The Buzzcocks formed in the summer of 1976 ... the big bang of UK punk.
In October they spentless than a hundred pounds for half an hour of studio time to recordthe "Spiral Scratch" EP, the first independent, do-it-yourself, selfreleased UK punk record. The 4 songs that make up the EP ("Breakdown","Time's Up", "Boredom" and "Friends of Mine") were done live in thestudio, most in 1 take, each with a single guitar overdub. They'reexactly what you'd expect from the early days of punk ... simple,cynical, sarcastic, catchy, brief and explosive. Howard Devoto's lyricsare more personal than political, delivered in a nasally whine over thetight and talented (in punk terms) rhythm section of Pete Shelley,Steve Diggle and John Maher. The Devoto fronted Buzzcocks is thedefinitive line-up as far as I'm concerned.
The album that followed, "Time's Up", has slower, less abrasiveversions of the 4 EP songs plus 7 more songs including the classics"Orgasm Addict" and "I Love You, You Big Dummy". If you're a fan of anyearly UK punk (such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, etc)these two discs are just as essential as "Never Mind..", "Damned,Damned, Damned" and "The Clash". Kudos to Mute for giving a shit aboutthe past and re-issuing them ... this is really important stuff forhistorically minded music aficionados such as myself and gives everyonea chance to discover vital music. The "Time's Up" disc also includesthe "Breakdown" video with footage from the first gig and both discshave really nice inserts chock full of pictures (most from Devoto'spersonal collection and previously unseen), liner notes, interviews andlyrics. My only complaint: why 2 discs? The EP is a whopping 10 minutesand the album less than 30, so why didn't they just put it all on 1? Ohwell, both were reasonably priced. Thanks again Mute ...