The Buzzcocks’ first three albums — ‘Another Music in a Different Kitchen,’ ‘Love Bites,’ and ‘A Different Kind of Tension’ — will be rereleased in double-CD format on Feb. 9. Luckily for their fans, the discs will come loaded with rare studio tracks and live concert recordings.
“Essentially the record company wanted to put them out, but they put them out with all sorts of artifacts that got left in the can. It encompasses three great albums that changed the world,” guitarist and co-singer Steve Diggle tells Spinner with typical Mancunian braggadocio. “The first one came out at the same time as the Sex Pistols’ ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ and the Clash’s first album,” he says of 1978’s ‘Another Music in a Different Kitchen.’ “It was a time that’s a mark in history.”
The Manchester quartet’s massive retrospective indeed looks back on an important time in both rock and social history. “When those punk records came out, people had to change their consciousness about how they thought about music,” Diggle says. “It suddenly changed people’s attitudes and how they looked at the world. Everyone was questioning and more spatially aware of themselves.” Diggle laughs at his lofty proclamations, but he’s always seen the bigger picture of art informing life and vice versa.
On top of the social impact, the Buzzcock’s wiry pop toned punk influenced new genres like power pop and even emo, which shares similar soaring riffs and emotional lyrics. The Buzzcocks, however, had little to go on when they first started in a miserable 1970s strike-torn England. “The landscape was barren and we wanted to make music to make people feel alive,” Diggle says. “As James Joyce tells us, it’s important to feel alive. We wanted that excitement back in our veins. People weren’t just being entertained. We dealt with the human condition and we use a hell of a lot of emotions. It’s a very powerful and immediate music, adrenalin-fueled in a sense. Put poetic words on top of that and it makes for a wild mix.”