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No More Heroes: A Complete History of UK Punk from 1976 to 1980 [Paperback]

Alex Ogg
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 700 pages
  • Publisher: Cherry Red Books (5 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901447650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901447651
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 16 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 753,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alex Ogg is an author and journalist specialising in arts and popular music, especially punk, post-punk, hip-hop and independent/indie. His books include Independence Days, a comprehensive guide to the foundation of the independent principle in 70s/80s Britain, No More Heroes, an even larger cataloguing of the UK punk movement concentrating on some of the less celebrated artists, and The Hip Hop Years, which accompanied the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary strand. Other books include biographies of Radiohead, Def Jam founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, the trivia book Top Ten (again accompanying a Channel 4 TV series) and an analysis of hip-hop lyrics. He has written introductions to books on the White Stripes and others and contributed to most major music encyclopaedias (Guinness, Virgin, AMG, Rough Guides, etc)

Alex has also written for numerous newspapers (The Times, Herald), magazines (Classic Rock, Record Collector, Big Takeover) and websites (The Quietus, Rocksbackpages) as well as compiling more than 100 sleevenotes. These include his extended essay for Pillows & Prayers, a box set that in 2008 won the Mojo Back Catalogue Award. He is a consultant for two publishing houses and takes great pride in the fact that in 2009 he was asked to write an introductory essay for the Worth Classics edition of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. He is also the editor of the new academic journal Punk & Post-Punk, to be launched by Intellect in 2011.

Product Description


In 1976, music changed forever with the arrival of a self-empowering alternative to the bloated, sterile rock music of the day. From Cardiff to Caithness, from Portrush to Plymouth, bands promoted their own gigs, designed their own artwork and organised their own pressing and distribution. This exhaustive book, based on over 200 interviews with the participants, chronicles not only the good and the great, the icons of the punk movement, but also celebrates some of the fantastic lost bands and music of the era, as well as the cash-ins and artistic failures. There are detailed accounts, often at variance with conventional wisdom, about the career paths of the Pistols, the Clash, the Damned, the Buzzcocks, the Stranglers and Siouxsie & The Banshees. But "No More Heroes" also recounts the also-rans, the nearly men and women and those who simply made their statement to the world and then left the stage. Bands like the Desperate Bicycles, the Fruit Eating Bears and Helpless Hew.

Stories that take in drug addiction, the Eurovision Song Contest, organised crime, contemptuous audiences, shows that were so poorly attended the musicians were arrested on suspicion of breaking and entering, jealous bingo callers, hippy-baiting, nervous breakdowns and publishing deals written on the back of beer mats. It is an exhaustive A-Z overview of the phenomenon, including extensive biographical notes, complete discographies, and a buyer's guide to help sort the wheat from the chaff among the thousands of CD reissues that have emerged in the last decade. Many of the accompanying photographs have never been published before. The year 2006 is the 30th anniversary of Punk Music exploding in the UK and this is the most detailed definite book on the subject to date. Alex Ogg is a London-based author whose work includes "The Hip Hop Years", which accompanied the award-winning Channel 4 TV documentary, "Rap Lyrics from The Sugarhill Gang to Eminem", "The Men Behind Def Jam", "Radiohead: Standing At The Edge", "Channel 4's Top Ten", etc.

He is the former editor of "Spiral Scratch" magazine and has written dozens of liner notes for punk bands including the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Undertones, Penetration, Adverts, Skids, Ruts, Sham 69 and many others.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars belting history of early uk punk 30 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
first off, i have to admit that my band (the negatives, from bradford) are in the book.....but even without that, the premise behind the book is like John Peel on paper. hundreds of bands, from the ground up rather than the top down - the DIY-ness of the scene back then is captured through the thoughts of those who were there.....from bands recording in the front room, and having to stop while mum watched the evening news, to singers ending up appearing in, you won't know who he is! There's information on major bands too, but most of these bands have already been well covered in their own biogs or in the books on "punk" in general. This, to my knowledge, is the first comprehensive discussion with loads of little bands covering their history AND discography....John Robb's excellent "Oral History" book talked to plenty of people within the movement and got into what people got out of it, and where they were, what they did etc...but Alex Ogg has trawled the country to find out about bands that probably not only had YOU forgotten about them, but their parents had too! get this and you will not be disappointed...i'm reading mine in the time between soundcheck and stage time hahaha!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I, like the previous reviewer from the Negatives, also have to admit that I'm in this book [Birmingham's Cult Figures].

However it is a great effort by the writer Alex Ogg, all the obscure bands you had forgotten are there, along with all the ones you wish you could forget, and the ones you can't believe ever existed! There are other people releasing the records [see '7" Up singles only-cdhw 103-2' for mine! And the great Messthetics compilations for many others], but a book like this is long overdue.

I even realised from reading this book that three seemingly straight, suited people I worked with nearly 20 years ago were in a punk band together....phew! mind blowing...

If you were there, pretend you were there, or if your forming your first band read this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab your anorak 12 Aug 2007
Can I state clearly that I'm not featured in this book. But I was into what was called Punk and suffer from that peculiar melancholy that seems to afflict so many of us who were caught up in the scene from '76 to early '78. This is a great satisfying book, I well remember the 'big' groups of the time that I saw, The Adverts, Damned, X Ray Spex, Adam & the Ants, Siousxie, Clash etc, but had forgotten so many of the other groups that were around at the time, many that I'd seen by accident, or bought thier records simply because I liked the name or artwork on the sleeve. Alex has done a remarkable and heroic job of listing these less well known, but equally important 'lost' groups and telling their story, which really is what Punk was about. Burning twice as bright, but half as long. I loved the Damned, but never really expected them to be still limping their bloated bodies around so many years later! I had a huge chunk of my record collection stolen some years back, this has been a great help in jogging my middle aged memory and providing catalogue details for my missing vinyl. Thanks Alex
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No More Heroes... 23 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have more than a passing interest in the original punk scene circa 1976-80 then you need this book.I'm not featured in the pages and have no vested interest in bigging up this title.You'll not find every single band you're looking for in it and was disappointed there was no entry for the Fruit Eating Bears,The Autographs and several others.That is explained away in the intro where it's clear the book had to be edited down.Love to see a volume 2 with the rest of the bands that sadly didn't make the final copy.That said,the author has done a superb job on rounding up both the well known and the so called lesser groups.

Any disappointment at not finding info on some bands was more than made up for with pieces on the excellent but long forgotten Ordinarys,Headache,Satan's Rats,UXB and dozens more besides.Packed full of interesting anecdotes and recording details this is a truely excellent volume that comes highly recommended!
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