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Ever Fallen In Love? Buzzcocks Finest

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Album Review

Given the consistent brilliance of the Buzzcocks during their first golden era (1976-1980), you'd have to work pretty hard to compile an hour's worth of their music that isn't a kick to listen to, and sure enough, Buzzcocks Finest: Ever Fall in Love? offers 63 minutes of chainsaw guitars, irresistible hooks, and Pete Shelley's angst-ridden tales of love and confusion in the modern world — in short, the stuff that made this band one of the best. However, the trouble is there are already two just-about-definitive Buzzcocks compilations on the market; Singles Going Steady is an excellent all-hits, no-filler compilation of the band's first eight singles, while Operators Manual is a superb and intelligently assembled overview of the band's career, complete with expert liner notes from Jon Savage. By comparison, Buzzcocks Finest: Ever Fall in Love? seems a rather haphazard affair which hardly lives up to its title. There are some truly dubious track choices (how come the two instrumentals from Love Bites, which are the closest thing to filler this band ever released, both made the cut?), the sequencing isn't especially graceful, the mastering is neither as loud nor as forceful as it ought to be, and for some reason the odd end-of-the-album coda has been left at the end of "Moving Away From the Pulsebeat" (especially since it's only the fifth track on the disc, stopping the album dead in its tracks for a minute and a half). And while the cool modernism of Malcolm Garrett's sleeves was the Buzzcocks' visual trademark, the design for Buzzcocks Finest is a supremely unimaginative punk-by-numbers hack job which hardly represents the group's visual style. In short, Buzzcocks Finest: Ever Fall in Love? is not a bad collection of tunes and worth pulling out of a bargain bin, but it's hardly the best way to introduce yourself to the Buzzcocks...or remind yourself of their greatness if you're already a fan.

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in Manchester, England, in 1975, the Buzzcocks were one of the most influential bands to emerge in the initial wave of punk rock. With their crisp melodies, driving guitars, and guitarist Pete Shelley's biting lyrics, the Buzzcocks were one of the best, most influential punk bands. The Buzzcocks were inspired by the Sex Pistols' energy, yet they didn't copy the Pistols' angry political stance. Instead, they brought that intense, brilliant energy to the three-minute pop song. Shelley's alternately...
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Ever Fallen In Love? Buzzcocks Finest, Buzzcocks
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