Essential Albums

  • Singles Going Steady (Deluxe Version)

Artist Playlists

About Buzzcocks

For generations, Manchester has been ground zero for forward-thinking indie music—and for that, you can thank Buzzcocks. College mates/guitarists Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley formed the band in 1976 at the dawn of punk’s first wave and, that June, booked the notorious Sex Pistols gig at Lesser Free Trade Hall where future members of Joy Division and The Fall found their calling. And their 1977 debut EP, Spiral Scratch, was not only among the first UK punk releases, but also the scene’s first truly DIY artifact. Buzzcocks would be legends for those feats alone—however, following Devoto’s departure in 1977, Shelley and bassist-c*m-guitarist Steve Diggle brought their innate ear for Beatles-esque melody to the fore and invented pop-punk as we know it, yielding timeless expressions of sexual frustration (“Orgasm Addict”) and, through the lens of the openly bi Shelley, unrequited queer desire (“Ever Fallen in Love”). After splitting in 1981, Buzzcocks enjoyed a fruitful second act in the ‘90s, just as the sound they pioneered was enjoying its Green Day-powered resurgence. And even after Shelley’s 2018 death, Diggle has taken the reins, ably honouring the group’s legacy on the revved-up 2022 single “Senses Out of Control”.

Bolton, Greater Manchester, England

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