Thursday, April 25, 2013

Buzzcocks or The Undertones?

Every time I do one of these band battles, I think it's going to be a close contest. And somehow it usually ends up a blowout. Here's one, finally, that should be about 50/50. Or maybe I'm way off and it will be a total rout. You never know.

So as stated above, I think this one's really tough. Outside of The Ramones, these are probably the two premiere "classic" pop/punk bands. You can certainly make arguments in favor of either contestant. If we're just talking about each band's classic period, the Buzzcocks probably made a larger number of quality albums. But if I had to name the single best album made by either band, I'd go with Undertones self-titled. If you put both bands' singles head to head, I'd have a hard time declaring a winner. "Teenage Kicks" or "Orgasm Addict"? "Get Over You" or "What Do I Get?"? "Here Comes The Summer" or "Ever Fallen In Love?"? "My Perfect Cousin" or "Promises"? At least for me, some of those are just too close to call. A possible advantage for The Undertones in my opinion is that they had a lot of songs that weren't released as singles that could have been great singles. I don't know if the Buzzcocks had many deep cuts or B-sides to rival the likes of "Male Model", "Girls Don't Like It", "Mars Bars", or "There Goes Norman". If I lined up the best 20 Undertones songs against the best 20 Buzzcocks songs, I'm thinking The Undertones would prevail. But if we compared each band's best 30 or 40 songs, I'd lean the other way.

Ultimately, though, it really comes down to a gut feeling. Yeah, we know they're both great. But if you have to pick one, which way are you going? Traditionally I tend to abstain from voting on these things unless I have to break a tie. But in this case, I'm going to cast the first vote. Buzzcocks were probably more influential, and certainly have a more impressive body of work over the long haul. But I've never been one to equate longevity with greatness. At their very best, The Undertones achieved a level of perfection within their genre that will never be topped. From start to finish, that first album defines what poppy punk rock should sound like. And as great as those classic Buzzcocks albums were, sometimes a few of the tracks got a little too "arty" for my tastes. I'm a pure pop guy. I vote Undertones.

Next vote is yours!


1 comment:

Lord Rutledge said...

Early returns are in. I may have gotten The Undertones on the board, but the next three votes have been for the Buzzcocks!