Trying to work out exactly when punk turned into something we now know as post punk is tricky because at the time post punk didn’t even exist. PIL, Gang Of Four, Subway Sect and Siouxsie were all considered punk even though they refused to conform to the stereotypical ‘Here’s three Chords’ mentality.
Wire were around before most of them, the first punk group most obviously swimming against the tide despite it being equally obvious they were absolute beginners. Now rightly lauded as an influence on everyone from R.E.M. to Elastica to LCD Soundsystem, they immediately appealed to my sensibilities. Incredibly they liked to think of themselves as a pop group and in an age when anything seemed possible, I agreed.
Naturally they sold next to nothing and were almost immediately consigned to cult status, but Wire continued to act as a catalyst for an in the know few who formed groups, moulded their ideas and turned them into an enduring influence. In that respect, they have become as important as fellow ahead of their time adventurers The Velvets, Captain Beefheart and The Stooges.
Of course, what Wire did was open the door to rock intellectualism at a time when that kind of thing was almost heresy. What’s more they did it without the usual snobbery or over elaboration, more often than not being as funny as they were biting. From the intimate minimalism of 1,2,3,4 punk ramalama to the enigmatic complexity of art rock, their first three LP’s are without any doubt whatsoever as important as anything in modern music culture and absolutely essential listening.
1. Mannequin / Single A Side November 1977
2. Reuters / Pink Flag LP November 1977
3. Field Day For The Sundays / Pink Flag LP November 1977
4. Three Girl Rhumba / Pink Flag LP November 1977
5. Ex Lion Tamer / Pink Flag LP November 1977
6. Lowdown / Pink Flag LP November 1977
7. Surgeons Girl / Pink Flag LP November 1977
8. Mr Suit / Pink Flag LP November 1977
9. Strange / Pink Flag LP November 1977
10. Fragile / Pink Flag LP November 1977
11. Champs / Pink Flag LP November 1977
12. I Am The Fly / Single A Side February 1978
13. Dot Dash / Single A Side June 1978
14. Men 2nd / Chairs Missing LP September 1978
15. Marooned / Chairs Missing LP September 1978
16. Sand In My Joints / Chairs Missing LP September 1978
17. I Feel Mysterious Today / Chairs Missing LP September 1978
18. Outdoor Miner / Single A Side January 1979
19. A Question Of Degree / Single A Side June 1979
20. Two People In A Room / 154 LP September 1979
21. On Returning / 154 LP September 1979
22. Map Reference 41N 93W / 154 LP September 1979
23. Our Swimmer / Single A Side May 1981
24. Drill / Snakedrill EP November 1986
25. Point Of Collapse / The Ideal Copy LP April 1987
26. Kidney Bongos / Single A Side March 1988
27. The Finest Drops / A Bell Is A Cup Until It Is Struck LP May 1988
28. Eardrum Buzz / It’s Beginning To And Back Again LP May 1989
29. Life In The Manscape / Single A Side May 1990