TO THE OUTSIDE OF EVERYTHING – A STORY OF UK POST-PUNK 1977-1981: DELUXE 5CD BOXED SET
Released on 1 Dec 2017 by Cherry Red
The Press Release says:
Post-Punk was a belated term adopted to describe the creative outpouring of largely independent music which flourished in the wake of the Punk explosion.
Named after a lyric from Magazine’s ground-breaking hit, ‘Shot By Both Sides’, TO THE OUTSIDE OF EVERYTHING tells a musical story of how the UK’s post-punk scene evolved from the spirit of 1977 and the arrival of key labels such as Fast, Rough Trade, Zoo, Factory and Cherry Red.
Created by the same Cherry Red team behind such previous, acclaimed box sets as Scared To Get Happy, Millions Like Us, Still In A Dream, Action Time Vision, etc.
Includes landmark singles by Joy Division, PiL, Wire, Gang Of Four, The Slits, Killing Joke, Echo And The Bunnymen, Scritti Politti, The Pop Group, Human League, The Fall, Alternative T.V., Tubeway Army, Adam And The Ants, Josef K, The Teardrop Explodes, Throbbing Gristle, The Psychedelic Furs, Theatre Of Hate, The Birthday Party, The Associates, Fire Engines, and Ultravox.
Full Tracklist here.
And this is me…
This looks great doesn’t it? One for the Christmas list for mum or dad or even the grandparents! Or for young historians who want to know where the inventiveness and strangeness of musics after-punk came from and sounded like …
The Cherry Red team certainly do know how to compile a good boxed set. It is a great balance of indisputable classics;
Shot By Both Sides, Death Disco, I Am The Fly, TVOD, Ceremony, Cartrouble, We Are All Prostitutes – real game-changers – which yes, most of us already own on various formats.
And then there are the lesser-known favourites; Let’s Build A Car, Fairytale in The Supermarket, Swans On Glass, We Are All Animals – songs which some of us regard as pinnacles of musical perfection.
Picking one track to represent a bands whole output is a job and a half …. sometimes they go for the bleedin’ obvious – Typical Girls! But choosing Repetition to represent the Fall is spot on. Needles and Pills by the Passions is a stroke of genius too (was expecting the German Filmstar) and Friend Catcher sounds immense and proves that Nick Cave was always ahead of the curve and the heroic figure which everyone now knows him to be.
Balancing out the well-known acts there are a lot of ‘obscure’ bands – a high proportion of which are if not great, at least interesting – some sound dated, others very contemporary. Big In Japan, Five or Six and Mass are the first three which blew me away.
There is far more female representation here than in any ‘punk’ comp and as usual the licensing restrictions mean there are glaring omissions which make it A story rather than THE story… No XTC ! No Scars!!!! Banshees, Cure and Bauhaus should be here -although like a fair few if you did a Venn diagram ‘Post-Punk’ and ‘Goth’ have a LOT of ‘crossover’ – proving basically that these genre’s are an artifical construct and arguably necessary evil.
There are a few odd inclusions -the Notsensibles, Fashion and Steve Diggle – but for every one of those there is a pleasant shock discovery; the Thompson Twins were actually a decent band pre synthesier! The Tights were a cool post-punk band as well as punk band and the Homosexuals should’ve been ‘big’.
The range and diversity of this compilation is its strength and weakness – and it poses more questions than it answers: Is Post-Punk an actual genre of music? (No) Was Post-Punk really just ‘Progressive Rock’ in tighter trousers on a lower budget? (Maybe) ….
I’ll save the rest of my thoughts for the review – but here are some random choice favourites of mine whilst you think about pre-ordering…
Pre-order from here.
All words by Ged Babey