Skip to content

Singles Going Steady – The Buzzcocks

Buzzcocks Singles Going Steady

Singles Going Steady

(1979, 2001 edition), 10/10
It’s difficult to find a compilation that has a better critical reputation than the Buzzcocks’ Singles Going Steady. There are mixed opinions about the quality of the Buzzcock’s studio albums, but it is virtually unanimous that the collection of singles and b-sides that was originally assembled for their 1979 US tour is one of the most important albums to come out of the punk movement. I have the remastered edition, which bookends the material from the group’s 1980 singles. Although the Buzzcock’s playing is aggressive and energetic, placing them solidly within the English punk spectrum, their songs also have a poppy sheen and romantic themes that feel like throwbacks to the sixties. However, the Buzzcocks’ romantic themes are far from nauseating; surely no rock star has been jilted as constantly as Pete Shelley, as the irony laced ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays’ and ‘Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?’ demonstrate. The Buzzcocks created a wonderful mixture of punk aggression, catchy melodies and appealingly underdog lyrics, and injected it into a fantastic series of singles.

The most controversial songs are arguably the most memorable; the hilarious ‘Orgasm Addict’ is actually surprisingly moralistic, but ‘Oh Shit!’ is possibly the definitive song for the curse word. The catchy b-side ‘Why Can’t I Touch It?’ rides an infectious groove, the only song on the compilation that noticeably extends past the three minute barrier. The Buzzcocks’ 1980 singles aren’t quite of the same calibre as their earlier work; they retain the energy, but expanding their sound palette from the simple guitar, bass, and drums formula doesn’t necessarily help this band. It’s difficult, however, to penalise Singles Going Steady when the 1980 material is listed as bonus tracks, while ‘Are Everything’ and the synth-laced ‘Running Free’ are appealing regardless. In any case, it’s difficult to view Singles Going Steady as anything other than a virtually indispensable blast of pure musical adrenaline.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Stereo Crush

Popular Music Uncommon-tary

Turntable talk

Musings on the world of alternative and independent rock music.

My life in music lists

These are the songs that have and will continue to soundtrack my life.

jhubner73

Midwestern groaning since 2011

Steve For The Deaf

Certain Songs Get Scratched Right In

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

zumpoems

Zumwalt Poems Online

Lord Eels Music

S'baht music

timeweleftthisworldtoday

This world's so mixed up everywhere you go

%d bloggers like this: