Friday, July 28, 2017

Before year zero

As is now widely acknowledged, punk's claim to be a complete break with the past was largely nonsense - it had plenty of antecedents, even if it refused to acknowledge them. Toby Sligo's selection of ten proto-punk songs for Louder Than War underlines that fact.

Personally, I'd always class The Stooges, The MC5, The New York Dolls and Patti Smith as punk proper (and evidence that the Americans did it earlier and better than us Brits), but the likes of The Velvet Underground, The Sonics and The Modern Lovers were all influential without actually being punk.

For me, the revelation among the selected tracks is Dr Feelgood's 'She Does It Right' - certainly enough to explain why Wilko Johnson is such a revered guitarist.

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