Home > Music > The glories of post-punk

The glories of post-punk

In 1978 there was nothing that seemed more immoral — apart from flared trousers — than liking music made as little as three or four years earlier. And at least that music was made with ambition and pretension, the kinds of things that one might have thought at least aimed to last. Yet here am I no less than thirty years later, and the three-minute anti-art throwaway glories of those years are as scintillating, sustaining and inspiring now as they were then. The Subway Sect’s Dontsplitit (Braik B-side, 1978) is Pollock plugged in, a workout in abstract expressionist noise-beauty. New Order’s Ceremony (Factory, 1980): I remember waiting for weeks to get my hands on the first post-Joy Division release; here it is now, with its curiously thrilling loping ringing bass, and quiet yearning about avenues all lined with trees. I’m so proud of those boys from Macc, who with little contact with the Academy found they could make beauty together. Wire, oh God, Wire… has anyone got closer to turning William Blake into a three minute pop song than Outdoor Miner (Harvest, 1978)?

I could go on for a long time. But perhaps two minutes 98 seconds is all one needs to say anything.

  1. December 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Everything is all the time now.

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