Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Head To Head
Log In
Unsung Forum »
Very British
Log In to post a reply

60 messages
Topic View: Flat | Threaded
Dog 3000
Dog 3000
4611 posts

Edited Dec 11, 2007, 19:09
Re: Very British
Dec 11, 2007, 19:05
"Punk" was definitely a very different dynamic in the UK. There never was any such thing as "popular punk" over here until Rancid and that kind of thing in the 1990's (seems to me the Sex Pistols record finally went platinum around then too.)

American "punk" had it's origins in 60's garage rock, carried on by a few dead-enders in the mid-70's (Stooges, Rocket From The Tombs, Dictators), then turning into a "hipster scene" specifically in NYC in the later 70's (most of the Cleveland scene moved to NY.)

Somehow this vibe got picked up in the UK and there was a safety pin explosion! But Sex Pistols were a total dud in the US (zero radio play; more like a mass media punchline about "those crazy kids today" than any kind of musical impact -- see notorious punk rocker episodes of TV shows "WKRP" and "CHiPs") The Clash didn't score a hit until they stopped sounding punk ("Train In Vain").

Instead, America got "New Wave" -- the corporate blandification of punk by crossing it with disco-friendly beats and adding synthesizers (ultimate example: Blondie.) My sense is the New Wave in turn had relatively little impact in the UK (were The Cars ever big over there -- at least before the 80's/MTV era?)

And maybe that explains the Clash's "problem" -- they went "new wave" with Sandanista!
Topic Outline:

Unsung Forum Index