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Buzzcocks – BBC Sessions (1998)

Buzzcocks – BBC Sessions (1998)

Here’s a wonderful 20 digitally remastered tracks cut during various BBC sessions recorded between 1978-1997 by one of Britland’s finest and earliest punk bands.

It includes great versions of punk-pop classics such as ‘Promises’, ‘Ever Fallen In Love’, ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Fiction Romance’, ‘HarmonyIn My Head’ and ‘Sixteen Again’.

Fucking magnificent!

Formed in Manchester, England, in 1975, the Buzzcocks were one of the most influential bands to emerge in the initial wave of punk rock. With their crisp melodies, driving guitars, and guitarist Pete Shelley’s biting lyrics, the Buzzcocks were one of the best, most influential punk bands. Buzzcocks were inspired by the Sex Pistols’ energy, yet they didn’t copy the Pistols’ angry political stance.

Instead, they brought that intense, brilliant energy to the three-minute pop song. Shelley’s alternately funny and anguished lyrics about adolescence and love were some of the best and smartest of his era; similarly, the Buzzcocks’ melodies and hooks were concise and memorable.

Over the years, their powerful punk-pop has proven enormously influential, with echoes of their music being apparent in everyone from Hüsker Dü to Nirvana.

Before the Buzzcocks, the teenaged Pete Shelley had played guitar in various heavy metal bands. In 1975, he enrolled in the Bolton Institute of Technology. While he was at school, Shelley joined an electronic music society, which is where he met Howard Devoto, who had enrolled at Bolton’s BIT in 1972.

Both Shelley and Devoto shared an affection for the Velvet Underground, while Devoto was also fascinated by the Stooges.

While they were still in school, Shelley and Devoto began rehearsing with a drummer, covering everything from the Stooges to Brian Eno. The trio never performed live and soon fell apart. Shelley and Devoto remained friends and several months after their initial musical venture dissolved, the pair read the first live review of the Sex Pistols in NME and decided to see the band in London.

After witnessing the band twice in February 1976, the pair decided to form their own band, with the intent of replicating the Pistols’ London impact in Manchester.

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This record is an exceptional collection of live BBC recordings done by the Buzzcocks documenting their entire career so far. From ‘Spiral Scratch’ to ‘Modern’, from the 70s to the 90s, it’s all represented here.

This is not a collection of one session, but rather a portrait of one of the most important and greatest punk bands. From their snotty punk roots to their later power-pop, this CD lets you hear the evolution of the band as they continue to perfect their skills and songwriting while still remaining relevant to the times.

The recording quality may not be consistent for all of the sessions, but it’s never poor. There’s even the various radio show lead-ins that graced the original broadcasts. For people who might’ve felt a little let down by the Buzzcock’s latest record ‘Modern’, the versions here of the songs from that record are much rawer and more in-line with the Buzzcock’s earlier work. They may even sway you to reevaluate your feelings about the newest record.

For true Buzzcocks fans, this is one record you can’t do without.

– By AR


1. sixteen again
2. nothing left
3. promises
4. lipstick
5. do it
6. isolation
7. palm of your hand
8. ever fallen in love
9. energy
10. libertine angel
11. last to know
12. playing for time
13. totally from the heart
14. i don’t mind
15. turn off the screw
16. thunder of hearts
17. fiction romance
18. love battery
19. harmony in my head
20. time’s up

Here she be:


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August 5, 2008 Posted by | BBC Sessions, Music_Punk, The Buzzcocks | 1 Comment