Monday, February 05, 2007

I Recall Lightning Struck Itself (1977)

'No Elvis, Beatles and the Rolling Stones' sang The Clash memorably in the patently Year Zero, nostalgia-rejecting '1977' - but 30 years later, that Jubilee summer itself is an occasion for the inevitable photospread retrospectives, archive interview reprints and glossy souvenir supplements that sell backward-looking monthly music magazines here in the UK.

Yesterday's rebel music, today's Golden Oldies - ah, 'twas ever thus.

Of course the past music that punk was rejecting was really the rather more recent Emerson Lake & PalmerYes proggy stadium stuff, and not the rock 'n' roll of the 50s and 60s. As it's often noted, no-one was more 'in love with the rock 'n' roll world' than Messrs Strummer & Jones (pre-Clash, Strummer had fronted The 101ers, a band firmly rooted in sharp-sounding R&B) and even those 'can't play' Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Glen Matlock were fairly competent Eddie Cochran-loving rock 'n' rollers on the quiet.

UK punk's attitude, energy and catalystic ETHIC aside ('Woodstock coming at you - get off your arse!' - J. Lydon), perhaps the most important and durable musical legacy of 1977 came from bands like Television, whose taut, wiry, rhythmic, spare and spacey sound and unabashed artiness (very New York, that) pretty much kick-started the whole Post-Punk/New Wave thing. Hard to imagine Gang Of Four, Wire, New Order, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, and, God knows, The Futureheads or The Klaxons without them.

Hats off to NME legend Nick Kent, who saw it all even then...

'They are one band in a million; the songs are some of the greatest ever. The album is Marquee Moon.'

Enjoy an un-punk like ten (!) minutes of radicalism on us....

Television - 'Marquee Moon'

...then celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of '1977 and all that' the right way - by buying the whole thing, remastered & expanded, here.

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