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Music / Buzzcocks

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Pete Shelley holds pictures of the other band members. From the "What Do I Get?" video.

"You spurn my natural emotions
You make me feel I'm dirt, and I'm hurt
And if I start a commotion
I run the risk of losing you, and that's worse
Ever fallen in love with someone ever fallen in love,
In love with someone ever fallen in love,
In love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with?"
—"Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)"

Buzzcocks are an English Punk Rock band who were one of the innovators of the Manchester music scene; they were also one of the most popular British punk bands, along with The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, and Generation X. They were one of the first punk bands to release a record (their debut EP, Spiral Scratch) on a local indie label. However, alongside the Ramones, they're best known for being one of the Trope Makers for the Pop Punk genre, with bands like Green Day citing them as an influence. They also gave the name to Never Mind the Buzzcocks, alongside the only album by the Sex Pistols.

Founding member and frontman Pete Shelley passed away on 6 December 2018, but the group has continued without him with founding member Steve Diggle as the new lead singer.


  • Steve Diggle - Guitar, vocals (1977–81, 1989–), bass (1976–77)
  • Chris Remington - Bass (2008–)
  • Danny Farrant - Drums (2006–)


  • Pete Shelley - Vocals, guitar (1976–81, 1989–2018)
  • Howard Devoto - Lead vocals (1976–77)
  • Garth Smith - Bass (1976, 1977)
  • Mick Singleton - Drums (1976)
  • John Mahernote  - Drums (1976–81, 1989, 1992)
  • Barry Adamson - Bass (1977)
  • Steve Garvey - Bass (1977–81, 1989–92)
  • Mike Joyce - Drums (1990–91)
  • Steve Gibson - Drums (1992)
  • Tony Barber - Bass (1992–2008)
  • Phil Barker - Drums (1992–2006)

Studio Album Discography:

  • Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978)
  • Love Bites (1978)
  • A Different Kind of Tension (1979)
  • Trade Test Transmissions (1993)
  • All Set (1996)
  • Modern (1999)
  • Buzzcocks (2003)
  • Flat-Pack Philosophy (2006)
  • The Way (2014)
  • Sonics in the Soul (2022; first album without Shelley)

Important Compilation:

  • Singles Going Steady (1979), which collected the band's singles up to that point. Originally the group's introduction to the American market (which had passed on their first two albums), it became popular enough to rate a British release as well.

I just want a troper like any other, what do I get?:

  • '70s Hair: The band members sported this look, in contrast with the punk fashions of the era.
  • The All-Concealing "I": Pete Shelley deliberately avoided using gender-specific pronouns like "he" or "she" in his lyrics. Shelley was bisexual, and his songs were often about failed relationships with both women and men.
    Pete: I tried to be as gender neutral as possible in writing songs, cause for me, I could use the same song for either sex.
  • The Band Minus the Face: Averted when original frontman Howard Devoto left to form Magazine; Pete Shelley took over the singing and became bnad's frontman. It happened again with Shelley's death, as Steve Diggle took over leadership of the group.
  • Cluster Shit Bomb: "Oh Shit".
  • Epic Rocking: "Why Can't I Touch It?" (6:38) and "I Believe" (7:09).
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)".
  • Extreme Libido: The song "Orgasm Addict":
    You're a kid Casanova, you're-a no Joseph
    It's a labor of love, fucking yourself to death
    Orgasm addict, you're an orgasm addict
  • Ironic Echo: Went on tour in 1979 with Joy Division in support months before Ian Curtis killed himself. Went on tour in 1994 as support for Nirvana... weeks before Kurt Cobain killed himself.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: The band got their name from the headline of a review of the musical drama television series Rock Follies, which proclaimed "It's The Buzz, Cock!". In context of the article, "buzz" meant "excitement" and "cock" was Northern English slang for "friend" - they were amused by the Accidental Innuendo but also thought it reflected the excitement of the punk rock scene.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The Shelley-Diggle-Barber-Barker lineup lasted from 1992–2006 and qualifies as a Type 2.
  • Missed the Bus: "Something's Gone Wrong Again": "Nothing ever happens to people like us, 'cept we miss the bus".
  • Musical Squares: The portraits of the band members on the back cover of Singles Going Steady.
  • Pop Punk: Unlike many of their peers (besides The Ramones), Buzzcocks played well-crafted pop songs, only louder and faster, with Pete Shelley's voice being much higher and melodic than many other punk singers at the time.
  • Questioning Title?: "What Do I Get?"
  • Really Gets Around/Rule of Funny: The protagonist of "Orgasm Addict" is apparently getting off to butcher's assistants, bellhops, winos, heads of state, international women with no body hair...
  • Recut: A later reissue of Singles Going Steady added four more singles and their B Sides to the track-list: Since the original Singles Going Steady put all of the original a-sides on one side of the album and the b-sides on the other, the reissue followed suit, putting four of the added tracks in the middle of the album and the other four at the end.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)", "What Do I Get?"
  • The Slacker: The narrator of "Boredom".
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Steve Diggle's vocal turns could be considered to fit this, though he does sing on every album at least once. The only time a Diggle-led track has been the A-side of a single was with "Harmony in My Head".
  • Trauma Conga Line: The narrator of "Something's Gone Wrong Again" loses a sock, cuts himself shaving, breaks a yolk trying to fry an egg, has his watch break, misses the bus, has a vending machine eat his change, gets stood up on a date, and finally finds that the pub is closed when he wants a drink after his horrible day.

Alternative Title(s): The Buzzcocks