Gary Crowley’s career in music began in the late 1970’s when he founded the new wave fanzine ‘The Modern World’interviewing many of the most significant bands of the day including The Sex Pistols, The Jam and The Clash famously persuading Joe Strummer to give him an exclusive interview.
‘As far as genre descriptions go, Post Punk is a tricky one to nail down, lets get that clear from the off. But that aside, what an exciting, vibrant, creative time for music the late 70s/ early 80s were. Fired by Punk's back to basics approach and DIY ethic, the raft of bands/artists that followed in it's wake subsequently came up with some of the most vital, experimental, forward thinking music in the Pop cannon.’ Gary Crowley
Gary has curated a playlist and selected some of his favourite tracks and underground sounds from the post punk era....
THE LIGHT POURS OUT OF ME - MAGAZINE
‘If you'd asked me yesterday i probably would've chosen 'Shot By Both Sides' as my Number One but today it's this staggering beauty.
Magazine were a band who captured the essence of Post Punk better than most. Visionary, epic, emotionally affecting, they were one of the first to forge ahead from Punk's three chord restrictions and shake things up and capture the sense of innovation in the air. Driven by John McGeoch's majestic guitar, 'The Light Pours Out Of Me' still sounds as dark, menacing and awe inspiring as it did back in 1978.’
TRANSMISSION - JOY DIVISION
‘Joy Division's time together as a group may have been short (they called it a day after the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis) but what a legacy this band would go on to leave. Propelled by Stephen Morris's impressive drum work, i can remember hearing this for the first time on John Peel's radio show back in 1979 and having to do a double take at the radio. An essential collision of mood and danceability (all four talents coming together perfectly) and for my money captures the band at their very best and still sends shivers up my spine.’
DAMAGED GOODS - GANG OF FOUR
‘Fusing punk's energy with a danceable groove, political tinged lyrics and that distinctive angular guitar sound, Leed's Gang of Four went on to influence a whole raft of successful bands in the 80's, 90's up to the present day. 'Damaged Goods' is the band at it's purest for me.
The perfect example of their infectious, hard, funky sound. A twisted love song that bursts with originality. You can hear why Paul Weller, Michael Stipe, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and later why Kurt Cobain would cite the band as a massive influence.’
WHITE MICE - THE MO-DETTES
‘There were some amazing, pioneering women to come out of Punk...the Slits, Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Siouxsie Sioux, Poly Styrene, Pauline Black, Gaye Advert. The list goes on.
The Mo-Dettes were one of my favourite Post-Punk bands and should be held in much higher esteem. Sadly there time was relatively brief but they left behind them a cluster of singles and an album in 'The Story So Far' chock a block with Post Punk nuggets.
Founder member Kate was an original member of The Slits and was briefly with The Raincoats whilst Jane at one time shared squats with Joe Strummer and Sid Vicious. When they got together with drummer June and singer Ramona, the end result was original and impressive.
'White Mice' was their debut single and what a calling card it is. Set apart by Swiss born Ramona's distinctive vocal style and shining througout, the song's infectious beat made it a big fave of John Peel’s who practically played it on repeat on his late night radio show.’
TOO MANY CREEPS - BUSH TETRAS
‘You'll find some of the other great American Post Punk artists/ records further down the list but this gem is right up there for me because of it's uniqueness, freshness and their winning mix of contrasting influences.
Formed out of Manhattan's Downtown Rock scene, they boasted in their line up three girls and a guy who when making music together provided a breath of fresh air.
Like all great Pop records before and since, 'Too Many Creeps' blew my head off. This was back in 1980. Inspired by the lowlifes who were hitting on the band in and around the East Village, it sounds as relevant now as it did back then.’
I AM THE FLY - WIRE
‘Post Punk titans Wire have consistently mutated, twisted and surprised over their long career. It's a sound that's ambitious, dynamic, idiosyncratic and one for me that gets better with repeat listening.
'I Am the Fly', a single of theirs from 1978 being a prime example and captures them relatively at the beginning of their journey. Taken form their classic second album 'Chairs Missing', it's dark, simplistic and ultimately compelling and timeless. Like a lot of the best music that was being made during the late 70's.’
Gary Crowley's Punk and New Wave Box Set is available now through Edsel/Demon Records.
LISTEN TO THE FULL SPOTIFY PLAYLIST HERE