If impact and influence are true measures of a band's lasting greatness, Manchester's legendary Buzzcocks should already be in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
Three bands from the now mythical 1976/77 British punk explosion set the benchmarks for everything that was to follow â€“ the Sex Pistols, the Clash and Buzzcocks. Practically inventing the independent record scene with their seminal self-financed EP Spiral Scratch, Buzzcocks instantly forged a unique relationship with their public. The band went on to break away from the Pistolsâ€™ anarchy and the Clash's overt politicism, signing to United Artists on the day Elvis died and producing a string of hit singles that welded high-octane guitar, bass and drum power with heartrending personal statements of love won and lost or dismay at the modern world.
Three classic albums - Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Love Bites, and A Different Kind of Tension - were released in '78/79, charting the progress of a band on top form and not afraid to mix the experimental with the instant or of being constrained by their punk rock roots.
Buzzcocks are the true godfathers of punk-pop, having laid down an infinitely superior archetype. The band is unfazed by their explosive impact on younger bands, both famous and underground, from pop to punk and all in between. In recent times, the Offspring, Anti-Flag and Ash have all covered Buzzcocks songs.
Buzzcocks are a group with a past, present, and future. It is a history the group's members could never have imagined back in the hot punk rock summer of 1976. Says Pete Shelley: "Looking back on it now, what's going on is like echoes of the Big Bang. Look around you in society and the culture; so many things would not have been the same if there never was punk rock. It's strange, like a science fiction novel. But to us at the time, it just sprung naturally."