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Punk Britannia

Premier :: 2012-06-01

Airs :: Friday 9:00 PM on BBC Four

Genre :: Documentary

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A brand new take on the most transformative force in British popular music history.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 3 - Post-Punk 1978-1981
Aired - 15 June 2012

Episode summary:

Punk had shown what it was against- now what was it for? In the wake of the Pistols' demise a new generation of musicians would re-imagine the world. Freed up by punk's DIY ethos, a kaleidoscope of musical influences broke three chord conformity. Public Image Limited allowed Johnny Rotten to become John Lydon the artist, Magazine would be first to record in the wake of the Pistols' split, Mark E Smith made street poetry while Ian Curtis turned punk's rage into an existential drama. In a time beset by dread and tension perhaps the biggest paranoia was Mutually Assured Destruction essayed perfectly by Young Marble Giants' Final Day. Released in the height of Thatcherism, Ghost Town by The Specials marked a parting of the post-punk waves. Some would remain avowedly uncommercial whilst others would explore pop as a new avenue in the new decade. The song that perhaps summed up post-punk's journey was Orange Juice's Rip It Up and Start Again.

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