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[Music] British v American Punk

British V American Punk

  • British

    Votes: 56 74.7%
  • American

    Votes: 15 20.0%
  • Can't stand either

    Votes: 4 5.3%

  • Total voters
    75








Machiavelli

Well-known member
Oct 11, 2013
16,922
Fiveways
Both . . . Very different really.

The history is well documented. . . .It's all before my time anyway.

Buzzcocks were the best band musically for me. . . NYD the best show, if we're strictly mid 70's 'punk'

New Rose nails it as far as uk 70's punk goes

us punk . . . You can drag back to the Sonics and the like, early mid 60's anyway. . . . Our best offering then was perhaps The Pretty things . . . Another hugely under rated band. Better than the stones. . . .

Lest we forget the mighty M C 5!
It's almost as if we have a musician on NSC :thumbsup:
 




pb21

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2010
6,438
IMO British 'mainstream' punk is better, but overall prefer American punk.
 




Machiavelli

Well-known member
Oct 11, 2013
16,922
Fiveways
Interesting because there are two streams of thought - was ‘punk’ defined by the style and attitude attributed to 1970s British youth culture or was it an American invention that grew on from the civil rights and other resistance movements of the 1960s? They both were about a youth subculture and both developed around the same time - but for me there’s nothing more British ( or anarchically British ) than the Sex Pistols singing GSTQ or Crass‘s nihilistic lyrics on Big A Little a.

British Punk wasn’t just a musical genre - it represented a subculture of politicised youth that was very much about life in Britain in the 1970s - anti-Thatcher, anti-class, anti-establishment messaging - so for that reason it is part of my own rebellious history in a way American Punk never could be.

Having said that- musically the sounds of the New York Dolls and the Ramones had earned their place in my teenage music collection!
There I was enjoying your contributions, and then you go and link NYD and Ramones together. They're both overrated obviously, but very different bands.
 


Sid and the Sharknados

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Sep 4, 2022
4,619
Darlington
I do like the way that, having set themselves against the excessive length of early 70s prog/rock songs, punk fans later waste all that time rambling on at great length about the finer points of their specific musical subculture and how different and better it is than all the other specific musical subcultures.
 


Machiavelli

Well-known member
Oct 11, 2013
16,922
Fiveways
I was balls-deep into English punk from late 76. Finally cut off my hair early 77. Did my hair DIY for years after that. Mum said I looked 'fierce'. Could have been the eye liner and the unalloyed look of joy in the eye of an autistic boy finally enjoying freedom.

The American 'punk' wasn't really anything of the sort in 76/77. The Stooges had long gone, with Iggy a rock icon with those two albums from Berlin in the pipeline. The MC5 were always wankers. NYD were fun but were straight up and down rock, despite whatever Bob Harris thought. Richard Hell 'blank generation' was copied off UK fashion and was a bit wanky. Patti Smith was art school (good, but not punk). 1977 this is. Not 1982.

And so, English punk. Bat shit mental gigs. My mate Nils temporarily lost his eyesight watching the Damned. The Brighton scene in 77 was great fun. With me back in London late 77 I got Siousxie, The Stranglers, X Ray Spex, Gen X, Chelsea...and then by the end of 77 we had Wire and it had all moved on. The long overcoats were appearing. The Fall were here.

American 'punk, based on English punk started later. West coast stuff like Black Flag. In Canada the wonderful DOA. But I had moved on by then and 'pogoing' was not going to happen. Any more.

OK back to roots. It has been said that early punk was Rokie Erikson, The Count Five. Even Love. Even Jonathan Richman. f*** off. Punk as we know it started with The Damned. The Pistols, brilliant though they were, can easily be seen now as a rock band. Compare Neat Neat Neat with Anarchy in the UK. I love them both, but only one of them was new music. The Pistols were great rock thanks to Steve and Paul, elevated with an auteur genius vocalist, JL. His vocals were a thing of beauty. But inspired by the likes of Peter Hammill.

Anyway, truth, beauty, fashion, just enjoy what you like. Tonight I am mostly listening to Wearesadband. Life goes on, and music is life.


Interesting situated experiential account. I would have joined you in 77 and I think you're just indicating that post-punk is utterly genius.
Anyhow, MC5 might always have been wankers (can't verify either way), but they were thrilling. That still comes through now.
 




Zeberdi

“Vorsprung durch Technik”
NSC Patron
Oct 20, 2022
5,287
There I was enjoying your contributions, and then you go and link NYD and Ramones together. They're both overrated obviously, but very different bands.
I didn’t link them musically - perhaps you should read my post again? Indeed they were both very different but both American punk bands that I happen to like at the time and which had a place in my music collection ( along with numerous genres and hundreds/thousands of other artists over the years) but I was never a Punk fan for either side of the Atlantic tbh.
 
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smillie's garden

Am I evil?
Aug 11, 2003
2,631
Both . . . Very different really.

The history is well documented. . . .It's all before my time anyway.

Buzzcocks were the best band musically for me. . . NYD the best show, if we're strictly mid 70's 'punk'

New Rose nails it as far as uk 70's punk goes

us punk . . . You can drag back to the Sonics and the like, early mid 60's anyway. . . . Our best offering then was perhaps The Pretty things . . . Another hugely under rated band. Better than the stones. . . .

Lest we forget the mighty M C 5!
If you’re talking punk roots, you can’t ignore these weirdos: they had the commitment to dodgy hairstyles to boot!

 


zefarelly

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Jul 7, 2003
22,065
Sussex, by the sea
Impossible for me to do I’m thinking, mainly because of the cross-pollination that always seems to go on between American and British music. Few would argue that the proto-punk of the Stooges, and then the NY scene, especially the Ramones, didn’t influence the first wave of British punk bands. However, Punk as a youth subculture, including the politics/nihilism and, especially, the fashion, were codified in the UK.

As an aside, Aussie punk is pretty bloody good too.
Stranded.

The Saints album is great, not just a one hit wonder, a good listenable album. I say that having listened to it on original vinyl very loud, very recently.

clearly US influenced as it predates most of the uk racket
 




Weststander

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Aug 25, 2011
65,391
Withdean area
I was balls-deep into English punk from late 76. Finally cut off my hair early 77. Did my hair DIY for years after that. Mum said I looked 'fierce'. Could have been the eye liner and the unalloyed look of joy in the eye of an autistic boy finally enjoying freedom.

The American 'punk' wasn't really anything of the sort in 76/77. The Stooges had long gone, with Iggy a rock icon with those two albums from Berlin in the pipeline. The MC5 were always wankers. NYD were fun but were straight up and down rock, despite whatever Bob Harris thought. Richard Hell 'blank generation' was copied off UK fashion and was a bit wanky. Patti Smith was art school (good, but not punk). 1977 this is. Not 1982.

And so, English punk. Bat shit mental gigs. My mate Nils temporarily lost his eyesight watching the Damned. The Brighton scene in 77 was great fun. With me back in London late 77 I got Siousxie, The Stranglers, X Ray Spex, Gen X, Chelsea...and then by the end of 77 we had Wire and it had all moved on. The long overcoats were appearing. The Fall were here.

American 'punk, based on English punk started later. West coast stuff like Black Flag. In Canada the wonderful DOA. But I had moved on by then and 'pogoing' was not going to happen. Any more.

OK back to roots. It has been said that early punk was Rokie Erikson, The Count Five. Even Love. Even Jonathan Richman. f*** off. Punk as we know it started with The Damned. The Pistols, brilliant though they were, can easily be seen now as a rock band. Compare Neat Neat Neat with Anarchy in the UK. I love them both, but only one of them was new music. The Pistols were great rock thanks to Steve and Paul, elevated with an auteur genius vocalist, JL. His vocals were a thing of beauty. But inspired by the likes of Peter Hammill.

Anyway, truth, beauty, fashion, just enjoy what you like. Tonight I am mostly listening to Wearesadband. Life goes on, and music is life.



I was too young to see the 76/77 gigs, but I think you’ve nailed it. The NYD didn’t have a raw punk sound or aura at all, they weren’t ground breaking with a new music that shook the establishment.
 




ElectricNaz

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2013
866
Hampshire
I think it's a split vote but

British pre 90s
American post 90s

I love it all tbf don't think I could choose one over the other. Where's the fence option
 




happypig

Staring at the rude boys
May 23, 2009
8,018
Eastbourne
I was balls-deep into English punk from late 76. Finally cut off my hair early 77. Did my hair DIY for years after that. Mum said I looked 'fierce'. Could have been the eye liner and the unalloyed look of joy in the eye of an autistic boy finally enjoying freedom.

The American 'punk' wasn't really anything of the sort in 76/77. The Stooges had long gone, with Iggy a rock icon with those two albums from Berlin in the pipeline. The MC5 were always wankers. NYD were fun but were straight up and down rock, despite whatever Bob Harris thought. Richard Hell 'blank generation' was copied off UK fashion and was a bit wanky. Patti Smith was art school (good, but not punk). 1977 this is. Not 1982.

And so, English punk. Bat shit mental gigs. My mate Nils temporarily lost his eyesight watching the Damned. The Brighton scene in 77 was great fun. With me back in London late 77 I got Siousxie, The Stranglers, X Ray Spex, Gen X, Chelsea...and then by the end of 77 we had Wire and it had all moved on. The long overcoats were appearing. The Fall were here.

American 'punk, based on English punk started later. West coast stuff like Black Flag. In Canada the wonderful DOA. But I had moved on by then and 'pogoing' was not going to happen. Any more.

OK back to roots. It has been said that early punk was Rokie Erikson, The Count Five. Even Love. Even Jonathan Richman. f*** off. Punk as we know it started with The Damned. The Pistols, brilliant though they were, can easily be seen now as a rock band. Compare Neat Neat Neat with Anarchy in the UK. I love them both, but only one of them was new music. The Pistols were great rock thanks to Steve and Paul, elevated with an auteur genius vocalist, JL. His vocals were a thing of beauty. But inspired by the likes of Peter Hammill.

Anyway, truth, beauty, fashion, just enjoy what you like. Tonight I am mostly listening to Wearesadband. Life goes on, and music is life.


Did you deliberately leave out The Dictators, Heartbreakers, Ramones ?
 


SeagullsoverLondon

......
NSC Patron
Jun 20, 2021
3,386
On a slightly related note, just turned the TV to see that Blondie in Concert from 1979 is on BBC2.
(Ducks for cover as people tell me that they are not punk)
 


loz

Well-known member
Apr 27, 2009
2,295
W.Sussex
Having just seen Johnny moped last night you may not be surprised to hear me say English punk.

I have literally 1000s of punk records and CDs, but I doubt I have more than 20 from American bands, Dead Kennedys, Rancid, dead boys, Ramones, Dropkick Murphys and a couple NOTX LPs, the obvious bands really never really gone deeper into American punk.

Although I love suicide and have all there output.

As more of a Crass liking punk there was not really the equivalent in the USA IMHO.

( a debate earlier, the sex pistols were put together so in a way were a “ Boy band” there to sell music and cloths, but I feel the clash were more organic and formed like most bands)
 


Herr Tubthumper

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Jul 11, 2003
60,320
The Fatherland
I think bands like the pistols and the Clash were frauds and nothing more than manufactured bands. Obviously the were influential but only in terms of style. I think a lot of the bands that codified the politics were undoubtedly American.
Why do you think The Clash were manufactured? I’m aware of their origins, so I guess it’s a case of how you interpret their forming?
 




GT49er

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2009
47,254
Gloucester
I was balls-deep into English punk from late 76. Finally cut off my hair early 77. Did my hair DIY for years after that. Mum said I looked 'fierce'. Could have been the eye liner and the unalloyed look of joy in the eye of an autistic boy finally enjoying freedom.

The American 'punk' wasn't really anything of the sort in 76/77. The Stooges had long gone, with Iggy a rock icon with those two albums from Berlin in the pipeline. The MC5 were always wankers. NYD were fun but were straight up and down rock, despite whatever Bob Harris thought. Richard Hell 'blank generation' was copied off UK fashion and was a bit wanky. Patti Smith was art school (good, but not punk). 1977 this is. Not 1982.

And so, English punk. Bat shit mental gigs. My mate Nils temporarily lost his eyesight watching the Damned. The Brighton scene in 77 was great fun. With me back in London late 77 I got Siousxie, The Stranglers, X Ray Spex, Gen X, Chelsea...and then by the end of 77 we had Wire and it had all moved on. The long overcoats were appearing. The Fall were here.

American 'punk, based on English punk started later. West coast stuff like Black Flag. In Canada the wonderful DOA. But I had moved on by then and 'pogoing' was not going to happen. Any more.

OK back to roots. It has been said that early punk was Rokie Erikson, The Count Five. Even Love. Even Jonathan Richman. f*** off. Punk as we know it started with The Damned. The Pistols, brilliant though they were, can easily be seen now as a rock band. Compare Neat Neat Neat with Anarchy in the UK. I love them both, but only one of them was new music. The Pistols were great rock thanks to Steve and Paul, elevated with an auteur genius vocalist, JL. His vocals were a thing of beauty. But inspired by the likes of Peter Hammill.

Anyway, truth, beauty, fashion, just enjoy what you like. Tonight I am mostly listening to Wearesadband. Life goes on, and music is life.


Good summary - the Americans may have coined the word 'punk' as a genre of music, but Iggy, MC5, New York Dolls - nah, not really. It was English bands that actually got it. Personally never took to the Sex Pistols, but The Damned, UK Subs, The Ruts, The Buzzcocks, Siouxie, The Undertones, The Valves, The Scars and a few others were right on the button for me.
The vibes went back over the Atlantic, and some American bands got it - Dead Kennedys for example, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

Other analyses are available.
 


Pogue Mahone

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2011
10,769
Why do you think The Clash were manufactured? I’m aware of their origins, so I guess it’s a case of how you interpret their forming?
The Clash were as far from a manufactured band as it is possible to be. They were authentic, and refused to toe the line - they did exactly what they wanted to do, much to the annoyance of those who would wish to make money from them.

Their first album was pretty much straightforward 'punk' (with a few hints at the varied directions they would soon move in), but after that they annoyed many of their fans with their changes of direction.

They went on to become one of the most interesting bands that there has ever been, and their legacy still holds firm to this day.

A truly great band.
 


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