Post Punk / Songs Of The Free 1978 - 1980


1978 - 1979


01  Public Image Ltd : Public Image : Single A side October 1978

02  Subway Sect : Ambition : Single A side October 1978

03  Gang Of Four : Damaged Goods : Damaged Goods EP October 1978

04  Siouxsie & The Banshees : Overground : The Scream LP November 1978

05  Public Image Ltd : Annalisa : Public Image LP December

06  Joy Division : Digital : A Factory Sampler EP January 1979

07  The Fall : Frightened : Live At The Witch Trials LP January 1979

08  Teardrop Explodes : Camera Camera : Single B side February 1979

09  Scars : Horrorshow : Single A side March 1979

10  Magazine : Give Me Everything : Secondhand Daylight LP March 1979

11  The Pop Group : She Is Beyond Good And Evil : Single A side March 1979

12  Fatal Microbes : Violence Grows : Single A side March 1979

13  Public Image Ltd : Death Disco : Single A side June 1979

14  The B52’s : Planet Claire : The B52’s LP July 1979

15  Joy Division : Shadowplay : Unknown Pleasures LP August 1979

16  Wire : Two People In A Room : 154 LP September 1979

17  Gang Of Four : I Found That Essence Rare : Entertainment LP September 1979

18  Talking Heads : Life During Wartime : Fear Of Music LP August 1979

19  Scritti Politti : Double Beat : 4 A Sides EP September 1979

20  The Slits : Newtown : Cut LP September 1979

21  The Contortions : Contort Yourself : Buy LP November 1979

22  Public Image Ltd : Careering : Metal Box LP December 1979




01  A Certain Ratio : Flight : The Graveyard And The Ballroom Cassette January 1980

02  Joy Division : Atmosphere : Single A side March 1980

03  The Cure : Play For Today : Seventeen Seconds LP April 1980

04  The Beat : Two Swords : I Just Can’t Stop It LP May 1980

05  Human League : The Black Hit Of Space : Travelogue LP May 1980

06  Magazine : A Song From Under The Floorboards : Correct Use Of Soap LP May 1980

07  Bauhaus : Terror Couple Kill Colonel : Single A side June 1980

08  Joy Division : Twenty Four Hours : Closer LP July 1980

09  Echo & The Bunnymen : Crocodiles : Crocodiles LP July 1980

10  Swell Maps : The Helicopter Spies : Jane From Occupied Europe LP July 1980

11  Dexy’s Midnight Runners : Burn It Down : Searching For The Young Soul Rebels LP      July 1980

12  Associates : Even Dogs In The Wild : The Affectionate Punch LP August 1980

13  The Specials : International Jet Set : More Specials LP September 1980

14  Simple Minds : I Travel : Empires And Dance LP September 1980

15  The Fall : Totally Wired : Single A Side September 1980

16  Killing Joke : Complications : Killing Joke LP October 1980

17  Talking Heads : Houses In Motion : Remain In Light LP October 1980

18  Adam & The Ants : Ants Invasion : Kings Of The Wild Frontier LP November 1980

19  U2 : An Cat Dubh : Boy LP November 1980

20  Blue Orchids : Disney Boys : Single A side November 1980

21  Orange Juice : Simply Thrilled Honey : Single A side December 1980


    Punk was never built to last, we knew it even then, so when it descended into a squalid, caricature of its once glorious self in the long hot Jubilee Summer of 1977, it came as no surprise. Populated by a new breed of glue sniffing sheep wallowing in a miserable, violent abyss, it felt as if a once bright future of infinite possibility had turned into a litany of tribal tyranny, mohican haircuts and High Street fashion. The fragile punk unity of working class realism and artful innovation fractured and dispersed, each nurturing its own version of what punk meant and its own vision of where to next.
   Oddly, music culture has never really made up its mind about the ‘art’ word, so often used as an insult and regarded as the antithesis of rock’n’roll; privileged, bohemian and somehow inauthentic. Infact, punk itself was often perceived as a revolt against such pretensions, despite the arty backgrounds of McClaren, Westwood, their Kings Road coterie and punk’s original movers and shakers. Ironically it would be a similarly driven handful of provincial misfits who would form the post punk vanguard.

   Of course, it could be argued that post punk is just another meaningless term to encapsulate the wide range of music that emerged from punk’s shadow, and that argument would be right because it is just a 21st century invention of journalists too young to have been there. Yet even without such a handy generic title, we knew instinctively that all the participants were connected and that connection was punk.

   Naturally John Lydon was the first to start swimming against the tide. A couple of years earlier, amidst the chaos of the Pistols, the singer would answer questions about his groups supposed destruction of rock’n’roll with a dismissive “Who cares about the music?” But Public Image Ltd were all about the music; exploratory, brutal and mesmerising. That such an iconic figure was prepared to cast off the ghosts of Johnny Rotten, the Pistols, Mclaren, sad Sid and his old audience was significant enough, but to pull the limbs from rock’n’roll’s bloated corpse was even more momentous. Suddenly, groups began to explore new sonic possibilities through electronics, noise, dub, funk, disco, musique concrete and the avant-garde, unattainable dreams becoming attainable reality for anyone with a good idea galvanised into action by a hugely influential music press, the aberration of Thatcher, fascist violence, mass unemployment, a near police state and a widescale looting of 20th century art, literature, philosophy and movements. The manifesto of individuality finally kicked in and there were none more individual than Vic Godard, Siouxsie, Mark E Smith, Julian Cope, Howard Devoto, Mark Stewart, Ian Curtis, David Byrne, Green Gartside, Ari Up, Billy Mackenzie, Jerry Dammers, Robert Smith, Phil Oakey, Ian McCulloch, Kevin Rowland, Billy Mackenzie, Jaz Coleman, Adam Ant or even Bono.

   If punk was nihilistic and destructive, post punk was the polar opposite, positive and constructive, a reason to get excited again with a mesh of activity and discussion that made the world more interesting and life more meaningful. Punk may have been the shared point of origin, but what followed was a space of possibility where anything could happen and usually did. Post punk was a discourse about music and out of that discourse a whole range of new genres eventually emerged. What united them all was a set of open ended imperatives, innovation, deliberate oddness and a timely rejection of all things precedented. After ‘The Big Bang’ of punk it was the new dawn we had all been fighting for.                                                                                                    


July 2012