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Formed in London, England, in 1977, this punk band comprised vocalist Gene October, the only constant in a myriad of line-ups, Brian James (guitar), Geoff Myles (bass) and Chris Bashford (drums). Like many of their immediate peers Chelsea were a band with a strong social conscience. Specializing in sub-three-minute vitriolic outbursts on unemployment, inner city decay and the destruction of British society under Margaret Thatcher, their lyrics were always more interesting than their music. The songs generally formed a similar pattern of up-tempo numbers, marred by basic studio techniques (October’s delivery, occasionally gruesome, was nevertheless the glue in the formula). Taken as a body of work the songs become jarring, but individually, their music is exciting and energetic. Their most noteworthy song was ‘Right To Work’, although it later transpired that the basis of the song was anti-union. They continued to record throughout the 80s with an ever-changing line-up and an image as anachronistic as their music.

Top Songs


1976 in England

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s