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Steve Lamacq looks back on the events of 1976, which led to the explosion of punk music.

Steve Lamacq look at the events of 1976, which led to the explosion of punk music.

By the mid-70s the UK was experiencing economic meltdown. Lengthening dole queues and a grey landscape of high rise disasters stood in rubbish-strewn streets. In retrospect, it was inevitable that the music of the time would be dark, nihilistic and fuelled by an energized political anger.

Whilst the New York music scene, built around CBGBs, was much more rooted in rock's rich tapestry and art school ideas, it was nowhere near as ferocious and dangerous as what was happening in the UK. The London punk scene, initially driven by Malcolm McLaren's clever posturing, was given added power by John Lydon's fierce intelligence and neo-psychotic glare.

The Sex Pistols were getting out onto the circuit, wrecking PAs and getting occasional column inches. The Stranglers were gigging around the country, trading punches with irate punters. In Bolton Buzzcocks read a paragraph about the Pistols in the NME and drove all the way down to London to search for the band. TV Smith was putting together The Adverts in Torquay. Elsewhere, the capital was calling and the Clash were on hand to write the soundtrack. Everywhere punk rock was beginning to emerge.

All these loose strands were beginning to coalesce around the Sex Pistols. McLaren noticed this and managed to place the movement behind his group and his shop. the race was nearly over and London was about to win. A generation of kids, feeling let down by the government had at last found an expression for their discontent, a music that spoke back to them.

This documentary was first broadcast in December 2006, to mark thirty years since the birth of punk.

1 hour

Last on

Thu 20 Jun 2019 01:00

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Music Played

  • Sex Pistols

    PRETTY VACANT

    • KISS THIS.
    • VIRGIN.
    • CDV-2702.
  • Sex Pistols

    ANARCHY IN THE U.K.

    • 1977 - The Spirit of Punk.
    • Virgin.
    • VTDCD-870.
  • Sex Pistols

    HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

    • The Best Punk Album In The World Ever.
    • Britannia Music.
    • BMVTDMC-79.
  • Sex Pistols

    Problems

    • Never Mind the Bollocks.
    • Virgin Records.
    • CDV-2086.
  • Sex Pistols

    Bodies

    • Never Mind the Bollocks.
    • Virgin.
    • CDVX-2086 [1].
  • Chris Spedding

    Motorbikin'

    • Absolute Glam.
    • Demon.
    • CRIMCD-491.
  • ABBA

    MONEY MONEY MONEY

    • GREATEST HITS.
    • EPIC.
    • EPC-10017.
  • Roxy Music

    Virginia Plain

  • Showaddywaddy

    Under The Moon Of Love

    • The Best Steps To Heaven.
    • Tiger.
    • SHCD-1.
  • Generation X

    Your Generation

    • Greatest Hits of the 70's.
    • Disky.
    • DB-991552.
  • Ian Dury & The Blockheads

    What A Waste

  • New York Dolls

    PERSONALITY CRISIS

    • PUNK (BOXSET).
    • COLUMBIA.
    • 504678-2.
  • Ramones

    Blitzkrieg Bop

    • Anthology.
    • Warner Bros.
    • 8122-73538 2.
  • Ramones

    CHAIN SAW

  • Sex Pistols

    ANARCHY IN THE U.K.

    • 1977 - The Spirit of Punk.
    • Virgin.
    • VTDCD-870.
  • Skids

    Sweet Suburbia

    • The History Of Punk - Vol.1.
    • Old Gold Records & Tapes.
    • OG-3301.
  • Sex Pistols

    Music 3 No Fun

    • Live and Loud.
    • Link.
    • Linkcd-063.
  • Sex Pistols

    New York

    • Spunked.
    • Sanctuary.
    • N/A-N/A.
  • Subway Sect

    Nobody's Scared

    • Sniffin Glue - The Essential Punk Accessory.
    • Castle Music.
    • CMF-CD764.
  • Sex Pistols

    SEVENTEEN

    • NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS.
    • VIRGIN.
    • CDV-2086.
  • Sex Pistols

    ANARCHY IN THE U.K.

    • THE BEST PUNK ALBUMS EVER!.
    • CIRCA.
    • VTCD-198.
  • The Stranglers

    London Lady

    • GREATEST HITS 1977 - 1990.
    • EPIC.
    • LC-0199.
  • Sex Pistols

    Don't Give Me No Lip Child No Lip

  • The Adverts

    GARY GILMORE'S EYES

    • Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts.
    • Link Records Classics.
    • CLINK-CD 1.
  • The Stranglers

    (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

    • PEACHES:THE VERY BEST OF THE.
    • EMI.
    • 540202-2.
  • Penetration

    DON'T DICTATE

    • FUN,FILTH AND FURY.
    • VIRGIN.
    • CDOVD-313.
  • Sex Pistols

    God Save The Queen

    • KISS THIS.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 077778648925--.
  • Sex Pistols

    HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

    • Never Mind The Bollocks.
    • Virgin.
    • 72438-4193720.
  • The Vibrators

    Automatic Lover

  • The Clash

    White Riot

    • THE CLASH.
    • COLUMBIA.
    • 495-3442.
  • The Clash

    CLASH CITY ROCKERS

    • CLASH -THE SINGLES.
    • COLUMBIA.
    • 495353-2.
  • X‐Ray Spex

    I Am A Poseur

  • The Damned

    Neat, Neat, Neat

    • Smash It Up-The Anthology.
    • Sanctuary Records.
    • CMEPR-476.
  • The Clash

    LONDON'S BURNING

    • ON BROADWAY.
    • EPIC.
    • 497453-2/A-C.
  • The Damned

    New Rose

    • THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.
    • UNIVERSAL/ISLAND.
    • B000007-Y8M.
  • Sex Pistols

    Substitute Sex Pistols

    • The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle.
    • Virgin.
    • TEALCD-01.
  • The Ruts

    Babylons Burning

    • The Best Punk Anthems Ever.
    • Circa Records.
    • VTDCD-198.
  • Sex Pistols

    Problems

    • Never Mind the Bollocks.
    • Virgin Records.
    • CDV-2086.
  • Sex Pistols

    ANARCHY IN THE U.K.

    • 1977 - The Spirit of Punk.
    • Virgin.
    • VTDCD-870.
  • Sex Pistols

    Pretty Vacant

    • Virgin.
  • Skids

    Into The Valley

    • CASTLE.
  • Ramones

    Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

    • Virgin.
  • Soul II Soul

    Get a Life

    • Polygram TV.

Broadcasts

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