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Joy Division – Transmission

26th November 2022 · 1970s, 1979, Music

Of the three or four times I saw Joy Division, oddly the occasion I remember most is the time I didn’t. Because I couldn’t get in.

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The Glaxo Babies may be the most underrated band of the immediate post-punk era; or all time. They certainly deserve to be celebrated in the pantheon of Bristol bands alongside The Pop Group, Portishead and Massive Attack. 

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The Pop Group never sold many records but their legacy has been huge in their influence on other bands. Nick Cave, whose band The Birthday Party was very much in their image, acclaimed this song as their masterpiece.

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RIP Wilko Johnson (Dr Feelgood, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Solid Senders) 1947-2022. Gone but never forgotten.

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John Otway is one of those great English eccentrics this country occasionally produces, like Vivian Stanshall and Syd Barrett. In a career spanning half a century he’s had just two hit singles, 25 years apart. This is the first of them, with his musical partner Wild Willy Barrett.

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Iggy Pop – Turn Blue

24th November 2022 · 1970s, 1977, Music
Coming so soon after The Idiot later in 1977, Iggy’s next album Lust For Life – another collaboration with Bowie – seemed somehow frivolous by comparison.

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This oddity is one of Brian Eno’s most interesting deep cuts. It was the B-side to King’s Lead Hat, the single from his 1977 solo album Before And After Science.

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The first time I came across Grace Jones was in 1977 with her radical disco-meets-bossa nova take on Edith Piaf’s signature song La Vie En Rose.

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Listening now to their debut single, Tell Me Your Plans, it’s hard to see (or hear) how The Shirts were ever considered a punk band. Yet they were staples at CBGBs in that golden era of the mid-Seventies that spawned The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads and Blondie.

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The hot summer night Pulp and Leftfield played in an outdoor amphitheatre in Barcelona. And I was there.

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