Greta brings you a whole lot of songs from 1978 presents:

Songs From The Big HairGreta brings you a whole lot of songs from 1978


Welcome to today's instalment of "Songs From The Big Hair" This is Greta B bringing you an overview of postpunk, mostly English, and as it turns out,  mostly from 1978. It was an amazing year for music. With me in the studio is trusty sidekick James Pemberton, but today I don't need to pillage HIS record collection. Everything you'll hear today I own on vinyl. VINYL, people!


Welcome to today's instalment of "Songs From The Big Hair" This is Greta B bringing you an overview of postpunk, mostly English, and mostly from 1978 as it turns out. We're starting our overview of post punk in the year 1978 with what The NME described  as "arguably the first post-rock group"- PiL.

PiL- Public Image (1978)

PiL rose from the ashes of the Sex Pistols, and featured John Lydon, Keith Levene,Jah Wobble and Jim Walker. Pay attention, because Keith Levene will be appearing later in the set with one of ULTRAVOX, in Cowboys International.

.The year, 1978, was a banner year for indy labels.

FAST PRODUCT- Fast Product was an independent record label, established in Edinburgh, Scotland by Bob Last in December 1977.The label is probably most notable for having issued the first records by a number of early and influential post-punk bands from Northern England, including the original Human League, the Gang of Four and the Mekons. Its first release was also the first single by the Mekons, released on January 20, 1978.  It is a response to the CLASH's "White Riot" .

MEKONS-Never been In A riot-1977
HUMAN LEAGUE- Being Boiled (1978)
GANG OF FOUR- "Damaged Goods"(1978)

ROUGH TRADE Records- London, United Kingdom. It was started in 1978 by Geoff Travis.

CABARET VOLTAIRE- (Sheffield)- Talkover/Here She Comes Now (Velvets cover) -1978
YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS-(Cardiff) Colossal Youth 1980
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS- Alternative ulster-1978

In1979, SLF released their first album, Inflammable Material. The band agreed to a contract with Island Records, but it fell through, leaving the band to release the album on their own label. Despite the album's independent release, it reached number 14 in the UK Albums Chart and reached Silver status, selling over 100,000 copies. Inflammable Material was the first album distributed by Rough Trade records, and the first independent album to chart in the UK. I owe the bassist, Ali Mc Mordie, a huge debt; he's the one who gave me his job as MOBY's bassist. Moby had a respectable career on MUTE records

Mute Records was an independent record label based in the UK, founded in 1978 by Daniel Miller.From a label he started in his living room,  he had great success with Depeche Mode, and later, Moby.  In 2002 the label was sold to EMI.

DEPECHE MODE- Dreaming of Me


Factory Records was a Manchester based British independent record label, started in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, which featured several prominent musical acts on its roster such as Joy Division, New Order, and for a short time, OMD.

OMD- Electricity (May 1979)
JOY DIVISION- Transmission (November 1979)

Meanwhile, in major-label land,  WIRE released 154 on EMI in September 1979. This was their third album, and this could have been the first time in history that a song about MAPS hit the top 40, but instead of doing a record release and tour like a NORMAL band, they did 4 nights at a theater in  London featuring dada-style performances by each individual member of the band, and really, really pissed off the record label.

WIRE- Map Ref. 41°N 93°W

Also, over on ISLAND, ULTRAVOX had a respectable career starting in 1977. They recorded three albums on that label before the singer, John Foxx, left the band. They replaced him with Midge Ure from the Rich Kids and went on to be swoony new-romantic rock stars, while John Foxx put out a couple solo records before getting too pissed off with the music biz to continue on major labels. 

ULTRAVOX- Dangerous Rhythm (1977)
ULTRAVOX- Hiroshima Mon Amour (1977)-One of the first singles by a British band to feature a drum machine (a Roland TR-77 with preset patterns)

After this album Stevie Shears left the band and joined COWBOYS INTERNATIONAL.

ULTRAVOX- Slow Motion-Systems of Romance (1978)
ULTRAVOX- New Europeans- Vienna (1980)
JOHN FOXX- No-one Driving- Metamatic (1980)
COWBOYS INTERNATIONAL-Thrash (1979)-featured Ken Lockie and Keith Levene

XTC, meanwhile, were signed to Virgin records and had a pretty good run with them as well.The first album, White Music, came out in…you guessed it…1978!
XTC- Statue Of Liberty- White Music (1978)
XTC- Are you Recieving me- Go 2- (1978)
XTC- Making Plans For Nigel- Drums and Wires (1979)

When I was a teenage runaway, I saved up my dishwashing money all summer and went to England in 1979. I saw XTC and they were great. Also on the RADIO in England at the time was this single by the Psychedelic Furs.

PSYCHEDELIC FURS- We Love You (1979)

And that concludes the history lesson portion of today's show. let's move on to pillaging my record collection, starting with one for John Harold Olson, who has never heard RADIO BIRDMAN before. .

RADIO BIRDMAN-Aloha Steve & Danno (1978)
STRANGLERS- Tank- Black and White (1978)
KLARK KENT (Stewart Copeland)- Theme For Kinetic Ritual (1980)

SIMPLE MINDS- I Travel (1982)
SISTERS Of MERCY- Temple Of Love extended (1983)



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    May 22nd, 2010

Posted In: Music Shows