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BURNING BRITAIN : The History of UK Punk 1980-1984 Paperback – Import, 1 Aug 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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  • BURNING BRITAIN : The History  of UK Punk 1980-1984
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  • The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984
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  • White Nationalist Skinhead Movement, The : UK & USA, 1979-1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: CHERRY RED BOOKS (1 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901447243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901447248
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 440,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"[A] chatty, engaging history [that] follows the regional lines along which UK punk's 'second wave' scene divided." --"Guardian"

"For those with a burning desire to dig deeper than The Clash and Sex Pistols to discover below-the-radar groups from the original British punk rock scene, then "Burning Britain" is your new Bible." --John B. Moore, "New Noise ""Magazine" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ian Glasper is a writer, the founder of the now-defunct Blackfish Records, which released 20 punk, hardcore, and metalcore albums, and a member of many DIY punk bands. He is the author of "Armed with Anger" and "Trapped in a Scene: UK Hardcore 1985-1989." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very well researched and written book, loved the stories. In fact this is an important book because these genuine working class bands, true to the DIY spirit of punk are usually missed out when punk is written about. I'd recommend it for anyone with an interest in punk rock.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for all manner of reasons. For those of us who loved this period (there are more of us than care to admit to it - in public at least) this book is a reminder of when leather jackets, studs, chains and bondage pants ruled the streets. Much denigrated at the time, the third generation punk bands have an authenticity that the '77 mob lack. This is real aggression, frustration at Maggies Britain and a soundtrack to the dead cities all around. My personal faves at the time were The Fits and it was great to read of Blackpool's finest once again. My only gripe is the lack of reference to how these bands influenced their German cousins - as German punk was HUGE during this period. If you like books on punk then check out One Love Two Colours: The Unlikely Marriage of a Punk Rocker and His African Queen by Margaret Oshindele. This is a book that shows how a non-punk can marry one and put up with his strange taste in music!
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I fully agree with the previous reviewers' comments. There is a plethora of books about the late 70's punk scene, in particular The Sex Pistols, and though this period maybe considered a more 'important' time, the early 80s brought a huge amount of diversification within the punk genre and, for me at least, was a more exciting period (though I guess being a little too young for the 70s may have something to do with it). In this book Ian Glasper does a superb job in covering what was probably the biggest punk offshoot: 'hardcore' (and we're not talking hardhouse/techno/whatever stuff here).

Covering about 100 bands by the region of the UK in which they emerged, each band is given a solid 3-8 pages including their history, essential discography, rare photos and funny stories to keep us all entertained. Too many to mention here but just to name some of the well-known outfits (not all ready mentioned) : Blitz, One Way System, Anti-Nowhere League, Abrasive Wheels, English Dogs, Peter & the Test Tube Babies, Chaos UK, Partisans, Outcasts; and some of the lesser known bands: the Destructors, Mayhem, Major Accident, Resistance 77, Violators, Demob, Red Alert etc. etc.

Though the author does say that other early 80s punk offshoots are not covered in this edition, he does include some that provide a kind of crossover: 4-Skins (Oi/skinhead); Disorder (anarchist); Angelic Upstarts (2nd wave?); UK Decay (goth); and the Newtown Neurotics (often referred to as soul-punk, though, bar the Redskins, I can't think of any other bands with this tag!).

There is also a chapter highlighting several leading record companies that are 'keeping the flag flying', their discographies, the Holidays in the Sun concerts, and other book releases.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who regularly peruses Terrorizer will know that Ian Glasper loves his punk, and knows a lot more than the average punter aboot said genre. This publication finally gives him the freedom to give a definitive account of the UK 2nd wave.
Although some bands have a very similar story to tell ie. Inspired to form band by Pistols/ Ramones - form band that can hardly play - learn to play better - appear on Riot City/ No Future compilation - release proper lp - go through 100s of line up changes - split - reform to play HITS with at most 1 original member, each profile is still engaging and informative. Almost every major figure of the time makes a contribution (where's Wattie?) to help provide a clear picture of the scene in terms of who helped who, who hated who, who sold out, who went on too long, who split up too soon, who wasn't really much cop, who was more punk than anyone else and who didn't want to be more punk than anyone else as those being more punk than anyone else were actually just playing up to stereotypes of what being punk should be etc etc etc...
Many bands who may have been lost to the annals of history also get their due, for example I would never have discovered The Violators had I not been intrigued by their profile here, nor would I have sought out the No Future & Small Wonder singles collections.
This release will also be great news for the good folk at Anagram & Captain Oi!, seeing as 90% of the artists within have appeared on one or t`other label at some point!
A fine job all round - read, learn and enjoy. Hopefully the volume 2 on anarcho punk Ian alludes to in the intro will be equally as enjoyable.
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While this does cover a lot of bands during the punk era and bands that otherwise may not ever be know but deserve to be so (Demob, Red Alert for example) a big let down is the questions are just too how shall I say this.... fluffy.

It is not just this book but almost every book I have read of its kind (our band could be your life is an other prime example of this, I wont even bother with Blush's American Hardcore because its not worth the paper its printed on. Dance of Days being the only exception) The books are just too full of "When did you start?....what was your first gig?....How did it go?......Best/worst experience?" They just arent the kind of questions I want to hear. You have bands in here like the 4 Skins, I wanted to know more about the Southall Riots (one of the biggest inicents in modern British history) but there is almost nothing.

It is not even like its a "Looking back on old times" I remember a lot of these bands and after 20 odd years was realy expecting to read a little more detail than this. You would probably find a better interview if you dug up an old fanzine from back then off ebay or something.

Sorry there are just too many of these books going around these days and few of them have anything worth reading. If you do buy this you will probably get through it in half a day, a day at best.

One for a train ride somewhere but not much else. You want a more positive review? Try asking better questions to the bands you interview then.
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