In contrast with many of their punk peers, Wire were enigmatic and cerebral, always keeping a distance from the crowd. Although Pink Flag appeared before the end of 1977, it was already a meta-commentary on the punk scene and was far more revolutionary musically than the rest of the competition. Few punk bands moved beyond pared-down rock 'n' roll and garage rock, football-terrace sing-alongs or shambolic pub rock and, if we're honest, only a handful of punk records hold up today as anything other than increasingly quaint period pieces. While the majority of their peers flogged one idea to death and paid only lip service to punk's Year Zero credo, Wire took a genuinely radical approach, deconstructing song conventions, exploring new possibilities and consistently reinventing their sound. "THIS IS A CHORD. THIS IS ANOTHER. THIS IS A THIRD. NOW FORM A BAND", proclaimed the caption to the famous diagram in a UK fanzine in 1976 and countless punk acts embodied that do-it-yourself spirit. Wire, however, showed more interesting ways of doing it once you'd formed that band and they found more compelling uses for those three mythical chords.
As part of the 33 1/3 series, Wilson Neate offers both a critical appreciation and analysis of a classic British punk album.
Given an urbane, conversational performance by Julian Elfer, Wire's 'Pink Flag' mixes the author’s own memories of Britain’s punk era with interviews with the band members on their formation and the creation of their 1977 album, and Neate’s own critical insights into an album that effectively melded punk-rock angst with art-school style.
Highlighted by Elfer’s ear-pleasing British accent, this audiobook is a must-listen for any fans of Wire or British punk music.
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This guy nails it - best 33 1/3 book I've read
- Billy "Say something about yourself!"