Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 918: The Post-Punk Explosion part 7: All the rest

The original punk rock explosion of the 1970s was two things. First, it was a major reset for rock’n’roll. Think of it as a great musical decluttering. Punk wasn’t revolutionary; it was actually reactionary. The music was stripped back and everyone went back to the basics.

Second, there was a shift in attitude. One of the central tenets of punk was that if you had the guts to say something, then do it. And if no one wanted to help you, well, then, do it yourself.

Taken together, these two principles resulted in what can be described as the Big Bang for what soon be called “alternative music.” Punk set off chain reactions of new ideas, new sounds, new attitudes, new fashion, new belief systems, and generally new ways of doing things.

The gloves were off, rules were broken, concepts were explored, and unintended consequence happened. We now look back on the this great post-punk explosion of the late 70s and early 80s as an era that created so many of the basic foundations of today’s music. There was New Wave, technopop, industrial, goth, and the ska revival. Those were the major genres to emerge. But there was more. A lot more.

Songs heard on this program:

  • REM, Pretty Persuasion
  • Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart
  • Cocteau Twins, Pearly-Dewdrops Drops
  • Jesus and Mary Chain, Just Like Honey
  • Talking Heads, Life During Wartime
  • Pil, This is Not a Love Song
  • Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Burning Rubber
  • Bangles, Hero Takes a Fall
  • Human League, (Keep Feeling) Fascination
  • Dead Kennedys, Holiday in Cambodia

Here’s Eric Wilhite’s playlist.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38458 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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