The Vault: Buzzcocks - Are Everything

It's very sad to learn about the death of Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley, who has died today (6 December 2018) aged 63. Formed in 1976, the seminal Manchester punk band were hugely influential, and were active right up until the end, with a number of dates planned for 2019. Shelley's voice was unmistakable and provided a melodic gift to counter the group's hard edge, while his songwriting gave the punk rock sound an accessible flavour. The band's 1977 EP 'Spiral Scratch' proved that anyone could release a record without needing an established record label. The group borrowed £500 from their friends and families to pay for the record's production and manufacture, and released it on their own New Hormones label, making the Buzzcocks the first English punk group to establish an independent record label. It could be said that the band practically invented indie music. While their pioneering ideas soon resulted in lots of small indie labels emerging, Shelley was also an early pioneer of electronic music, recording the experimental album 'Sky Yen' in 1974, and releasing a number of solo albums from 1980 onwards, including the brilliant and controversial 'homosapien'.

I first bought a Buzzcocks record 19 years ago in 1999, when I picked up a CD copy of their Operator's Manual compilation, mainly due to hearing the incredible 'Everybody's Happy Nowadays' on the radio. Another track from it that became a favourite was the superb 'Are Everything', which was released as a single back in 1980. I went to watch the Buzzcocks once when they played in Bristol back in 2006. However, after arriving late, I was told that the gig had already finished. Sad that I never got to see them live.

Best wishes and respects go out to Pete Shelley's family at this sad time. He will be remembered for a long time to come...