Times Of Our Lives: 1977 – Punks Not Dead

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1977. A fabled year in music. The Sex Pistols had played to crowd of 40,000 at their legendary Manchester Free Trade Hall gig the year before and a generation was inspired to make some of the most influential music. Ever.

Or at least 40,000 claim to have attended. The musicerati of Manchester were there: Joy Division, New Order – we could add Electronic in there since they are more or less the same bands – with the Smiths, etc. Even Simply Red, for god’s sake. You have to take the good with the bad, I suppose.

Meanwhile, down in the sticks – we vacated suburbia in the spring of ’77 – punk was barely heard of. The local record store was excellent and entirely helpful; at the time, it was Tower Sounds, Woolworths and WH Smiths if you wanted any records.

My abiding memory of Smiths is – and I can’t place a year on this – rows of Status Quo’s 12 Gold Bars – a quick Google shows it be post-1980 – waiting to be purchased. Or used as weapons in a manner similar to Oddjob in Goldfinger.

1977. I cannot think of a better year to begin my Secondary education, musically at least. Older siblings proved useful as they passed down the records we should be listening to. Not just punk either.

And it’s this which I believe is punk’s legacy. Sod the nihilism and as much as you rebel, Joe Strummer nailed it when he claimed that “those who fuck nuns will end up in the church”.

The legacy of punk was introducing a wide range of music to the inquisitive, particularly reggae. Whilst they may have been well-known in the metropolis, reggae wasn’t heard in our part of the sticks until 1977 or at least not as widely.

Which romanticises it a bit more than I should to be honest but there you go. If I had to pick a year when life became unimaginable without music this would be it.

Artist Song
Sex Pistols Holidays In The Sun
The Stranglers No More Heroes
The Isley Brothers The Pride, Pts. 1 & 2
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell
Buzzcocks Orgasm Addict
The Clash Complete Control
The Rezillos Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
Magazine Shot By Both Sides
Television Marquee Moon
Wire Ex Lion Tamer
Talking Heads Psycho Killer
Elvis Costello Watching The Detectives
The Jam Away From The Numbers
David Bowie Heroes
Eddie & The Hot Rods Do Anything You Wanna Do
The Boomtown Rats Lookin’ After No. 1
Peter Gabriel Solsbury Hill
Ramones Rockaway Beach
Al Green Chariots of Fire
Alternative TV Love Lies Limp
Junior Murvin Police & Thieves
Ian Dury, The Blockheads Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
Fleetwood Mac Go Your Own Way
Mink DeVille Spanish Stroll
Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant

If the playlist below doesn’t work, click here to open in your browser.

 

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