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OG Post-Punk Countdown: 1977-1984 #1 - Joy Division - Transmission (1979) (Spotify playlist link in first post) (1 Viewer)

#34 - The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms (1980)

Crazy to think that a band considered to be in the pantheon of American post-punk only released a single record during the genre's heyday.  But what a record it is.  The term jittery is thrown around a lot when describing post-punk, but the entirety of the "Crazy Rhythms" album has a nervous energy that's infectious (and not always in a good way - I absolutely can't listen to it when I'm feeling anxious).  Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the title track.  Don't worry though, we'll definitely be seeing something else from the Feelies as we get towards the top.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05GTWKu4uU8

 
#34 - The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms (1980)

Crazy to think that a band considered to be in the pantheon of American post-punk only released a single record during the genre's heyday.  But what a record it is.  The term jittery is thrown around a lot when describing post-punk, but the entirety of the "Crazy Rhythms" album has a nervous energy that's infectious (and not always in a good way - I absolutely can't listen to it when I'm feeling anxious).  Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the title track.  Don't worry though, we'll definitely be seeing something else from the Feelies as we get towards the top.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05GTWKu4uU8


:wub:  

Love this band, album and song.

 
#36 - Echo & The Bunnymen - The Cutter (1983)

Like a less successful U2 or a much better Simple Minds (sorry @El Floppo), Echo & The Bunnymen had aspirations far beyond post-punk.  Their first three records though are classics of the genre.  1983's aptly name "Porcupine" is the darkest of the bunch, and leadoff track "The Cutter" shows Will Sergeant can do angular just as well as he can do psychedelic.  The bridge of this song positively soars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMplIrSlg8E
A top 2 band for me from age 16 to 19.  

Still top 20.  

 
scorchy said:
#34 - The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms (1980)

Crazy to think that a band considered to be in the pantheon of American post-punk only released a single record during the genre's heyday.  But what a record it is.  The term jittery is thrown around a lot when describing post-punk, but the entirety of the "Crazy Rhythms" album has a nervous energy that's infectious (and not always in a good way - I absolutely can't listen to it when I'm feeling anxious).  Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the title track.  Don't worry though, we'll definitely be seeing something else from the Feelies as we get towards the top.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05GTWKu4uU8
Absolutely my favorite album of the post-punk genre.  

 
#33 - Siouxsie & The Banshees - Metal Postcard (1978)

Siouxsie Sioux is post-punk royalty.  Not to mention that the Banshees themselves, both past and present, are like a who's who of the scene - Budgie, Robert Smith, Sid Vicious, John McGeoch (Magazine), Marco Pirroni (Adam and the Ants).  And they seemed to be beloved by everyone:  New Order, the Smiths, U2, JaMC, Radiohead, Garbage, LCD Soundsystem, TVotR, etc., etc., have all raved about their influence.  Siouxsie & The Banshees debut record, "The Scream," is a great intro to the band - moody, experimental, and intense.  "Metal Postcard" might not be the first track that comes to mind from the band's earliest recordings, but it's always been a personal favorite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DkFdAKwTbE

 
#32 - A Certain Ratio - Do the Du (1980)

Another Manchester band?  And still more to come?  Maybe somebody should do a countdown of Top Manchester songs - I nominate @Ramsay Hunt Experience, because I know I would just get slagged off because of my love for Noel Gallagher and The Ting Tings.  Factory Records signed A Certain Ratio in hopes of getting another Joy Division - didn't quite work out that way.  They are however, the only band to feature in both this list and @Northern Voice's best songs of 2020 (I'm guessing, at least).  "Do the Du" was the lead single off of ACR's first album, and brings a little bit of funk to the Factory sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsJ_54WyZ48

 
All I know about the Manchester music scene stems from your Madchester playlist and my college roommate (who actually has a tattoo of the Factory Records logo) getting a Joy Division cassette stuck in my car radio for a year. 

 
All I know about the Manchester music scene stems from your Madchester playlist and my college roommate (who actually has a tattoo of the Factory Records logo) getting a Joy Division cassette stuck in my car radio for a year. 
Oh c'mon.  You've surely seen footage from City's post-title locker room celebration where Noel leads the lads in a rousing rendition of "Wonderwall."  Was shocked that Ederson seemed to know all the words.  

 
#31 - Psychedelic Furs - Dumb Waiters (1981)

When the Psychedelic Furs released their second album ("Talk, Talk, Talk") in 1981, they obviously had no clue that it included a song that would make them famous 5 years later.  TBH, that "Pretty in Pink" soundtrack was pretty huge (The Furs, New Order, OMD, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen) even if the movie itself was meh - Andie definitely should have told both Blane and Duckie to #### off.  With each successive release, the Furs became poppier and poppier until they finally broke up in 1991.  Richard and Tim Butler went on to form Love Spit Love and became famous to a whole new generation by covering The Smiths for the theme to the TV show "Charmed."***  Going back to '81, "Dumb Waiters" was actually the first single from "Talk, Talk, Talk" and my favorite Psychedelic Furs song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrX9Mg4ersQ

*** Maybe 8 or 9 years ago, I saw Built to Spill in DC and they covered The Smiths "How Soon is Now?" during an encore.  One millennial chick turned to her friend and squealed "OMG!!! It's the song from 'Charmed'"  I wept a little.

 
Great album and another outfit with a solid first few very distinctive albums. I always liked Into You Like a Train...and the songs right after it. I'm loving that our tastes overlap, but not exactly- so you're picking tunes I probably haven't listened to in years since flipping them onto my turntable in HS. I'm at a point where I can't even listen to most of the stuff from back then just from having heard it too much. This is providing me the opportunity to listen to all of this with fresh ears...something I've missed and genuinely appreciate.

I lived in Milan a short time in 88 or 89. They played a free gig at May-day (communist) in the Castello courtyard. I dragged my roommates to join the two other people watching. Handful of anarchists showed up. I felt genuinely terrible for the band, but they still out on a great show...even though most of the stuff I like doesn't hold up so well in the midday sun. I know I chatted with them a bit afterwards, but have zero recollection of it other than knowing they just wanted to get the hell out of there.

 
Great album and another outfit with a solid first few very distinctive albums. I always liked Into You Like a Train...and the songs right after it. I'm loving that our tastes overlap, but not exactly- so you're picking tunes I probably haven't listened to in years since flipping them onto my turntable in HS. I'm at a point where I can't even listen to most of the stuff from back then just from having heard it too much. This is providing me the opportunity to listen to all of this with fresh ears...something I've missed and genuinely appreciate.

I lived in Milan a short time in 88 or 89. They played a free gig at May-day (communist) in the Castello courtyard. I dragged my roommates to join the two other people watching. Handful of anarchists showed up. I felt genuinely terrible for the band, but they still out on a great show...even though most of the stuff I like doesn't hold up so well in the midday sun. I know I chatted with them a bit afterwards, but have zero recollection of it other than knowing they just wanted to get the hell out of there.
Awesome story.  Freakin' anarchists always gotta ruin it for everyone.  And I know what you mean about the midday sun - seeing Front 242 at Lollapalooza at like 11 a.m. wasn't good for anyone.

I'm enjoying hearing your thoughts on the bands/songs too - I think we are probably coming at things from different angles.  For the more popular of these bands, I heard their later stuff first and it took me a while to dig deeper - like, I saw the video for Siouxsie's Peek-A-Boo on 120 minutes, bought that record, then found a greatest hits.  It was years before I bought the individual CDs.  Bands like Go4 and Wire weren't even on my radar until the mid-90s, having backtracked into post-punk from Goth.

Didn't help that I grew up in a place that was pretty much a cultural wasteland.  While you were modeling in Milan, most girls in Salisbury MD were still wearing stirrup pants and hot-ironing their bangs (at least until 1997) and I was buying my prom suit at the local Merry Go Round.

 
*** Maybe 8 or 9 years ago, I saw Built to Spill in DC and they covered The Smiths "How Soon is Now?" during an encore.  One millennial chick turned to her friend and squealed "OMG!!! It's the song from 'Charmed'"  I wept a little.
“OMG, it’s that song from the lesbian Russian schoolgirls!”

* Embarrassing admission. I always thought the Charmed cover was by Frank Black. No idea why. 

 
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Time for another round of post-punk revival:

#15 - Squid - Houseplants - 2019 (like a yelpier, more British Parquet Courts, maybe?)

#14 - She Wants Revenge - Tear You Apart - 2006 (my lord did this fill up the dance floor with all the aging goths in 2006)

#13 - Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls - 2009 (FF were at the forefront of the revival, but I dig their later stuff like this too)

#12 - Crocodiles - Stoned to Death -2010 - (I love everything Crocodiles have ever put out.  Like a SoCal JaMC.)

#11 - Fontaines DC - Big - 2019 (Look at us, we're Irish!)
Just one more set after these 5:

#10 - Stellastarr* - No Weather - 2002 (Saw them at the old Khyber in Philly in 2003.  An unknown band called the Killers opened.  I loved Stellastarr* at the time, but it was pretty obvious even then that the bill needed to be reversed.)

#9 - Viagra Boys - Research Chemicals - 2015 (Not everything from Sweden sounds like ABBA or Roxette.)

#8 - Le Tigre - Deceptacon (DFA Remix) - 2001 (Not that she would care, but I have this love/hate thing with Kathleen Hanna.  I really dig some of her music, but when I listen to her talk, I'm torn between being captivated and supremely annoyed.  Regardless, hearing the DFA remix makes me want to dance like I'm under 30 again.)

#7 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Y Control - 2003 (This still sounds as good now as it did in 2003.)

#6 - IDLES - Danny Nedelko - 2018 (I'll let Floppo handle any IDLES comments).

 
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#30 - The Normal - Warm Leatherette (1978)

The Normal was Daniel Miller, who founded Mute Records explicitly to release his lone single, the b-side of which was a weirdly twitchy electronic homage to the novel Crash (the James Spader one, not the Matt Dillon one).  Mute became a home for a lot of up-and-coming electronic bands, including Depeche Mode, Yaz, Erasure, Fad Gadget, and Nitzer Ebb.  The first half-dozen times I heard a DJ play "Warm Leatherette," I absolutely hated it and took it as a sign to stop dancing and go get a beer.  Somehow it grew on me, and when I got a chance to spin a few years later, loved to throw it on occasionally just to watch all the goths trade their flowing dance moves for odd spasms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5QErPDNcj4

 
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scorchy said:
#30 - The Normal - Warm Leatherette (1978)

The Normal was Daniel Miller, who founded Mute Records explicitly to release his lone single, the b-side of which was a weirdly twitchy electronic homage to the novel Crash (the James Spader one, not the Matt Dillon one).  Mute became a home for a lot of up-and-coming electronic bands, including Depeche Mode, Yaz, Erasure, Fad Gadget, and Nitzer Ebb.  The first half-dozen times I heard a DJ play "Warm Leatherette," I absolutely hated it and took it as a sign to stop dancing and go get a beer.  Somehow it grew on me, and when I got a chance to spin a few years later, loved to throw it on occasionally just to watch all the goths trade their flowing dance moves for odd spasms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5QErPDNcj4
Oh #### yes.

Posted this in some other thread, here's Peter Murphy (of the previously ranked Bauhaus) and Trent Reznor doing Warm Leatherette. Just as freaky.

Also, synth britannia is a really good documentary covering several of the bands already ranked (and probably a few to come).

 
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Oh #### yes.

Posted this in some other thread, here's Peter Murphy (of the previously ranked Bauhaus) and Trent Reznor doing Warm Leatherette. Just as freaky.

Also, synth britannia is a really good documentary covering several of the bands already ranked (and probably a few to come).
Oh man - thanks so much for those links.  Just muted my conference call to listen to the first one.  I'll queue up the latter for tomorrow night.  Leading off by playing Darklands has me bursting with anticipation.

 
Oh man - thanks so much for those links.  Just muted my conference call to listen to the first one.  I'll queue up the latter for tomorrow night.  Leading off by playing Darklands has me bursting with anticipation.
To bring it back to the most recent post - Daniel Miller (and Warm Leatherette) makes his first appearance in that documentary at about 8:30 and is featured at various points throughout the rest of it.

 
#29 - ESG - Moody (1981)

Speaking about maybe not fitting the genre...  How did sisters from the South Bronx end up on a post-punk countdown?  In the late '70s, ESG performed in several local talent contests, were discovered by an independent label boss, and got booked to open for A Certain Ratio when they played NYC.  Tony Wilson from Factory Records happened to be at that show, and 5 days later, ESG were in Manchester recording their debut EP for the label (produced by Martin Hannett, no less).  Their debut EP and subsequent album turned the sisters into underground stars, with their songs being sampled by artists ranging from Kool Moe Dee and Wu Tang to TLC and Luscious Jackson.  ESG even played the opening night of The Hacienda and opened for PiL and The Clash.  Not bad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu9_EW-R1ZE

 
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Honestly, I'm not even familiar enough (except for the Warm Leatherette cover) to have had her on the radar.
Iirc, she had a record or three with Sly & Robbie on rhythm section that slayed. You must know Pull up to the Bumper and Libertango? Her earlier disco version of La Vie En Rose was pretty great in the euro clubs. 

 
Iirc, she had a record or three with Sly & Robbie on rhythm section that slayed. You must know Pull up to the Bumper and Libertango? Her earlier disco version of La Vie En Rose was pretty great in the euro clubs. 
Yeah, she might be a stretch for this genre (I :wub:  Pull Up To The Bumper it's got a post punk edge but feels more like funk/disco), though I've seen people refer to those records you mention as post punk. Something like Demolition Man seems closest.

 
Yeah, she might be a stretch for this genre (I :wub:  Pull Up To The Bumper it's got a post punk edge but feels more like funk/disco), though I've seen people refer to those records you mention as post punk. Something like Demolition Man seems closest.
Great call on Demo Man.

All from the amazing LP, Nightclubbing (with Sly and Robbie on drums and bass). Lol at the genre classifications per wiki.. Pop, sophisti-pop, art pop, synth-pop, post-disco, reggae. sorry...sophisti-pop?

I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango) went on a ton of my mix tapes back then. Still love the tune and the album.

 
#28 - Delta 5 - Mind Your Own Business (1979)

"Can I interfere in your crisis? No! Mind you own business!"

Rising from the same Leeds scene that gave us Go4 and The Mekons, Delta 5 ended up way more short-lived.  The band put out just three singles on Rough Trade and one album on Charisma before breaking up (though Kill Rock Stars did release a compilation of their studio and live material in 2006).  Even at the time, the band was probably more known for their political activism than their music, especially after members were beaten badly  by a group of right-wing thugs during a Rock Against Racism protest.  Delta 5's first single "Mind Your Own Business" still feels like an apt feminist anthem more than 40 years later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a38HYryTiUA

 
#27 - Public Image Ltd. - Public Image (1978)

"Hello? Hello? Hello?"  The godfathers of post-punk making their first appearance with a track that many people (not me) consider to be the first post-punk single.  After the breakup of the Sex Pistols, John Lydon gained a ton of freedom to explore new ideas, and Jah Wobble's heavy bass sound and Keith Levene's syncopated guitar gave PiL some serious groove.  The band's first album wasn't their best (that would be Metal Box, IMO) and critics almost universally hated it, but looking back, it paved the way for a ton of other great records and bands to come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylOCIP54PIQ

 
#27 - Public Image Ltd. - Public Image (1978)

"Hello? Hello? Hello?"  The godfathers of post-punk making their first appearance with a track that many people (not me) consider to be the first post-punk single.  After the breakup of the Sex Pistols, John Lydon gained a ton of freedom to explore new ideas, and Jah Wobble's heavy bass sound and Keith Levene's syncopated guitar gave PiL some serious groove.  The band's first album wasn't their best (that would be Metal Box, IMO) and critics almost universally hated it, but looking back, it paved the way for a ton of other great records and bands to come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylOCIP54PIQ
#### yeah!!!!

 
#28 - Delta 5 - Mind Your Own Business (1979)

"Can I interfere in your crisis? No! Mind you own business!"

Rising from the same Leeds scene that gave us Go4 and The Mekons, Delta 5 ended up way more short-lived.  The band put out just three singles on Rough Trade and one album on Charisma before breaking up (though Kill Rock Stars did release a compilation of their studio and live material in 2006).  Even at the time, the band was probably more known for their political activism than their music, especially after members were beaten badly  by a group of right-wing thugs during a Rock Against Racism protest.  Delta 5's first single "Mind Your Own Business" still feels like an apt feminist anthem more than 40 years later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a38HYryTiUA
Don't know this one at all...dig it.

 
#26 - The Jesus and Mary Chain - Upside Down (1984)

One of my top 5 favorite bands, who I could sneak into the countdown by virtue of their debut single released on Creation in late 1984.  At the time, "Upside Down" sounded revolutionary, with its massive feedback obscuring Scottish mumbling.  JaMC immediately gained cult status for their live shows, 15-20 minute sets of noise marred by thrown objects and violence that garnered negative national press not seen since the Sex Pistols.  JaMC's first album, "Psychocandy" was released in 1985 and showed the band's intentions - Velvet Underground feedback, Phil Spector Wall of Sound, and girl-group melodies.  For their second record, 1986's Darklands, JaMC dropped the feedback a notch and upped the melody, resulting in a near-perfect set of songs.

I first heard of JaMC when I saw the "April Skies" video on 120 minutes.  I bought what up whatever I could find and was immediately in love - so much so that I had a T-shirt shop on the OCMD boardwalk print me a tee featuring the cover of their "Barbed Wire Kisses" compilation.  Of course, when I wore it to school, a teacher made me turn it inside out - I guess because she thought it was making fun of Jesus.  Had the same issue with my Jane's Addiction "Nothing's Shocking" shirt, but that seems just a bit more understandable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnO41-rKUsc

 
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If you picked any random Saturday night between 1991 and 1999, chances are I was at some dingy club with a bunch of fellow black-clad freaks.  I should probably put freaks in quotes for the years I spent at UF, where even if it seemed slightly insane to wear black clothes and eyeliner during an August afternoon in Gainesville, most of the scene was just college kids who liked English lit and hated fraternities.  Once I moved to Philly though, I got to meet the real freaks.  The kind that had their canine teeth filed into fangs or danced in gas masks or wore assless leather pants and carried around paddles for spankings.  The music was pretty much the exact same songs as were played in clubs 900 miles to the south, but the atmosphere was way more serious and judgmental, and not nearly as fun.  

Anyway, I swung way more to the industrial side of the scale than the goth side, but at most places, the sounds and crowd all intermingled anyway.  There's so much in this thread that is goth-adjacent that I figured I would make a brief detour.  So here's Part 1 of my top 10 goth club dancefloor fillers from bands that either (1) appear in this countdown or (2) are directly associated with other bands in the countdown.  @urbanhack- hit the strobelights.

#10 - Love and Rockets - Ball of Confusion  (the first three Love and Rockets records are criminally underrated)

#9 - Jesus and Mary Chain - Sidewalking (Yes Virginia, you can dance to JaMC)

#8 - The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary (Even once the Cult got big, no true goth could resist this song)

#7 - Peter Murphy - Cuts You Up  (That voice though)

#6 - Shriekback - Nemesis  (the only song to ever reference parthenogenesis?)

 
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Sorry if I step on your toes scorchy but Saturday night is just about over and this 3 hour intermission is too much for me so I'm going to play this one:

Chameleons - Don't Fall
No worries about toe-stepping here. We don't even have a dress code.  Can't believe I didn't even make it til midnight, much less last call.

Great song and fits the vibe perfectly.  Strange though that I maybe heard the Chameleons twice in a club during all those years.

 
#25 - Bush Tetras - Too Many Creeps (1981)

Starting the top 25 with the second entry from Bush Tetras.  Of all the acts that got two songs in the countdown, Bush Tetras are probably the least renowned and undoubtedly the least prolific - just three singles, an EP, and one live cassette.  At a time when American post-punk had it's own distinct sound, Bush Tetras sounded positively British with some NYC funk thrown in.  Debut release "Too Many Creeps" seems like a perfect theme for early 80s New York.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqn-1z-B4CM

 

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