1979 compilation remastered. Original tracklisting. Also available on CD.
Buzzcocks were one of the first wave of UK punk bands but unlike the London based bands, this lot hailed from Manchester and were formed after two friends Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto read an NME review of one of The Sex Pistols earliest shows. The pair were so excited, despite not having heard a note, travelled to London to see the group in February 1976. They arranged for Rotten and co. to play in Manchester so they could support them but when their other recruits dropped before the show they had to wait until the Pistols returned to Manchester in July of that year when they realised their dream with the addition of Steve Diggle (bass) and John Maher (drums).
Buzzcocks were off and running and they next created their own cottage industry when they self recorded their debut EP and released it themselves on their own label: New Hormones. “Spiral Scratch” was a low-fi affair but bristling with energy and attitude and it quickly sold out of it’s pressing of a 1000 copies. They ordered more copies and it supposedly sold 16000 in the end, and inspiring many more groups and entrepreneurs to enter the record making game and creating the independent label movement which ended the near total monopoly of the major companies.
Ironically, Buzzcocks wound up siging to United Artists Records in 1977 after Devoto quit the group to form a new group: Magazine. Diggle switched to guitar and his bass slot was taken up by Steve Garvey. This line-up recorded a string of singles which are all featured here on what was the bands first and to be frank, best compilation covering both sides of the eight singles issued around their first albums between 1977-1979.
The opening track and bold debut single for the label “Orgasm Addict” was banned by the BBC for it’s lyrical content but after this all their singles made the UK charts - their cunning mixture of buzzsaw punk guitars, hummable melodies and Pete Shelley’s lyrics exploring relationships of an ambiguous nature. Along the way, “Ever Fallen In Love” almost made the Top 10 and remains their best known song.
This album was originally compiled for and released in the US prior to their tour there in late 1979. After the band split up in 1981, it gained a belated release in the UK where it became the standard starter pack for inquisitive music fans.