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British Punk Rock

Artwork by Mark Young

Johnny Rotten –

Sex Pistols

The single “Anarchy in the U.K.,” the Sex Pistols established punk as a national style that combined confrontational fashions with sped-up hard rock and allusive, socially aware lyrics that addressed the reduced expectations of 1970s teens. Armed with a critique of the music industry and consumerism—embodied in songs such as the Sex Pistols’ “EMI” and X-Ray Spex’s “Identity”—early British punk spawned a resurgence of interest in rock. Mirroring social upheaval with a series of visionary songs couched in black humour, groups such as the Buzzcocks (“Orgasm Addict”), the Clash (“Complete Control”), and Siouxsie and the Banshees (“Hong Kong Garden”) scored hits in 1977–78. Anarchist, decentralizing, and libertarian, U.K. punk was drawn into the polarized politics of British society and by 1979 had self-destructed as a pop style.

Ian Dury – Blockheads

Sid Vicious – The Original Hellraiser

The Clash

Punk, also called punk rock, aggressive form of rock music that coalesced into an international (though predominantly Anglo-American) movement in 1975–80. Often politicized and full of vital energy beneath a sarcastic, hostile facade, punk spread as an ideology and an aesthetic approach, becoming an archetype of teen rebellion and alienation.

Marianne Faithfull portrait

NEW ALBUM ‘SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY’ COMING SPRING 2021

Succeeded on her own terms

Marianne’s forthcoming spoken word album sees her recite the 19th-century British Romantic poets accompanied by musical arrangements by Warren Ellis, Brian Eno, Nick Cave and Vincent Segal. Produced by Ellis and Head, the album is named after Lord Byron’s portrait of infatuation, She Walks In Beauty and features three poems by Keats, two apiece from Shelley, Wordsworth and Byron, and one each from Thomas Hood and Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The recording was inspired by her school days at St Joseph’s Convent School in Reading. “I had a wonderful, inspirational English teacher called Mrs Simpson. She introduced me to the English Romantics. I had to leave it all behind in order to be a pop singer, but I never forgot them.”

A couple of the tracks were debuted at the Chloe show during Paris Fashion week back in March, where she recorded verse by Louisa May Alcott, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Christina Rossetti, William Butler Yeats and Byron.