Author Archives: danolofohman

…Smögen whisky goes all the way

Smögen

Smögen Whisky AB was established in the small community of Smögen on the picture-postcard beautiful west coast of Sweden by whisky enthusiast Pär Caldenby. Armed with extensive knowledge and a vision of what he intended to achieve, he built his company around ideas about how Swedish whisky could carve out a place for itself by its merits alone. Heady stuff with high proof and lots of smoke, while still showing elegant notes courtsey of the diverse and inventive methods of manufacture and storage. In many ways a perfect whisky for the advanced and nerdy connoiseurs of international whiskies and Swedish ones in particular. While some releases were easily available most of them could only be accessed by the privileged that could cough up the fairly steep amounts needed to get one or two bottles. New releases being sold out in seconds at the national alcohol monopoly Systembolaget didn´t do much to help. The basic economics of supply and demand, applied on a high end hipster product.

Smögen Primör

Primör 63,7 %.

Optic malt, >45 ppm phenol.

Light gold colour. A strong and powerful nose with some fleeting hints of fruitiness and citrus at the end, very well integrated with the dominant malt, peat and smoke which hits you at the first whiff. The high alcohol content is a bit too much for me if tasted straight out of the bottle, so a small amount of added water is in my opinion needed. What you get is an explosion of taste, with peat and spice in the foreground, strong and clear without being overpowering. Apart from the spice and smoke there´s a sligth salty edge, and a long and lingering finish which is more malty than smoky. A very fine first bottling done with love and great attention to detail.

Smögen sherry project.jpg

Sherry Project 1:1 – 1:4.

A set of whiskies playing around with sherry vats, guided by the vision of leading man Caldenby. Experimentation coupled with inspired knowledge, making a series of products urged on by curiosity and inventiveness. Not easily accessible in any way but so worthy of scrutiny by enthusiasts.

1:1 Optic, 50+ phenol.

Deep golden colour. A rich nose with malt and peat playing second fiddle to a more fruity side and a handful of nuts thrown in for good measure. There are hints of caramel and vanilla, however not as strong as you´re used to find in for example a bourbon. With a little water in a tasting glass the peat is present but not dominating, instead showing light sherry nuttiness and distinct vanilla notes. Lingering aftertaste where malt and smoke slowly takes over.

1:2 Optic, 50+ phenol.

Deep golden colour, very similar to the 1:1. Also rich on the nose, but decidedly smoother and with more obvious sherry character. Mixed with the underlying malt and peat are clear notes of hazelnuts and lemon zest. Also quite high in it´s alcohol content some water is needed to get the full experience of the slightly more complex taste. Underlying everything else is distinct malt and smokey peat, overlayed by nuts, citrus and some hints of sweetness. A long and quite complex aftertaste that lingers and changes from fruit and nut to mild smoke.

I haven´t tasted 1:3 and 1:4 yet. Nowadays more or less impossible to get hold of and my bottles are from a previous auction by the company of all the initial sherry variations. Not something I will try anytime soon, but rather keep for my bucket list. This is rare stuff existing in limited editions with steep price tags. Well, money is only money isn´t it?

smc3b6gen-sherry-project-special.jpg

Smögen French Quarter

French Quarter.

“Heavily peated Optic malt”. 975 bottles.

Golden amber in the bottle but lightly strawcoloured in a glass. Basically a variety of the Primör whisky that´s been kept in barrels slightly longer. There´s still strong malt and peat on the nose, but with spice and hints of wood and  what I can´t describe as anything but pine needles. Some water is needed for an enjoyable tasting. What I taste is spice, pepper and oak which are quite strong initially and then mellows into a sort of sweetness. Under it all is the bedrock of peat and smoke, which makes up much of the aftertaste. Very nice and balanced, and with lots of character.

Smögen single cask no 4

Single Cask no 4.

 “Heavily peated Optic malt”. Cask filling date 28/3 2012. American White oak, fresh bourbon barrel. Bottled 6/5 2017. Cask 18/2012. 362 bottles.

Light straw colour. On the nose you first get an almost fruit-candy like sweetness, followed seamlessly by deep peat aromas and autumn leaves burning in the back yard. Even tasted with a splash of water there´s a slowly developing alcohol burn. The palate is hit with something quite complex, and as we´re becoming used to by now there´s the solid foundation of smokey peat that lingers and dominates the aftertaste. This time, however, we´re also getting sweetness, vanilla, aromatic coffee and dark chocolate. While all of this might sound like it´s going off in a variety of confusing directions, this whisky has a cohesive character and all it´s notes are very well integrated. Without a doubt one of their best this far.

Smögen triple

Triple.

“Heavily peated Optic malt”. Cask filling date March 2011. European oak, Sauternes barrique. Bottled January 2017.  Cask 5-6/2011. 882 bottles. Triple distilled, and as far as I know the first Swedish triple distilled whisky

Golden straw colour. The nose is definitely milder on the peat than their previous products and quite complex with sweet treacle notes, vanilla, berries and milk chocolate. As usual a splash of water is needed to fully enjoy the taste, which is complex to say the least. There´s a sweet beginning of caramel and vanilla, milk chocolate, fruits and berries, which slowly blends into drier spice territory with a mild but delicate and lingering peat finish. Wow, this one was really good. So glad that I´ve got an additional bottle in storage for later. Very unlikely that I´ll ever get to taste this one after the second bottle is finished.

Smögen Sherry Octaves 2-1

Sherry Octaves, Sherry Project 2:1.

“Heavily peated Optic malt”. Cask filling date April 2013. American white oak, Fresh Sherry Octaves. Bottled 6/5 2017.  Casks 18-35/2013. 1 382 bottles.

Golden colour. A wonderful nose hitting you with sweetness, nuts, dried fruits and the whole sherry experience. So aromatic that you could be fooled into thinking that you´re smelling a dark rhum rather than a whisky. While we would be expecting peat it´s really well hidden under all the pleasantries that evaporates from this wonderful distillate. As always best enjoyed with a splash of water the taste is a sublime variation of the by now classical Smögen heavy peated whisky, with layers and layers of finesse. Initially very fruity with an enjoyable sweetness completely and almost magically transformed into dry spice and very delicate peat that lingers for a long time, while still mixing with the aromatics. Simply sublime. So good it feels like a crime to finish the bottle.

Smögen Sherry Quarters 2-2

Sherry Quarters, Sherry Project 2:2.

“Heavily peated Optic malt”. Cask filling date May 2013. American white oak, first fill Sherry Quarters. Bottled 12/5 2018. Casks 36-45/2013. 1 725 bottles.

Darker in colour. Definitely less Sherry characteristics on the nose than the previous release. There are of course the hallmarks of a whisky with final ageing in Sherry casks, but to my mind less sophisticated and with more of an alcohol whiff, through which nuts, fruits and vanilla can be detected. Tasted with an added splash of water I find this one slightly less complex than the Sherry Octaves. More of an alcohol burn (perhaps not so surprising considering the higher alcohol content). Richer but perhaps slightly less refined than its predecessor. If forced to choose between the two I would definitely go for Sherry Octaves, while both are still remarkably good.

Smögen 6-6.jpg

6/6.

“Heavily peated Optic malt”. Cask filling date 6/6 2011. Swedish oak from Småland, first fill Barrique. Bottled 6/10 2017. Casks 18 & 19/2011. 840 bottles.

Amber colour. A quite powerful nose with the by now expected hard peat and smoke notes. Under that I find spice and pepper as well as a dry oak tone. Always cask strength these whiskies needs some water to be fully enjoyable. This is a heavy and powerfull blend of malt and peat, with spice and oak coming into the fore. A not very subtle aftertaste of smoke and oak lingers for a long time. A nice whisky, but definitely a brew you should drink when you´re interested in something al dente.

Smögen Barrique

 

Barrique! 60,3%. 

“Heavily peated Optic malt”. Cask filling date sept – dec 2010. French oak (Quercus robur), and finalized in Bordeaux Barrique casks. Bottled 8/1 2018. Cask nr 4 & 23 – 25/2010. 1 685 bottles

Dark amber colour. A nose that attacks you with peat, smoke, wood and earthy notes. A real assault on the senses, hitting you hard. With their usual high proof, enjoyable tasting needs a generous dollop of water. Smoke, leather and peat dominates, ending on pepper and a lingering smoke. So much going on that you can go back endlessly and still get something new.

Definitely a whisky with lots of character, and an outlier even by Smögen standards. I have learnt to expect variations on their basic style, but this one is really something to chew on. Unique and adventurous, getting to taste it is a true blessing.

Smögen single cask no 5

Single cask no 5, 64%.

Aged in an Oloroso Sherry hogshead cask from American white oak, from the 23rd of October 2011 to March 18 2018, this is one of only 422 bottles. For the first time made from locally sourced barley and as usual bottled at cask strength.

Deep golden colour. A nose beginning with strong but soft peat notes, followed by citrus and orange, as well as some hints of vanilla and spice and ending with lingering soft smoke. A splash of water is needed to really enjoy tasting a whisky of such high proof, rather than just anaestesizing your taste buds. I get malt, peat, and astringent oak, followed by citrus fruits, and ending with a long aftertaste of soft oak, smoke and peat.

Just happy to have been able to aquire two bottles of this extraordinary whisky. Sell-outs within seconds upon release are the rule, and an ordinary non-billionaire customer like myself is severely disadvantaged when it comes to the procurement of these rarities.

Smögen in the future.

The good thing is that Smögen distillery hasn´t shown any signs of adapting to market forces, instead continuing their voyage of nerdy experimentation. While the vision of leading man Caldenby is highly commendable it would be expected to crash against real world economic concerns pretty soon, ending in compromise and ultimately inferior products. Lets agree to hope that this never happens. So far no signs of this has been seen, and the product line continues to develop along the lines of an extraordinary savant mastermind.

Advertisements

…2019 w 11 – Album of the week is “Abandon Time” by Starmarket.

Founded in 1995 in the city of Piteå, in the very north of Sweden, this is a band that has held a special place in my heart ever since. Apart from being the birthplace of Swedish indie in the form of timeless group Popsicle, this is also the geographical origins of my family. Growing up in the Norrbotten landscape has certainly taken its part in forming me as an individual as well as establishing roots stronger than I thought. Some might call me biased, but I would still argue that the four best bands in Swedish rock music originated in this very northern area. Which ones? Well of course The Bear Quartet, Popsicle, Fireside and Starmarket.

First album “Starmarket” from 1995 is very much a hard-core debut by a young and not exceptionally well-formed band. High in energy and songwriting talent it still made its mark, and made the group something to look out for in the future. Early promise if there ever was such a thing. Melodies expected from a much more mature band, as well as energetic and flawless performances of the songs. If Hüsker Dü had Swedish cousins this is what they would sound like.

Mini-album “Calendar” surfaced in 1996, again with hard-core credentials and so much a work of passion. High energy guitar based music doesn´t get better than this. There´s unsurpassed melodies, as well as a personal take on the evolving Swedish indie scene. Dynamic drumming enveloped by combinations of both choppy and melodic guitars, and a singer balancing perfectly on the line between sweetness and the aggressive. Just sublime in its execution, and an album much cherished to this day.

1997´s release of “Sundays worst enemy” kept the attack but also showed the way forward into softer and more melodic territory. Very much a transitional album for the band still one of my absolute favourites, if nothing else for the sheer quality of the songwriting. At the time it was quite obvious that something pretty amazing was brewing. Not that it made any waves whatsoever when it came to commercial success or recognition outside of the initiated.

The perfect mix of a new direction and their roots surfaced with 1999´s “Four hours light”, the title alluding to life in wintertime in their nordic hometown. Long, cold winters with lots of snow and a sun barely showing itself at best for a few hours a day. Very much like my childhood and adolescent years.

Objectively probably their best album, with exquisitely crafted songs and performances honed by years of recording and playing live. A band at the peak of their abilities doing great stuff, where potential hits lines up like pearls on a string.

It must have been pretty discouraging to release such a great collection of songs and not get much recognition beyond the usual followers. Although twenty years has gone by since the album saw the light of day, it still sounds fresh and exciting and has never lost its allure.

Two years later, Starmarket returned with yet another album, “Song of songs” (2001). I remember having the feeling of a band that had been hibernating and woken up with a new coat of furs to try out. The sound was lighter, with pop and Americana influences, but still with those magnificent melodies. Here there were songs that were sure to become hits, they had to be. As it turned out however, only in an alternative universe of good taste. Regardless of commercial success or not, extremely enjoyable and with some of their most rememberable songs. More polished and with less edge than in the beginning of their career, but keeping the banner of originality and pure songwriting craft high.

After “Song of songs” it felt like Starmarket sort of disappeared, at least for me, and I was more interested in other artists at the time. The release of a new record in 2004 came as a surprise and I more or less accidentally found it in a record store. For some reason my expectations were not very high upon first listenings and it lingered on the outskirts of my record collection for quite some time without making much of a mark. That is until my pretty recent rediscovery of this gem. Since then it´s been on heavy rotation and since no more music from Starmarket has appeared I´ve considered it their swan song.

In many ways “Abandon time” is a summary of their whole career, going from messy hardcore in opener “Antichrist” to melodic niceties as “Headfirst”. The early bite of the band excellently represented in songs like “Redundance”, “Tension” and “Biscuits for everyone”. Then the years of slighly softening sound in “The vanishing gates”, “Clover” and the radiant “Don´t fear the dark ends”.

That said, the absolute peak on this album is the short but absolutely wonderful “Cologne”. Everything you need in a pop tune in just 2 minutes and 18 seconds. Beginning with energetic drums overlayed by an earworm of a melodic guitar riff, carried forward by propulsive guitars. The verse swiftly flows into a glorious but still slightly subdued chorus, which leads onto a killer bridge and then just one brief run of extended refrain and a fade. I can listen to this song again and again at insanely high volume, and usually do everytime I play the album. It contains so much of the excitement and rush that you remember feeling when you heard something really good for the very first time. Listening to the lyrics it´s not difficult to imagine a band trudging through the snow in their small van, with all their equipment, on the way to a gig in some obscure German venue. All for the love of music. As such, a great way to remember a great band.

 

 

 

 

 

…Popsicle returning was an unexpected pleasure.

Popsicle young

After many years of enjoying music you have a lot of favourites, both old and new. For me a few years in the early to mid nineties was dominated by guitar-soaked indiepop. Drawing inspiration from early greats like Ride and My Bloody Valentine, the decidedly Swedish take on this music-form was formidable group Popsicle. Releasing four albums, a mini album and some great singles from 1992 – 1997, they were huge in the group of music fans to which I belonged. Undoubtedly one of the most important bands in the history of Swedish pop music.

Formed from the remnants of short-lived group Genre Hippy (which only released one 7″ vinyl single before moving on), Popsicles first album proper “Lacquer” was a bombshell of a debut. Everything was perfect. The attitude, the album cover design, the name of the band, the often one-word song-titles and of course the songs themselves. Guitar-based, inventive indie-pop gems with the perfect blend of white noise and bittersweet melodies. Two singers/guitarists/songwriters with their own distinctive expression, while still fitting perfectly into the concept of the band. Really more than you had the right to wish for.

The later string of equally strong albums saw the band develop both their sound and the songwriting, while somewhere along the way losing a bit of their early edge, finally petering out. However, while they were active there weren´t that much around in this country that could come close. I have very fond memories of attending intense, sweaty gigs in different parts of the country. Energizing events in small venues encapsulating everything that a live gig was supposed to be. Moments in time that I still cherish.

After the demise of Popsicle all the previous members but Andreas Mattsson more or less disappeared from the limelight, pursuing more quiet careers. Mattson went on to release a series of albums written about earlier, and following two one-off gigs as Popsicle in 2005 everybody assumed the saga was over. So, the short but sweet return of this iconic band came as a very pleasant surprise and gave a greying fan like myself an opportunity to travel back in time for an evening of electrifying indie-revival.

Popsicle 2019

Local arrangers Klubb Mono was responsible for the gig, showing impeccable taste in everything from the indie-popcorn to the choice of pre-show music. When Popsicle entered the stage it was to the closing notes of Joy Divisions “Love will tear us apart”, which must feel a bit hard. I mean, how do you follow that?

The gig itself was of course in many ways a nostalgic experience, and as such both great and something of a guilty pleasure, as these kinds of things often are. Starting a bit slow but steadily gathering pace, rounding up a large number of their greatest songs. Although some in the audience looked like they probably weren´t born when the band started, there were also quite a lot of grey heads like mine. It didn´t matter that Andreas Mattssons voice struggled with the higher notes sometimes, the heart and soul of these brilliant songs were still there, and the band managed to create that lovely, unique and blissful noise that has been reverberating in my bones for over 25 years.

…”Twin Peaks: The return” is an extreme rarity.

I would dare say that almost everybody in my generation has some sort of relationship to the original “Twin Peaks” saga, released 1990 – 91. A television series that forever changed our perception of what kind of stories could be broadcasted to the general public, as well as integrating the elaborate aesthetics used by the creators David Lynch and Mark Frost into the mainstream.

The characters of the original series were complex and flawed individuals, while archetypical somehow still intensely human. Special Agent Dale Cooper of the FBI being a grown up, turbo-charged and glorified version of Kyle MacLachlan´s character in Lynch´s movie “Blue Velvet”. A performance impossible to forget. Many others turned into instant stars by their participation, and in most cases regrettably never reaching the same heights again. The mass of talent and beauty coming forth in this TV-series was simply stunning.

The juxtapositioning of life in an idealized American small town with badness going from petty crime to the darkest of the dark, as well as a generous dollop of plain, surrealistic weirdness, is what gave the show both its edge and allure. It should really have been a hard sell, but at the time everybody was watching. I´ve lost count on how many times I´ve gone through the two seasons of the original series (first through a pretty low quality Spanish DVD-edition, and later with various official DVD and Blu-ray releases). The numbers of films and television shows echoing themes and artistry of the original Twin Peaks are too many to be mentioned. In a remarkable career in film, I would still say that this was at the time the crowning achievment of director David  Lynch.

The accompanying feature “Fire walk with me”, released in 1992 was lambasted by critics and greeted with boos from the audience at the Cannes Film Festival. Actually a prequel to the first series,  I today see it as a necessary addition to the saga, and in my opinion not even nearly as bad as it was regarded upon release. If you don´t believe me, go back and watch it again. You might just be surprised, or at least less confused about the original storyline.

Twin Peaks the return

22 years later, when the first chatter about a follow-up to the series started floating on the net, the excitement was palpable. First David Lynch was in, then he was not, then ultimately in again. My first reaction to the news was a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. As I´ve written about before here (https://danolofohman.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/its-happening-again-will-twin-peaks-continue-to-blow-our-minds/), the cultural importance could almost be likened to a new album by the original Beatles (ok, slight exaggeration there, but you get my drift). The feeling was very similar to holding the brand new first New Order single in my hand, in the wake of the impact made by Joy Division on my musical tastes so many years ago. What if it sucked, big time? I still remember the relief, and most of all bliss, as the stylus hit the 7″ vinyl and “Ceremony” blasted out of the speakers.

When “Twin Peaks: The return” appeared on network television in 2017 it felt like a daunting task to watch it. So much expectation and so many possibilities to fail. First I waited until all 18 episodes were available, and then I waited even longer to acquire the time and courage to go through them at a reasonable pace. And what a ride it proved to be.

Beginning with a time-lapse of 25 years many of the original characters has aged considerably, and parts of the main story circulates around their kids, no less messed-up than their parents in the original series. Expect heart-wrenching depictions of misguided parental care of off-spring careening towards disaster, just like in the original show. The development of this part of the series is enhanced by the large number of new episodes, which takes it time to develop the sprawling storyline into something quite unique.

While watching the first episode I very soon had to hit pause and catch my breath a little. Beginning with a red curtain scene on steroids, (mystically interrupted by a short and strangely unsettling sequence of a girl filmed through a window, seemingly running across a schoolyard screaming), we jump straight into at least nominally recognizable reality, watching the earlier character Dr Jacoby receiving a shipment of shovels. From that we´re thrown into New York City and an anonymous brick building housing some sort of sequestered laboratory-like space, where a young man is watching an empty glass cage which is simultaneously filmed by several cameras. As soon as an SD-card is full it´s archived in small slots in what seems like endless cabinets, and exchanged for a new one. There´s a certain amount of X-files associations here.

While pausing and reflecting on the footage this might well be the best 15 minutes of television I´ve ever watched. And it just keeps on getting better. A corpse with the body of a woman and the head of a man that should have been long dead. Special Agent Cooper in a deranged and bad version let loose in present time, superpowers and all. Interplay between the Black Lodge and what we consider reality. The considerable humour and heartbreak of Dougie Jones and his hard pressed wife. The mixture of hyperreality and sheer weirdness. I don´t think I´ve ever watched a television series or movie with such an amount of totally surrealistic and bizarre imagery.

That said, “Twin Peaks: The return” manages to keep you absolutely captivated with a storyline that builds on the original series, but takes it so much further out there without ever losing it´s grip. It accomplishes this while still avoiding all the obvious traps that makes so many restarts/remakes/updates of older stories so bad (the return of the X-files, anyone?). As the bright red cherry on top you get enough weirdness for a lifetime, with almost entire episodes consisting of dream-like, surrealistic tableaux unfolding on your screen like some visual stream-of-consciousness.

Lynch and Frost has done it again, taking an iconic TV-series into the new millenium and adding both depth and excitement to something many of us thought was impossible to improve. The return of Twin Peaks balances pitch perfect between nostalgia and the new. If you haven´t already, watch it and be prepared to be blown away.

 

…..First Aid Kit at Globen in Stockholm was pretty cool.

The wonderfully harmonizing Söderberg sisters played their first really big gig in their hometown of Stockholm, when they hit the Globen arena on the 21st of January. Pretty much sold out, which is quite good for a band that although having a loyal following still isn´t what you would expect as the next arena sensation. Playing at Globen being a childhood dream for both sisters also makes it all quite cute.

Part of the Rebel Heart tour, the concert was heavy on songs from the latest album, while still finding room for favourites from the earlier ones. There were guest artists, pyrotechnics and a much more rhytmic and rockier feel than you´re used to, without obscuring the beautiful melodies and those angelic voices.

It´s really easy for me to like this music, which while building on old stuff manages to create something new sounding, transporting the folk, pop and Americana traditions to  present time. Name-dropping of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harrison is done out of love and not for effect, and at least to me this music sounds genuine and honest. No sight of well meaning suggestions from the people from marketing, just two young women writing the songs they like to write, and enjoying singing them. I know that many would disagree, but for me it´s refreshing to see people in the music business that actually seems to be nice, for real. Making the arena light up like a starry sky by asking people to switch on the flashlights in their telephones also created a moment of beauty, making me briefly feel like a kid again.

I waited the whole concert for one of my favourite songs, and just as I started to believe that it wouldn´t come, the last encore made me leave with a smile on my face. An evening of real music, played by real musicians on real instruments. Not something you get every day.

 

…Heima er bezt.

Apart from being the B-side of the 1981 single “Life transmision” by Icelandic post-punk mavericks Þeir, it´s also what most Icelanders will tell you about their country. After spending the New-Year festivities and some additional days in this very special part of the world that fostered my darling wife, I could say the same upon arriving back in orderly Sweden and the town of Orebro. As the old crooner Paul Young would have put it – “Wherever I lay my hat (that´s my home)”. What it all means is that being at home is the best, wherever and however that home might look like.

Sometimes it´s hard to remember just how crazy and at the same time extremely loveable Iceland is. There´s the country itself, with unique nature, landscapes and a climate not to be fooled with without impunity. I don´t think there´s anywhere else in the world where a few hundred people would turn up for an end-of-Christmas bonfire, listen to traditional Choir music followed by a full rock-band and a collective sing-along of Christmas tunes for the kids. Still smiling happily while suddenly being belted by a pea-sized hail-storm before watching amazing fireworks.

For me personally there´s also the extended family of which I´ve become a part through my wife. Her fabulous parents, which we spent a lot of time with during the holidays. Her siblings, in very different walks of life, but per definition good people and persons which you would always like to spend just a little more time with. And then there´s her two daughters, with their respective families always opening their homes and hearts for us anytime we´re visiting.

That said, it´s always good to be home. In my own domain. Even though work awaits tomorrow.

 

…2018 w 51 – Album of every week is everything produced by Pete Shelley.

Pete Shelley

Forever holding a place in contemporary musical history as one of the founding members of seminal new wave band Buzzcocks, together with Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley was one of the great songwriters, singers and guitar players of his era. The first and only release by the band containing Howard Devoto, “Spiral scratch”, is one of my most prized possessions and one of the most accomplished early punk/new wave EP´s.

Devoto going on to form brilliant band Magazine, Buzzcocks carried on in a punk-pop vein of their own. Three albums were released, “Another music in a different kitchen” (1978), “Love bites” (1978) and “A different kind of tension” (1979).

Buzzcocks 1     Buzzcocks 2   Buzzcocks 3

Between the album releases several singles were made, and I believe it is here that the mastery of this band can be found. The singles compilation “Singles going steady” (1979) is perhaps the most artistically accomplished releases of the group. A series of songs recorded throughout the development of the band and of Pete Shelley as a songwriter. So many great tunes in such a short time. This is the album you need to own from this great and influential act.

Buzzcocks 4

Falling out with their record company made the group disband, as did so many others of this era. Pete Shelley regrouped around the synth-pop of album “Homosapien”, and the rest is history.

A true original talent,  torn from our collective cultural landscape  too soon, and I believe his work will stand the test of time. Teenagers might just be bopping to “Ever fallen in love…” a hundred years from now.