Punk and New Wave Reviews

Rock music underwent a revolution in the late 1970s. A new generation of acts arrived, often stripping their sound back with basic songs and simple arrangements. Some of these bands failed to make a huge dent commercially, despite critical acclaim. Others like U2 and Blondie rode their stripped-down sound to international success.

Punk and new wave were a vehicle for a new generation of musicians to gain record deals, but a lot of the new generation turned out to be extremely sophisticated writers – ambitious composers like Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Andy Partridge didn’t stay punk for long, instead veering off into different genres.

Major acts that I’m planning to cover include Blondie, X, The Pretenders, and Joe Jackson. Some bands that are new-wave influenced but started their careers during the 1980s, like New Order and R.E.M., are covered on the 1980s Review page.

The Clash Album Reviews

The Clash Album Reviews
Perhaps the most celebrated band to emerge from the 1970s punk movement, The Clash started as a straight-out punk band. But their music soon expanded, incorporating the reggae and dub...

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Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello
Of all the musicians who emerged in the wake of punk in the late 1970s, Elvis Costello perhaps has the richest back-catalogue. Musically literate and stylistically restless, in some ways...

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The dB’s Album Reviews

The dB’s Album Reviews
The members of The dB’s are all from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, also the birthplace of Mitch Easter (Let’s Active) and Ben Folds. As teens, future dB's Chris Stamey and Peter...

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Echo & the Bunnymen Album Reviews

Echo & the Bunnymen Album Reviews
Echo & the Bunnymen vocalist Ian McCulloch started his career in the humbly named Crucial Three, alongside Julian Cope and Pete Wylie. As the Crucial Three morphed into The Teardrop...

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The Go-Betweens Album Reviews

The Go-Betweens Album Reviews
It's difficult to explain the appeal of The Go-Betweens; Robert Forster and Grant McLennan are neither strikingly talented guitarists nor vocalists. But despite their limitations, they made some great albums...

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Hüsker Dü

Hüsker Dü
Hüsker Dü started as a hardcore punk act in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1979, with Bob Mould on guitar and vocals, Grant Hart on drums and vocals, and Greg Norton...

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The Jam

The Jam
The Jam was formed by a group of young teens in Woking, a town on the edge of London. Guitarist and songwriter Paul Weller was eventually joined by drummer Rick...

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Joy Division

Joy Division
Joy Division were one of several prominent bands who were inspired by the Sex Pistols' famous 1976 gig in Manchester - members of The Buzzcocks, The Fall, The Smiths, and...

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The Police Album Reviews

The Police Album Reviews
English trio The Police released their first album in 1978. Despite the timing, they weren't especially punk, something that's immediately apparent from their choice of band name. The Police were...

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The Replacements

The Replacements
Yet another great musical act to come out of the state of Minnesota (see also Bob Dylan, Prince, Hüsker Dü, and The Hold Steady). The Impediments changed their name to...

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Talking Heads

Talking Heads
The Talking Heads started out playing in legendary New York club CBGB, effectively the focal point for American New Wave; The Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, and Blondie also launched their careers...

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Television

Television
There were a plethora of musical acts that originated from the CBGBs club in New York in the mid-1970s; The Ramones, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, and Blondie all went on...

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U2 Album Reviews

U2 Album Reviews
U2 started as a post-punk band, emerging from Ireland with their 1980 debut Boy. Like a lot of bands from the DIY ethos of the punk era, they had limitations....

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XTC Album Reviews

XTC Album Reviews
Formed in Swindon around songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, XTC started their career as a glam band. Their recording career started in 1978, with a pair of abrasive new...

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Punk and New Wave Miscellany

Punk and New Wave Miscellany
These punk and new wave artists are covered briefly below: The B-52's Buzzcocks The Cars The B-52's Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation 1998, 7/10 Despite ubiquitous songs like...

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