Search - Buzzcocks :: Time's Up

Time's Up
Time's Up
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Domestic edition of heavily bootlegged album featuring artwork by Howard Devoto. This reissue includes enhanced footage of the Buzzcocks live at the Manchester Free Trade. 11 tracks including 'Boredom' & 'Orgasm Addict'. 2...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Buzzcocks
Title: Time's Up
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mute U.S.
Original Release Date: 1/1/1977
Re-Release Date: 3/21/2000
Album Type: Enhanced, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724596912126


Album Description
Domestic edition of heavily bootlegged album featuring artwork by Howard Devoto. This reissue includes enhanced footage of the Buzzcocks live at the Manchester Free Trade. 11 tracks including 'Boredom' & 'Orgasm Addict'. 2000 release. Standard jewel case.

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CD Reviews

Great slice of history, but for completists only.
Art | 01/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great snapshot of the Buzzcocks' first ever recording session. As someone who is far more familiar with the Pete Shelley-led version of the band, I found it fascinating to hear Howard Devoto's take on these early songs. Not what I would recommend for someone's first introduction to the band, but great if you think you've heard it all.Two caveats to potential buyers: Despite what Amazon says, this album is not "Live". Also, there is one live video track included on the enhanced CD, but the video is not synched up with the audio in any way. The audio sounds like the studio track with random shots of the 'Cocks onstage performing. It's interesting to see them in action at their first ever gig, but any connection between the movements they're making in the film and the music you're hearing is purely coincidental."
Time spent missing this bootleg is up
PennyS | Vic, Australia | 07/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Back in the '80s I had this bootleg album on a creaky old cassette which was ultimately chewed up in some walkman or other. I never expected to find it again. I cannot express the joy of discovering that somehow it has made its way to CD.

This is the original Buzzcocks line-up with Howard Devoto on vocals. It contains some great songs which were subsequently dropped from the Buzzcocks playlists when Devoto left the band, such as Boredom, Time's Up and of course Lester Sands (a drop in the ocean), a small sliver of immortality for Lester Sands and in fact the only thing I know about this person; that Howard Devoto once loathed him enough to write a song about him. The production is raw but the energy more than makes up for it, as well as the pleasure of listening to a favourite singer in development, as in the early tracks Howard Devoto has a definite sound of John Lydon, if such a thing could be imagined.

The sound has been cleaned up very well for the CD; it's much better than the tape I had. The included home movie of the Lesser Free Trade Hall Concert is brief but priceless.

Absolutely required for fans of Buzzcocks and Howard Devoto, if there are any left apart from me."
"Who you trying to arouse?"
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 06/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This was recorded for 45 quid one afternoon when I was fifteen; I heard their début LP a year later, but I always wanted these October '76 demos. At sixteen, "Another Music From a Different Kitchen" hit me perfectly; I sought it on import and unlike any other punk recording, it's stays freshest for me. The band's earlier formation sounds just as spiky and snarly and witty and, as Greil Marcus' liner notes (cribbed from his typically over-reaching, half-intellectual, half-gushing "Lipstick Traces" that tried to place countercultural denizens within the tradition of Ranters and Levellers from Christopher Hill's Marxist revision of 17c Anabaptists and roundheads and rebels, and back to mystics and alchemists and heretics) put it well enough, "spidery" and "prickly" to boot.

This was a bootleg, although four songs appeared as the very first self-promoted DIY ep, "Spiral Scratch," sold for a pound by New Hormones label in Manchester. There's certainly the impact that, dramatized in "24-Hour Party People," can be seen at the Lesser Free Trade Hall Sex Pistols gig that supposedly galvanized the Buzzcocks into action, along with Warsaw (later Joy Division), and I suppose Mark E. Smith and The Fall, and the unlikely, given his legacy, crooner Simply Red. And, like Woodstock, probably another thousand punters claiming to have attended that concert.

Like The Fall's MES, you can hear in one of the best tracks, "Boredom," the ascending vocal "-uh" at the end of a line that made both Howard Devoto and Mark E famous-- well, semi-so vs. Simply Red or Ian Curtis-- for a Mancunian inflection. Dessicated, ripe, and arch, this tone of autodidactic students and artsy types from the North entered their edgy, febrile, bristlingly suggestive tunes. Full of cast-off but carefully learned references, the lyrics of such as The Fall and Buzzcocks may in Marcus' reading be "overdetermined," but given Mark naming the band after Camus' novel, and a fascinating interview of Devoto with Johnny Rachy in 1977 reprinted here, you cannot gainsay the smarts behind the sneers.

No, Devoto tells Rachy, not Van Morrison or Iggy Pop, but Des Essientes, Dostoevsky's underground man, and Camus' mythic Sisyphus inspire him. "Breakdown," one of the other standout cuts, for Devoto's set within "metanoia," and this "two-minute epic" encourages the listener to join the speaker's "potential for ego-expansion" within the "trials and tribulations of boredom, waiting and nascent enlightenment." Unsurprisingly, "Time's Up," inspired by standing in an endless line at Safeway to purchase bananas ("beans" does sound better in the song!), has Devoto explicating his attempt to articulate "waiting for ages like a Buddhist waiting twenty yers for nirvana as an extreme." Not sure exactly what he means, but that lack of precision in turn suggests the imperative of the song and album's title: "the suspension of the self."

He adds: "But it never worked out so basically it's just a song about being pissed off at spending so much time waiting." This struggle against and within the mundane characterizes Buzzcocks; Devoto's notebook for lyrics filled with random insults while after he left to form the post-punk pioneers Magazine, Pete Shelley took over vocals with his quavering iambic delivery that gave more humor to, say "Orgasm Addict" vs. his predecessor's dryer, if equally strained, approach to singing, or more accurately, delivering the frenetic, unravelling, jittery tunes with annoyed voices over them.

The songs, given they're demos, lack of course the little polish that Martin Rushent would provide for the three studio albums. "You Tear Me Up" and "Love Battery" resemble album versions to come, while the warbling "Friends of Mine" deserves a higher status in their playlist. Unlike Marcus, who hears a raving from 1646 alluded to in its lyric, I lack as much enthusiasm (in the root sense) for "Lester Sands," although it features acerbic aspersions that match those of "Boredom's" couplet (not reproduced in the liner notes): "Who you trying to arouse?/Get your hand out of my trousers!" as one inspired pair that I doubt any pther pop song's tried to convey so pithily, if at all!

The later songs that October afternoon seem to stretch out although many fail to reach even three minutes. The energy packed into tunes that rise and wail and fall and crest crazily, as if you're putting your ears through the amps, astound in what must have been very primitive recording conditions. Already, Devoto's interviews and lyrics convey the end of punk's purity and the start of its commodification; the pace of evolution and compromise among the tiny scene in '76 found very soon an end to idealism that had barely begun. Like The Fall, Joy Division, and Magazine, Buzzcocks would struggle to express their young yearnings gleaned from the detritus of decaying urban Britain, the paperbacks of Continental literature, and the conversations of passers-by and the posing of part-time punks and media caricatures.

Showing that teen punks could remember predecessors, Buzzcocks turned to those who tried to shake up rock music ten years before. The cover of the Troggs' "I Can't Control Myself" seems more an application of their guitar assault to proto-punk; it reminds me somehow of the Ramones or early Undertones who shared such influences. Captain Beefheart's "I Love You, Big Dummy" also shows inspiration, and it's more pummelling (later covered similarly by Magazine), although it's not the best song for the three artists involved. The final track, "Don't Mess Me Around," despite 2:35 feels sonically endless, foreshadowing the experimental attitude of the last original album, presciently called in the spirit that always animated the band, "A Different Kind of Tension," when Shelley and Steve Diggle and amazing deconstructing drummer John Maher (joined by Steve "Paddy" Garvey) would continue the philosophical excursions and paeans to thwarted romance that made them the pop-punk champions of the late '70s."