Various Artists & Jon Savage presents: Jon Savage's 1977-1979: Symbols Clashing Everywhere

28th January 2022

Format Info

2xCD with Signed Photo

With Exclusive signed postcard

Jon Savage is the best punk historian. He was there (of course) but his understanding of everything is widescreen – he is in the moment but also alive to the possibilities and most of the tangents. Symbols Clashing Everywhere is a cross-genre fertilisation of Punk, Post-Punk, Electronica, Dub, Euro Disco and unique one-offs – a reflection of what he was listening to in the late 70s.

The seventh in my series of Ace singles comps reaches the years 1977-79. Unlike the earlier 70s, when I’d been streamed into the rock world, I’d started to listen to a wider variety of music during that time – punk, obviously, but also the beginning of post-punk, early homegrown electronica, European synth disco, dub, a bit new wave, and unique one-offs such as Subway Sect’s ‘Don’t Split It’ or the Lines’ ‘White Night’ – that represents a turbulent, highly creative period that reflected a divided, increasingly harsh world outside.

It was the late 70s, with symbols clashing everywhere, and I was in the thick of it – having moved from fan and consumer to practitioner – first with Sounds from April 1977 onwards, and then with Melody Maker from October 1978 on. Moving from small live reviews and record reviews to longer interviews, I started by covering punk and then moved to historical psychedelia, reggae and dub, American and British independent records and New Musick, the November 1977 Sounds feature I co-edited with Jane Suck about the electronic future.

As you’d expect, I was sent dozens of records from within those genres. A mix of punk, reggae, dub, independent experimentation – including late 70s psychedelia – and increasing amounts of electronica was my staple during those years. Reggae and dub came from my experience of living in London: that’s what you heard all over North Kensington, Shepherd’s Bush and in shops like Acme Attractions, run by Don Letts and Jeanette Lee. Rough Trade regularly carried reggae imports, and I’d go there most weeks.

Unlike most compilations from this period, which focus on just one genre – almost always punk – “Symbols Clashing Everywhere”, as its title suggests, contains a mix of different styles and genres co-existing, informing and occasion-ally clashing: and that’s without any funk or high disco (I stand accused and corrected). In accordance with all the previous volumes, all of these 46 tracks were released on single – the perfect medium for a fast-moving, incredibly exciting and productive period.

01 Prophesy Reveal – Bo Jangles 02 Neat Neat Neat – The Damned 03 Heavy Manners – Prince Far I 04 Soda Pressing – The Boys 05 Quick Step – The Adverts 06 Young Savage – Ultravox! 07 Magic Fly – Space 08 The Modern Dance – Pere Ubu 09 Day By Day – Generation X 10 Utopia – Me Giorgio – Giorgio 11 The Passenger – Iggy Pop 12 Suspended Sentence – John Cooper Clarke 13 Bamba In Dub – The Revolutionaries 14 No Bones For The Dogs – Joe Gibbs & The Professionals 15 Emergency – 999 16 King’s Lead Hat – Brian Eno 17 Dontsplitit – Subway Sect 18 52 Girls – The B-52’s 19 Moving Away From The Pulsebeat – Buzzcocks 20 Neverr – Penetration 21 Warm Leatherette – The Normal 22 I Remember – Suicide 23 True Confessions – The Undertones

Side 2 01 Being Boiled – The Human League 02 White Night – The Lines 03 Come Back Jonee – Devo 04 Tired Of Waking Up Tired – The Diodes 05 Voices – Siouxsie & The Banshees 06 28/8/78 – Scritti Politti 07 The Set Up – Cabaret Voltaire 08 Human Fly – The Cramps 09 Found A Job – Talking Heads 10 Situations – The Middle Class 11 Times Encounter – Nigel Simpkins 12 Handling The Big Jets – The Members 13 Hippie – Suzannes 14 3.38 – The Pop Group 15 Warrior In Woolworths – X-Ray Spex 16 Are Friends’ Electric? – Tubeway Army 17 All Night Party – A Certain Ratio 18 Pakmoväst – Telex 19 Eine Symphonie Des Grauens – The Monochrome Set 20 A Question Of Degree – Wire 21 I Heard It Through The Grapevine – The Slits 22 Hindu Gods (Of Love) – Lipstick Killers 23 Spacer – Sheila & B Devotion

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