BUZZCOCKS – ” Sell You Everything (1991-2014) ” Albums, Singles Rarities, Unreleased, 8CD Boxset

Posted: May 30, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Buzzcocks require no introduction. Pivotal to the punk and post-punk DIY movements, the group, led by frontman Pete Shelley and co-conspirator Steve Diggle, brought an essential pop sensibility and sartorial style to the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Having disbanded in 1981, the band re-grouped in 1989 and continue to write, record and perform to this day, despite the saddening and untimely loss of Pete Shelley in 2018. This handsome box set captures the eight albums and numerous singles the band produced with Shelley during a twenty three year period, alongside previously unheard rarities, demos and outtakes.

Packed with remarkable music, including excellent re-visits of much of their best loved material on ‘A Different Compilation’, ‘Sell You Everything’ showcases a longevity and a hunger rarely seen in a band now into their forty-second year.

Released in association with the band, ‘The 1991 Demo Album’ is alive with the combination of punk energy and melodic and memorable song writing the band’s reputation is founded on, and is both a long-awaited treat for fans and an important document of the group’s rebirth

When the Buzzcocks broke up following what, sad to say, were the worst three singles they’d ever made, it did feel as though that was it. What had been one of the sharpest, fun-est, poppiest and most successful of all the first generation punk bands was no more. Of course, now we know better. Reuniting in 1991, the band not only outlived their original incarnation, they dedicated the best part of quarter of a century to renewing, if not always refreshing, their legacy across what is now gathered together as an eight CD box set that contains… everything.

From the 1991 Demo LP that announced their return; through Trade Test Transmissions (1993), All Set (1996), Modern (1999), Buzzcocks(2003),Flat Pack Philosophy (2006) and the self-released The Way (2004), adding on demos, home recordings and live tracks, plus a collection of rerecordings that take us back to their first ever EP, this has to be the last word on the Buzzcocks archive.

In terms of the actual music, little had changed – Pete Shelley could still be relied upon to write the quirky sharp pop, Steve Diggle remained a rocker at heart. The balance of the songwriting would change over time, however. For the earlier albums, Shelley continued to pen the lion’s share of the songs; by the time of Buzzcocks, and again on The Way, the division was almost equal.

It was a smart move. In many ways, the later albums in this box are the most even, with the two songwriters almost-but-not-quite invading the other’s territory. Few people, one imagines, would ever hold up one of these albums as a true rival to Another Music in Another Kitchen or Love Bites, the first two albums from 1977/78. But in terms of solidity and, to an extent, an aversion to either novelty or space-filling jams, they are certainly stronger.

Of course, all bets are off as we confront disc seven. Subtitled A Different Compilation, it is the sound of the Buzzcocks readdressing their past from a couple of decades on, learning the lessons that both hindsight and however many live renditions had taught them, and what the likes of “Noise Annoys” “Oh Shit,” “Whatever Happened To” and “Ever Fallen In Love” lose in terms of freshness, they gain as true rock classics.

At their best, the Buzzcocks were one of the national treasures of punk-and-thereafter. We will never see their like again, but at least we can hear the whole story.

• DELUXE BOX SET COMPILING THE POST-REFORMATION YEARS, SPANNING THREE DECADES.

• 160 TRACKS, INCLUDING MANY NEVER BEFORE ON CD AND 29 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED RECORDINGS!

• INCLUDES THE ENTIRE 1991 DEMO ALBUM, HOME RECORDINGS FROM STEVE DIGGLE’S ARCHIVE, DEMOS AND RARE B-SIDES AND PROMOTIONAL ONLY TRACKS.

• ALSO INCLUDES ‘A DIFFERENT COMPILATION’, FEATURING RE-WORKED INTERPRETATIONS OF THE CLASSICS ‘EVER FALLEN IN LOVE’, ‘WHAT DO I GET’, ‘ORGASM ADDICT’ AND MORE.

• PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH STEVE DIGGLE AND BUZZCOCKS.

• BOOKLET INCLUDES SLEEVENOTES BY PAT GILBERT (MOJO MAGAZINE) BASED ON NEW INTERVIEWS WITH STEVE DIGGLE.

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