News & Faves on Vinyl

The Adverts – One Chord Wonders (Stiff Records 1977)

The magic of the 45 – it’s rarely clearer than on early punk singles. 1-2-3-4, that’s how the first single of London’s Adverts, ”One Chord Wonders“, starts, just to smash through the next two minutes. The band had their first success only with their next single ”Gary Gilmore’s Eyes“, but ”One Chord Wonders“ (released on Stiff Records in April 1977) may even be more straightforward, ending with a mantra-like ”the wonders don’t care – we don’t give a damn“ and a bang! But what do they not give a damn about? About not being able to play their instruments well, and about the crowd leaving when noticing it. But who cares? The Adverts were part of the punk movement in which skilful play wasn’t important at all. Raw energy was! The B-Side doesn’t change the tone and announces ”you’re going to see what punks can do“. As the A-Side already says: ”We must be new wave – they’ll like us next year“. They were right and ”One Chord Wonders“ became Single of the Week in Melody Maker and John Peel appreciated them as well. Essential stuff!

Rating: 8/10

(YouTube only offers the slightly different album version)

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