THE SALT OF THE EARTH

Late 1970s
Punk rock

Influenced by 1960s and early '70s bands like the Velvet Underground, Iggy & the Stooges, and the New York Dolls, punk rock took Britain and the world by storm in 1976. First and foremost among the punk rockers were the Sex Pistols, but the Clash, the Ramones, the Damned, the Buzzcocks and Siouxsie & the Banshees were among its other illustrious artists.

A heavily politicized movement, punk was born out of the British working class and in addition to attacking society in general attacked the rock music industry. The Sex Pistols and others were fiercely outspoken, in negative terms, about the "dinosaurs" that bands like the Who and the Stones  represented to them.

In fact, on a strictly musical front, though more primitive in their playing, the punk rockers were playing straight-ahead rock & roll which recalled the early Stones and Who much more than anything else predominating the rock music industry at the time (the Eagles, progressive rock, etc.). The sound on Some Girls bears the influence of punk in its attitude and sound if anything else: the guitars are more upfront, the whole album is more hard-rocking and aggressive and direct than the Stones' work of the previous years. (The use of phaser on Shattered is also an effect which the Clash used a lot during this time.)

Very short-lived as a movement, punk had a tremendous influence on the subsequent development of rock music: it is the main foundation upon which rests new wave and post-alternative rock in general (post-punk, grunge, etc.)
 
 

THE SEX PISTOLS  (1975-1978)

The Sex Pistols created the most memorable punk anthems and spearheaded the punk movement. Leader Johnny Rotten's verbal attacks on the Stones and other bands of their stature sparked Mick on to defend himself and possibly rejuvenate his and the Stones' career (Some Girls).

Well it was a very mixed feeling when the punk thing happened. It was very early on. It was 1976 it started to happen... 1977. And yeah, it did seem... Everything in rock and roll seems to go round and come round, that sort of thing. So you see, you know, kids spitting into the cameras and all that... And it did seem a bit of a replay, but it brought back a lot of energy and it brought back rock and roll to people who couldn't really play music. All those people who could sort of play music were OUT. You know, those sort of grandiose-style rock bands were out. And people who couldn't really play were back in again - like US. So that was kind of nice, you know. And it sort of revitalized a lot of people and made people think... They may think 2 things: they may think, Well, is that all there is? Cause we've done it before, and they may think, Well, energy is really a good thing to have in rock and roll. You don't have rock and roll without energy. And that was what, at that point, was lacking.

                                                   - Mick Jagger, 1984



Written by Ian McPherson, 2000.
Like all files on Time Is On Our Side, it is the exclusive intellectual property
of Ian McPherson and cannot be duplicated, in any form, without his authorization.

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