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Here Comes The New Wave OR What Is Punk?


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In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2012 12:59:28 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 5 Apr 2012 13:31:39 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2012 13:18:37 BDT
wobberoo says:
O.K,Mister Ed,comedy,The Dickies.Pure class is Raw Power,The Stooges.Also,a point to the discussion.One Chord Wonders,The Adverts.They knew they had little musical adeptness,to begin with.Hence the title.So you could form a band with your mates,not to become millionaires,but just to enjoy themselves.Sorry,just realised I called you Mister Ed.By the way,have you seen John Shuttleworth in The Lovely Eggs' video for Don't Look At Me? Very good,as are The Lovely Eggs.Are they Punk?Don't care!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2012 13:35:02 BDT
Gordon Dent says:
If age is an issue you'd have to say the UK Subs weren't punk (Charlie Harper was already 32 when the band formed in 1976), which would be ludicrous.

The Stranglers seem to have been ambivalent about defining themselves as a punk band. I used to have a recording of a Stranglers gig that was broadcast on the BBC (I think it was a John Peel show, although it might have been something like In Concert) where Hugh Cornwell said to the audience, "It's good to see you've been reading your News Of The World and you're all spitting like punks are supposed to."

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Apr 2012 10:06:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Apr 2012 10:07:27 BDT
T. Franklin says:
Charlie Harper? Bah, a mere child. Vi Subversa was 44 when the Poison Girls released their first record in 1979. ;-)

Posted on 6 Apr 2012 19:52:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Apr 2012 19:53:16 BDT
The UK punk movement was one of the worst events in the "popular music" history of this country IMO. I agree that in some ways it did echo the skiffle era insofar that groups were formed by guys who could barely play, indeed the punks appeared to revel in non-musical ability and shunned or even poured scorn on those who had training and exhibited talent. It was almost a nihilist movement which started a downward spiral in the musical business.

Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating necessarily on behalf of prog, as there was plenty of other proper music about, but punk was musical step about 3 decades backwards. We now have a generation that has grown up who consider that you do not even need a musical instrument to "produce music" as a computer and sampling will do the trick. I know I'm back on my bandwagon, but I consider it all started with punk when the 3 chord band thought they were musicians!!!!

Posted on 6 Apr 2012 21:30:48 BDT
T. Franklin says:
I think you can put much of the blame for that on the journalists/hacks of the time. It's already been noted that there were quite a few accomplished musicians in various punk groups - maybe not virtuosi but not one chord wonders either. It's likely that many were nervous about displaying command of their instruments for fear of being branded in with the 'boring old farts'.

The punk scene itself was undoubtedly a valuable corrective to some of the self-indulgence that had crept into the rock scene (as it does into any long running musical form). It was the music press with their "year zero" mentality that was so destructive. It took several years for prominent punk musicians to acknowledge their influences outside those narrow confines. Nothing changes.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Apr 2012 22:11:53 BDT
You might be right, and I am aware of my bias, but nonetheless I have cannot think of a UK punk band that I enjoyed & I certainly never purchased any TF.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2012 10:14:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Apr 2012 10:14:30 BDT
T. Franklin says:
Cornish - life would be immensely dull if we all liked the same things, eh!

Posted on 7 Apr 2012 11:28:34 BDT
No one remembers the punk bands who really couldn't play - they didn't make memorable records. But there were thousands of them ... there was a band on that live at the Roxy album, unsurprisingly I can't remember what they were called. But that's the point, on that album they were competing with Buzzcocks, Wire, X-Ray Spex etc. and all those bands had tunes and an attitude unique to themselves. Anyway whoever they were they were utterly talentless and couldn't play. That "anyone can do it" thing may well have inspired a lot of people to form bands, and in some cases that may have been a very good thing, but the only bands who were successful were the ones who had distinctive tunes. Same as always.

The Stranglers I mostly liked at the time, and saw as a (pretty dodgy) support band in 1975 - but despite the attitude they were never really a punk band, except perhaps the Something Better Change/Straighten Out single. Nor for that matter were the Only Ones, excellent as they were (are? is that still happening?)

Do The Standing Still - The Table???!

ff

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2012 12:31:03 BDT
CD, so many musical changes have been caused by technology - loud rock music by bigger amps, "dance" music by computers. Punk was probably an exception to that tbh - it was a reaction to the musical, social and political situations of the time. But really the tools don't matter - it's the inspiration that counts. Some punk bands that couldn't play very well made great records because they had the tunes and the right attitude. They usually became good players pretty soon afterwards, and expanded their musical horizons. Technically great players are entirely capable of making dull records.

The trouble with computers is not that you can't make good music with them, it's that you can make competent sounding music without being talented.

ff

Posted on 7 Apr 2012 17:03:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Apr 2012 00:01:13 BDT
MC Zaptone says:
Unless you stick with 'live' music ALL recorded music relies heavily on computers these days.
And what do CD and others mean making 'music by computer'? It's not some magic box that does all the work for you. At the very least you need piano/keyboard skills to compose. All a computer can do is repeat sounds where you choose to place them, you still have to be a skilled composer. Bob Dylan; Neil Young and a whole host of respected artists compose with the aid of computers, some record instruments, augment the sound and then try to recreate it with live instruments others use programmes PLUS instruments but at the end of the day the computer played a major part. Just because a band appears on stage with traditional musical instruments doesn't mean a whole host of computer gimmickry isn't involved by the time it reaches your ears. Why bother making a distinction, there really is very little.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2012 21:53:20 BDT
That's off the Live X-Cert album which is a fabulous document which just oozes menace and sheer agression. Great punk/new wave whatever.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Apr 2012 13:00:09 BDT
All true MCW. From that p.o.v. I think I prefer music that is overtly computer generated rather than apparently "live" instruments tidied up in the studio with computer tools - and like CD I prefer genuine real-time interaction between musicians to either the vast majority of the time. But ultimately the only thing that matters is what comes out of the speakers.

ff

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 16:06:05 BDT
Nugent Dirt says:
CD - then again rock music's plagued with barely competant guitarists, singers and drummers, a multitude of uninspiring bass players and a smattering of superfluous keyboardists. Their musical efforts are just as manipulated as electronic music is what with different types of effects pedals and digital equivalents not to mention all the studio trickery. You only need listen to the risible live performances from Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and many others as proof. Pretty much any c@ckhanded numpty can pick up an electric guitar, turn up the distortion and turn on a few pedals and lo and behold...rock n roll. All those tricks of the trade you can do with an e/g like tapping etc. It aint difficult and sounds quite impressive with all the electronics switched on.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2012 22:43:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Apr 2012 22:44:41 BDT
wobberoo says:
I need a guitarist,drummer,bass player and vocalist, for a great new band I'm putting together.Keyboard player is covered,by the maestro himself,Mr John Shuttleworth.Or should that be ambassador? Anyway,I digress,can you do the rest?.I'll be the manager/road-crew.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2012 23:46:40 BDT
I have to take you to task re AC/DC, Nuge. They can play everything they ever stuck on an album live as they kept it so straight forward. Seen them twice and enjoyed both occasions immensely. I reckon that they could amaze, in a good way, if they had to do it with an all acoustic setup, such is their approach.

Zep could do it on a regular basis to an amazing level until Pages "lifestyle issues" started to take their toll from 73 onwards.

You are right to suggest that a lot of bands depend on the ability to tweeze, or even create, performances from dross using technology and are thereby electronically manipulated/sequenced/edited in the same way as purely electronic music.

However the ability to improv during a live show and to turn a tune on its head the way The Grateful Dead could is not feasible without folk performing on instruments of which they are masters. Kraftwerks Minimum Maximum is one of my top twenty live albums and yet I struggle to hear what it is that they are doing live that is not the product of a studio. Mind you they turned in a firey and adrenaline charged show at the Tribal Gathering show the BBC recorded a few years ago.

I hope this makes some sort of sense.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 09:43:54 BDT
Nugent Dirt says:
Take your point about AC/DC smitty. I guess they'd have to be extremely c@ckhanded to nause it up live. Viz my main point about electronic manipulation, we all know of many songs and albums that were with most or none of the musicians actually recorded together. And even when bands have been together in the studio how many takes does it often require until they get it right. Scores, even hundreds of times. And we know about all the heavy reworking of albums like Boston's debut and Hysteria. So when rock fans point the finger at electronica acts for not playing real instruments think on't.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 09:49:02 BDT
Yes, Hysteria was just well out of the ball park for sheer unnecessary in the face of talent tweakery. Mutt Lange must have been on some serious meds to have even thought of recording the chords one note at a time.

The dangers of over reliance in the studio is obviously the bands inability to deliver live, in the case of the talentless.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 11:05:49 BDT
David E says:
Boston's first album may have been over-produced but I saw them live at the (now sadly gone) Rainbow and they could certainly play live.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 12:16:41 BDT
T. Franklin says:
Not sure how an album largely recorded in Tom Scholz's basement could be called overproduced. He is somewhat of a perfectionist though, and played pretty much everything himself on that first record.

As for the Leppard album I'd agree it's very overworked (though the band can do the songs live), but that's largely down to Mutt Lange's bizarre way of working, eg I've heard that he would record guitar chords one string at a time and then create the whole from the bits. Totally weird, and it's not surprising the band got tired of all that rigmarole.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 12:55:28 BDT
Nugent Dirt says:
But Scholz still took months and months fine tuning the first album. To my ears it's too clean and glossy and could've done with some edge. overproduction isnt just the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. It can be constant tweaking and buffing up.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 16:18:35 BDT
T. Franklin says:
That's the perfectionist/obsessive coming through. Scholz didn't like Boston's second album, claiming it was released due to record company pressure despite it taking two years. The third album didn't appear for another 8 years after that.

In the man's defence he thought his original demos for the first Boston album were good enough to release, but the record company made him redo it.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 16:55:53 BDT
Nugent Dirt says:
I guess they wanted it all shiny and glossy for the mass market just like the rest of corporate rock product. Dont get me wrong, there were some decent tunes on the debut but a rawer and tougher sound would've made it better.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 20:12:07 BDT
I first encountered punk about February 1976 when I was attending Barnet Tech College. A group of them would get on at Tottenham Court tube and get off at Finchley. The whole thing was about shock value - the lads used to shake their beer cans and spray it over each other and the girls used to p** in public, just to get a reaction from the 'old fa*ts'. Pretty harmless stuff compared to these days but at the time my thoughts were I've got to be part of this. The early bands used to play the pubs, notably the Hope & Anchor, Islington and clubs like The Roxy. I would drive up to London at least three times a week to see them. Most of these bands never got recording contracts. They usually only had about three songs and would often repeat them as part of their set. A few, e.g. The Suspects, found their way onto compilation albums.

As I remember the only US band that had any credibility with UK punks was The Ramones. Everything else that came out from the US was "New Wave" and regarded initially as rubbish. We were quite fickle as to who was punk and who were posers even amongst UK bands. Of the bands that got contracts The Clash, The Damned, The Buzzcocks, The Slits, The Adverts and Siouxsie Sue & The Banshees these had wide acceptance whereas The Sex Pistols, X-Ray Spex and The Vibrators were treated with suspicion. I'm sure there were some punks who treated any band who got a recording contract with suspicion.

The Jam were never a punk band. Before they released In The City they were a regular feature, playing requests at Woking Working Mens Club. Paul Weller lived on Shearwater Estate which also gave birth to The Members. Rick Butler used to knock around with my girlfriend's social circle who tended to be into bands like Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Steve Miller Band. And in the house I shared along with Mr. and Mrs. Ray Zerblade we played a range of music including Joan Armatrading, Aphrodites Child, Doc Alimantado, Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan. Just because we might have only played three chords didn't mean we were unable to appreciate good music.

Punk from my experience was full of contradictions but it hasn't stopped the music journalists and other social commentators trying to make sense (and money) from endlessly debating it. I hate them all the more for doing so.

Posted on 14 Apr 2012 13:25:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Apr 2012 22:50:10 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
I never saw or heard anything I liked about the whole punk scene, apart from being slightly amused by the antics of John Lydon. However if the whole punk movement was necessary to give birth to PiL and Magazine it was all worth it.
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Discussion in:  rock discussion forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  52
Initial post:  3 Apr 2012
Latest post:  16 Apr 2012

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