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1
Goon Squad
Elvis Costello & The Attractions
03:14
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I Believe
Buzzcocks
07:09
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Life During Wartime - 2005 Remaster
Talking Heads
03:41
4
Down in the Park
Gary Numan / Tubeway Army
04:24
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Careering
Public Image Ltd.
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Reel By Reel - 2001 Digital Remaster
XTC
03:47
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Grinding Halt
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The 15th - 2006 Remastered Version
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Back To Nature - 2007 Digital Remaster
Magazine
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Repetition - 2017 Remaster
David Bowie
03:00
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Fairytale in the Supermarket
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I Heard It Through The Grapevine
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Printhead
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Vertical Slum
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No Solution - 2008 re-mastered version
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Burning Sky
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02:51
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Quality Crayon Wax O.K.
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Ü
Kleenex
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Clampdown - Remastered
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Little Bitch - 2015 Remaster
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Shadowplay - 2007 Remaster
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Empire State Human - Remastered 2003
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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
03:32

Post-Punk 1979

1979 marks the beginning of what one will call ‘post-punk’. Don’t expect to hear hits in this playlist as great as they all are, but very minor singles or album tracks.

Two years after punk had exploded on to the tabloid front pages, more for its shock factor than its music, the landscape was changing. In Britain, Thatcher was forming her first government and ten weeks later Gangsters, the first 2-Tone single, hit the charts. Those two events are not entirely unconnected.

Musically, most of the original punk and new wave acts were beginning to explore different directions, none more so than John Lydon. Although Magazine, Wire or Talking Heads may argue, Public Image Ltd (PiL) can lay good claim to be the first ‘post-punk’ band. Metal Box was a seriously boundary-pushing album; intense, sparse and dubby. It is light years apart from the tosh being put out by Malcolm McLaren under the name of the Sex Pistols on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle.

It was the year when the kids who had been influenced by the punk explosion and formed bands of their own began to emerge. Only a few called it ‘post-punk’ back then, but with the emergence of acts as diverse as Joy Division, The Fall, Talking Heads, XTC, The Slits, Tubeway Army, The Cure, The Specials, OMD, Human League and Echo & the Bunnymen it was obvious that creative minds were pulling punk in many different directions.

You’ll notice that none of my choices were hits, all either very minor singles or album tracks. My guess is you’ll already know Are Friends Electric, Gangsters, Heart of Glass, Eton Rifles, London Calling, Teenage Kicks or Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick, as great as they all are. I thought I would show the depth of material that most bands were offering their fans.

Thirty-two-year-old David Bowie wasn’t post-punk, you say? Well, I say without David you would never have heard of 90% of these acts. In 1979 Lodger completed his ‘Berlin’ trio of albums, records that exerted power at the time and still influence the songwriters of today. Repetition clearly belongs on this list.

As far as the charts are concerned disco ruled the waves and Blondie went into the stratosphere with "Heart of Glass" by blending disco with new wave. However, their follow-up album Eat to the Beat was a disappointment, apart from "Atomic", which would be released as a single in 1980. The Jam broke through as a Top 5 singles band and #1 hits would follow for them next year. Ian Dury and the Boomtown Rats both had #1s. Dury’s "Hit me with your Rhythm Stick" still sounds fresh and magnificent 40 years on, whilst "I Don’t Like Mondays" just sounds like Springsteen with a Dublin accent.

Back then, The Police were a hot new wave band and were just scoring their first mainstream successes. By the year’s end, they’d had two #1 singles and were on their way to becoming one of the biggest bands on the planet. Fast forward 40 years and no-one has a good word to say about them or their singer. “Message in a Bottle”, however, remains a pretty good single.

As the new decade took shape the post-punk pond would flourish with dozens of various sub-sectors and their labels; Goth, Indie, Trash, Industrial, Synthpop, New Romantic, avant-punk, punk-funk, shoegaze, Postcard, Fast, Mute, 4AD, Factory, Rough Trade, to disparate extent. It would be near-impossible to be a fan of all these elements, that is unless your name happens to be John Peel.

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