Boredom

Album: Spiral Scratch (1977)
Charted: 31

Songfacts®:

  • This is the most popular song from the Buzzcocks' first self-released album Spiral Scratch. To this day, it is considered one of, if not the most, important albums in punk history. This is due partly to the album being a self-release, sans a backing label - the first punk album to have done so.
  • Buzzcocks trivia: The band came together when Howard Trafford, then a student at the University of Bolton, placed an advertisement looking for musicians sharing a liking for The Velvet Underground's song "Sister Ray." If you listen to "Sister Ray," it's "a rambling, nodded-out account of sex and murder among junkies and transvestites," in the words of the book The Velvet Underground - An Illustrated History Of A Walk On The Wild Side.
  • Check the guitar solo for punk authenticity. It's just two notes repeating 66 times, then ending with a single modulated seventh.
  • Almost as if this song were a prophecy, frontman Howard Devoto left the band on the eve of the record's release, stating that he gets bored very easily and that Punk Rock had already become restrictive and stereotyped. While Pete Shelley filled in for Devoto as the new face of the Buzzcocks, Devoto went on to found the band Magazine, and redid "Boredom," to a slower, more-sinister sounding beat.
  • Shelley told Reuters about Spiral Scratch: "We wanted to wake people up. It was like Dada. We wanted to make something that would provoke people - to shock them, almost like Zen Buddhism where they'd come and hit you with a stick (keisaku). You think, 'No, no, this cannot be.' Then all of a sudden you see all the possibilities."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Francis Rossi of Status Quo

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.

Desmond Child

Desmond ChildSongwriter Interviews

One of the most successful songwriters in the business, Desmond co-wrote "Livin' La Vida Loca," "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" and "Livin' On A Prayer."

Famous Singers' First Films

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.

Phone Booth Songs

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa CarltonSongwriter Interviews

The "A Thousand Miles" singer on what she thinks of her song being used in White Chicks and how she captured a song from a dream.

Tommy James

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover." "Draggin' The Line." The hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.