I think I only knew the song from a bootleg LP I had found in England! Mute Records properly issued the same tracks, again as “Time’s Up”, in 2000 – making them available for another generation (in a different kitchen).


The same year, 2000 – Mute Records in England performed a public service by re-issuing the actual “Spiral Scratch” EP as a CD EP. I hope they also re-issued it as a 7” 45 with a picture sleeve. This message seems to communicate fairly well in that format. Nostalgia for an age yet to come.

2 comments:

REVO said...

In spite of having tons of Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto discs, my life is curiously bereft of The Buzzcocks. The only reason why I can offer up is that the excellent Product boxed set only ever crossed my path (in the States) in the CASSETTE format. Product was a very handy and convenient assemblage, but I was not buying cassettes! The albums were separately issued on CD but then you missed the singles. No, Product on CD was what I wanted. Nothing less would do. So to this day I don't have it. Moreover, the only time I ever even heard those classic songs was the time I saw the reformed Buzzcocks at Janus Landing in St. Pete in 1994 (or thereabouts).

I did get the "new" Buzzcocks album of 1993, "Trade Test Transmission." It's really good! They probably had more since then I gather.

Ron Kane said...

I'm not fanatical about 'em, but I got the product box because I thought it would deliver a lot more Howard Devoto info than it does.

Good cuts on all 3 x orig LP's, but I'll still take "Spiral Scratch" over any non-Devoto Buzzcocks.