❉ Like the namesake he took his surname after, Pete Shelley was a genuine Romantic. No fuss, no commentary, here’s a Buzzcocks ten of the best.
“Buzzcocks were true innovators and a wonder” – Jon Savage
On 6 December 2018, we heard the sad news that Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks passed away at the too-young of 63. We Are Cult are still processing this news, as although your ‘umble editor was born too late for punk, when he first discovered Buzzcocks, via a secondhand LP of that perfect A & B sides compilation Singles Going Steady, he fell in love with the dynamic power-pop of the Mancuian foursome, and especially Pete Shelley’s lyrics.
Like the namesake he took his surname after, Pete Shelley was a genuine Romantic.
Very few artists managed to encapsulate all those youthful feelings of hope and anxiety, love and heartbreak, desire and alienation, quite like Shelley, in that distinctive Northern brogue. Like all the best pop artists he articulated the chaos and confusion of youth, and – in a largely heteronormative scene – there was a big old dose of queerness running through his songs like a stick of rock, made explicit with his debut solo single Homosapien.
No fuss, no commentary, here’s a Buzzcocks ten of the best… Enjoy the music. There is no love in this world anymore.
10. Hollow Inside
9. 16 Again
8. Moving Away From The Pulsebeat
5. Why Can’t I Touch It?
2. Everybody’s Happy Nowadays
2. I Believe
1. Ever Fallen In Love?
❉ James Gent is editor of the popular culture website We Are Cult. In 2014 he wrote the official biography for the relaunched the Monty Python website, and he has contributed to several cult TV anthologies including the best-seller 1001 TV Series You Must Watch Before You Die.