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."

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