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4.6 out of 5 stars42
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 February 2004
Long before the Stone Roses were the darlings of the Manchester indie scene, the Buzzcocks were writing and playing some of the best music in the country. In the late 70's they wrote some of the best love songs ever to be played under the banner of 'punk', and they make the so-called 'punk' bands of the 21st century look like the third-rate metal bands with guitarists that can't solo that they are.
I was tempted to take a star away for the inclusion of a few later tracks that aren't as good quality as the others (i.e. 'Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore' et al.) that weren't on the original release of the CD. However, I can easily forgive that due to the fantastic songs that make up the rest of the album.
From the teen anthem 'Ever Fallen In Love', through the heartache of 'Promises', to the naive optimism of 'Everybody's Happy Nowadays' and the harsher Steve Diggle vocal on 'Harmony In My Head' you simply cannot help but love these songs.
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on 6 September 2011
In the best traditions of Punk Rock I was going to keep this review short and straight to the point;

"This album is Punk-Pop perfection. Five stars out of five stars."

Then I realised there is one - very important - extra thing worth mentioning.

The track selection on this 1990 CD issue (CDP 7464492) remains faithful to the original LP release. It features 16 tracks which compliment each other perfectly, giving the album a very natural flow to the extent that it sounds more like a "proper" album than a compilation.

But. When this title was remastered a few years ago they threw in a whole pile of extra tracks from the tail-end of the band's career, tracks which are VERY different in sound and style to the original 16. This had the effect of completely destroying the original - and almost perfect - flow of the album.

So unlike this 1990 edition the more recent remaster sounds like a compilation, not a "proper" album. You may want to bear that in mind if trying to decide which version to buy.
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on 18 November 2014
Originally conceived for the American market to tie in with the band's first major tour there, this chronologically arranged 1981 hits collection gives a better representation of the group than the three albums that these relatively neatly dressed punk rockers made in the first part of their career: Another Music In A Different Kitchen;Love Bites, and A Different Kind Of Tension. It features their 7 UK Top 40 singles - including their biggest hit, the trickily titled 'Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?' - alongside their equally impressive B-sides, and reminds this listener of their underappreciated ability to marry a lyric on the cruel vicissitudes of love with a killer guitar riff.

But this 2001 release somewhat spoils the breath-taking, machine gun pace of the original by adding eight bonus tracks, which were the A-sides and B-sides of the four singles they released in 1980, between Singles Going Steady's original release and the group's break-up. On these efforts the Buzzcocks sound - as Mark Paytress puts in his commendably honest, if sometimes cliched, liner note - as if "they'd given up the fight to be heard above the din of their contemporaries."
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on 13 February 2004
Beautifully packaged in Men with Bears 180 gr. vinyl, this record shows different sides of this seminal band. A pop face that is filtered by a punk structure, psichedelic influences, a true passion for songwriting. But above all, we hear from those grooves a real and complete lively performing group. This record tells us stories from another era, when recording songs was an immediate and true act. That's why I love listenning to punk records like this: sincere, hard, direct, full of ideas, very distant from today's mass pop levelled plastic productions.
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on 9 January 2009
You can take Kink Kronikles, Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy, The London Years and all your other classic compilations and throw them in the rubbish for all they matter. Singles Going Steady collects 8 of the Buzzcocks' A-sides along with their corresponding B-sides and perfectly encaptures the brilliant melodicism and hook writing of messrs Shelley and Diggle -- predominantly the former although we must not overlook Steve's moments of greatness -- the '70's greatest pop writers and worthy precursors to Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, who wouldn't quite get their stuff together until '79.

Classics abound here, but for me the highlights are "Orgasm Addict," "What Do I Get?," "I Don't Mind," "Promises," "Everybody's Happy Nowaday's," "Harmony In My Head," "Lipsti", I can't do it. It's all too perfect. And whilst the bonus tracks aren't quite as uniformally superb as the originals, I wouldn't dump them for the world.

Big thanks to EMI for reissuing (remastering? I've not heard them yet) the band's first three classic albums, but none of them will ever compare to this. Very few albums do.
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on 25 September 2005
Every serious music fan needs to have a copy of this album. Buzzcocks were so influential on the punk scene, but have also extended their influence to the modern day, with many new groups citing them as an influence. Their quirky and short melodic-punk classics from the early days are all captured on this single collection. It's also worth catching up with their new releases as their recent writing has been as good as, if not even better, than the early days!
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VINE VOICEon 13 November 2006
An utterly fantastic collection.

The Buzzcocks were masters of those three minute soap operas (on black vinyl)that we used to spend 99 pence a throw on back in the seventies.

They started as part of the punk movement, but went on to go beyond this, practically inventing the concept of power pop on their own with tight singles with great tunes and a good dose of camp.

Most of the Buzzcocks albums were bitty. This great collection represents them at their best. No filler guaranteed!
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Initially sounding as the ultimate fun punk ramalama band peddling their speed rush on TOTP, the Buzzcocks are Trojan horses. Inside the mainframe the lyrics are piercing psychological observations of a social condition termed Love. Not since Lou Reed has love been so twisted, mangled and split asunder by such romantic emotional science analysis, Shelley the keen emotional irrationalist tore the genre into shreds.

Shelley hit the high notes with tales of St. Onan. Tried it once before and it's a habit that sticks. The airwaves quivered with relief as he danced with himself. This was true love. The pressing plant walked out in disgust.

What do I get? Sleepless nights when love dissolves evidently. The chart of decay and its effect revealed the unsavoury side of coupling gone awry. Gone were the cloying flakey views of boy meets girl of 70's pop where the heart goes bing and mind goes plop. Entre cynicism, replete with tales of courting the local psycho socio, beating the path to sleepless nights, hospital emergency rooms, plastic drips and constant emotional blackmail.

I dont mind; Shelley the cynic, elucidates about his playing the love role, top or bottom he feels insecure and phony, mindful as to whether his act convinces, worried he is about to be expose himself. Acute observations of the love drip feed, Shelley's honesty in his insecurity focuses on his gazes into the bedpan of existence.

"Love you more";a song with a psychic blade twist. Love whirls into emotional blackmail; self harm cements the relationship, the knife dissects and everthing continues, all hanging by a tendon.

Emotional intelligence way beyond his years, Shelley's love life must have been rack and ruin as he inhabits the genre from the inside= at such a young age. His genius is in articulation what others just repress.

"Ever fallen in love with" (a nutter) the subtitle, or "dangerous attraction" for the perenial romantic. Promises, another facet on relationship game playing, showing two sides of subterfuge. Each person deceiving the other in ritualised charades.

Everyone's happy with ersatz reality; Shelley eventually gives up in his romantic quests and daydreams of true love or anything genuine. Fake relationships are better than nothing, as life is an illusion and love is a dream. Buzzcocks as Buddhists. This is the ultimate in cynicism. Read the lyrics for the view.

Oh S.hit the realisation squirms to the surface when the coupling becomes chaos, a wrong move from the start. Then the sudden realisation of the love element, the vaporous dream, is papering over the reality of butterfly stitches hiding the open wounds.

These singles jingle jangle the chimes of the late 70's. The lyrics bounced around many a student party, the seemingly palatable end of punk. Listen again the message is far more subtle than "No Feelings". That acknowledged some self knowledge. This is absolutely brutale and it is only after years of retrospection the penny finally has dropped. Pete Shelley is greater than Percy Shelley with his poetic vision of bitterness, a musical Bukowski.

The man who capsized the "All you need is love" boat single handedly.
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on 26 December 2009
Plain and simple great music with a unique sound. I can imagine people in many years to come catching one of their tunes on the radio or wherever, and thinking 'this is great, I need to hear some more of this stuff'.
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on 2 January 2013
This is one of those rare records that you instantly know you're going to love from the opening chords.

True, The Buzzcocks sound and formula has been copied to death countless times through the years, but there's no denying the wonderful power that these anthems still have today.

The fact that songs such as 'Ever Fallen in Love' still regularly feature in contemporary movie soundtracks is testament to the group's ability to write such timeless tunes.

With the relatively inconsistent standard of many of the LPs both old and new (though your life probably isn't complete without 'Love Bites') - it could be argued that this is the only disc many will need to get a good feel for what the band it about. Perfect, finely honed, power pop/pop punk that we'll still be listening to in another 30 years.
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