Review: To The Outside of Everything: A Story of UK Post Punk 1977-1981

December 18, 2017
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Post-punk was the catch-all term applied to much of the music which followed the original punk explosion of 1976-77.

Far removed from the three-chord thrash and pumped up pub rock which made up much of the ‘new wave’, it encompassed everything from electronic music to funk, and disco to free jazz.

Ultravox

It burned bright for but a few short years – the cut-off point for this excellent set is 1981 – before being supplanted by what became known as indie.

But what musical treats it did offer us, and Cherry Red have done their usual thorough job in bringing us most of the main bands (notable exceptions being XTC, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure, presumably down to licensing).

The tracklisting – 111 songs spread across five discs in a lavish box set, accompanied by a 48-page booklet – is bound to spark some debate about’s what’s post-punk and what’s not.

Yes, there’s some crossover with Action Time Vision, the punk set issued by Cherry Red last year, and Silhouettes and Statues, their goth collection from a few months ago, but we’ll forgive them that.

Tubeway Army

Tubeway Army

There are some bands which just HAD to be included; John Lydon’s post-Sex Pistols project PiL (represented by the still-unsettling Death Disco), Joy Division (the peerless Transmission) and Wire (I Am The Fly).

There’s other (some might say over-)familiar cuts too; Magazine’s classic Shot By Both Sides (a line from which gives this set its name, in case you hadn’t realised), and The…


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