August 12th, 2008

’77 The year of Punk & New Wave

Posted in bücher by Dolf

Helter Skelter, Southbank House, Black Prince Road, London SE 1 7SJ

77theyearof punk

This is a nice hardback editon of Henrik Bech Poulsen’s book on 1977 Punk & New Wave. The author was born in Denmark and grew up in the suburbs of Copenhagen but moved to Texas a decade ago. He was 13 years old in 1977. The almost 400 pages are a great reference work, listed are all Punk/New Wave bands from the UK and Ireland that released a record in ’77. Each listing is a short story/bio of the band, when where who they started, what they did, their music, etc., well written and researched. Then follows a 1977 Discography (with label codes) and a Post-1977 where is described what the band and/or their members did later on – that is / can be very interesting too see where certain people ended up, or – came from.

The book starts with an Author’s note & Acknowledgements followed by a bit longer Prologue. There Poulsen writes about what was going on in ’77: „the music press“, „record companies“, „creating a scene“, „punk reaches the masses“, „77 punk sound“, „pogo dancing“, etc. etc. All in all ok, but a bit short, keep in mind the author was 13, but he resarched well. I like the next section better: „1977 Punks on 1977 Punk“ where very many diffrent people who have been around then write what ’77 meant to them.

I like this quote by Andy Colquhon from Warsaw Pakt: „No more pretty chords in 1977. Recored companies, losing the youth market sales, were angry and dismissive at first, as were many of their artists. Then they scoured the street for new acts with bin-linger slogans, two chord Songs, amphetamie urgency, pegged pants and a rejection of anything and everything the cozy showbiz cartel represented. Smash it up if it’s boring Sidney! It was a revolution in style, but nothing really shock the entrenched status quo. The new bands demanded money not change. By 1978 one gang had replaced the other and adopted their goals. The music became new wave, semanticallly distanced from punk, offering the platform to acts who mixes pop music with the newly fashionable clothes marketed by the same shopkeepers who had promoted the change. It was business as usual, though the sparck had flashed and the flame burned bright in ’77.“

I did not read all the listings but it is good to know to have the book as a reference book. Otherwise, I was 12 in 1977, and I did not life in London so what do I know…. about ’77 Punk. Alot of it was stupid then and it is even more stupid nowadays, almost 30 years later. People will always copy. It is an essential book for every ’77 fan and a good one for collectors, alot of work was put in. 30.- $ + postage. (dolf)

Isbn 1-900924-92-7

[Trust# 120 Oktober 2006]

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