I’m Back!

And I brought some old Buzzcocks with me. So old that Howard Devoto was still in the band and Pete Shelley was just the guitarist. This is “Breakdown,” off their DIY EP Spiral Scratch. W. says …

Buzzcocks recorded the tracks on 28 December 1976 at Dave Kent-Watson’s Indigo Sound Studios in Manchester on 16-track Ampex tape. According to Devoto, “It took three hours [to record the tracks], with another two for mixing.” Produced by Martin Hannett (credited as “Martin Zero”), the music was roughly recorded, insistently repetitive and energetic.

The band, having no record label support, had to borrow £500 from their friends and families to pay for the record’s production and manufacture. The EP was released on 29 January 1977 on the band’s own New Hormones label, making Buzzcocks the first English punk group to establish an independent record label. Despite this, the disc quickly sold out its initial run of 1,000 copies, and went on to sell 16,000 copies, initially by mail order, but also with the help of the Manchester branch of the music chain store Virgin, whose manager took some copies and persuaded other regional branch managers to follow suit.

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