Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

9. BuzzcocksAnother Music In A Different Kitchen

I bought the first Buzzcocks album on the day it came out. I still have it in its plastic carrier bag. I knew it was going to be good as the Buzzcocks were already great. There was an excitement about being a youngster and liking the Buzzcocks at that time. Again, they were from my town and it was unheard of at that time for a band from Manchester to get the kind of commercial attention the Buzzcocks were attracting. They were on Top Of The Pops and were influencing other bands from around the country. And they sounded like they were from Manchester too. They were clever lyrically and clever musically.

Buzzcocks made modern guitar music that was appropriately punky but sounded razor-sharp on the radio in the middle of such a load of mainstream nonsense, which was a great source of pride for many Mancunians. That, coupled with the aesthetic of the band and the way they did their sleeve artwork and the way they dressed, was a very potent combination. Buzzcocks influenced The Smiths massively in the way we approached our record sleeves and our choice of independent record company – because of the Buzzcocks we took on a Mancunian DIY ethic, whilst being in the charts.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Paul Heaton
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