Episode 32 - Peak Post Punk, Part 2

A measure of how brilliant 1979 was for music is a setlist that didn't make it onto either of these podcasts. Which is:-

The Staircase, Siouxsie and the Banshees

Car Trouble, Adam and the Ants

Permafrost, Magazine

Going through the motions, The Prefects

Dream Baby Dream, Suicide

Suspect Device, Stiff Little Fingers

Human Fly, The Cramps

TV As Eyes, Chrome

Get Over You, The Undertones

Empire State Human, The Human League

Oliver's Army, Elvis Costello

Making plans for Nigel, XTC

Sweet Gene Vincent, Ian Dury

The Fabulous Sequel, Pere Ubu

Kingdom Come, Tom Verlaine

Are 'Friends' Electric, Tubeway Army

Cars, Gary Numan

Bibbly-o-tek, Scritti Politti

24 Track Loop, This Heat

From here to eternity, The Only Ones

Like spoons no more, The Mekons

Oliver's Army, Elvis Costello and the Attractions

On a personal note, that is all for this series of Sombrero Fallout. I've loved every minute of it. If only it paid a small salary, it would never end. I've loved reconnecting with so many old friends, and making some new ones too. Thank you for your warm support and encouragement in this trip into the unknown. I hope to be back before too long.

For the last time for now, here's this episode's tracklist:-

Map Ref 41 deg N, 93 deg W, Wire 

Cities, Talking Heads 

Nag nag nag, Cabaret Voltaire 

Typical Girls, The Slits 

Memories, PIL

My Mind Dub, Augustus Pablo 

Strange Town, The Jam 

People Say, The Go Betweens  

Rebellious Jukebox, The Fall 

Don’t throw ashtrays at me, Swell Maps

You, Kleenex 

Messages, OMD 

She is beyond good and evil, The Pop Group

Powderfinger, Neil Young

Boys Don’t Cry, The Cure 

Transmission, Joy Division

Episode 31 - Peak Post Punk, Part One

1979. What a year to be alive.

Actually it wasn't that great. Britain, where I grew up, seemed to have been going downhill as the '70s swerved crazily from side to side, with no obvious sign of anti-skid braking. Culminating in the Winter of Discontent, with bodies piling up unburied, as even the gravediggers went on strike (I don't really remember that, but it's entered the mythology). I do remember long cold mornings waiting for the Number 15 to take me to school, when sometimes it turned out the bus drivers had caught the strike bug as well.

A new broom Tory Party swept to victory in May with all that that entailed. More pressingly for me, I was worried my inadequacies in Plato and Greek Prose would expose me in my 'A' Level exams looming on the horizon. Just as alarmingly, there was no immediate queue of girls wanting to have their way with me. I can't say I blamed them.

Musically however, 1979 was as good as it got. For post-punk, anyway. The concept of progress, to which I unconsciously subscribed, suggested that music would just get better and better from hereon in. Punk had metamorphosed into a multi-tentacled, multi-genre "New Wave" thing called post-punk, all of which I found thoroughly intriguing. In fact this 'progress' came to a juddering halt sometime in the second half of 1980. The end of Joy Division spelled the beginning of the end for the post-punk project (whatever that means). Before long Spandau Ballet became an alternative. To what?

My access to new sounds was threefold. John Peel, 10-12, Mondays to Thursdays, Radio 1. The NME. And, equally importantly, the record lending department attached to Coventry Central Library. Innocent times, when a really long undanceable song with no chorus about robot prostitutes could get to number one. A year so brimful of good music that quite a few chart toppers even were wonderful. I didn't find room for Are Friends Electric? on either of these shows, so spoiled for choice were we. Heart of Glass got to number one too! Although the gospel ballad One Day At A Time by Lena Martell made it to the top in 1979, we must faithfully record; as did I Don't Like Mondays, a song I heartily despise.

So many musical styles on this show, you're bound to find something that pleases. If not, I suspect Sombrero Fallout maybe isn't your thing. Part Two to follow very shortly. Tracklist:-

Rudie, A Message to You, The Specials 

Revolution Rock, The Clash 

Fairytale in the supermarket, The Raincoats 

5.45, The Gang of Four

Unconquered people, Israel Vibration

Bouncing Babies, The Teardrop Explodes

Pictures on my wall, Echo and the Bunnymen

Into the valley, The Skids 

Do the Du, A Certain Ratio 

Hot on the heels of love, Throbbing Gristle

Heart of Glass, Blondie

Irie Nyah Keith, Burning Spear

Duchess, The Stranglers

California Uber Alles, Dead Kennedies