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Various Artists – To The Outside Of Everything

To The Outside Of Everything – A Story Of UK Post-Punk 1977-1981
Deluxe 5 CD Set

“Discarding the inevitable dogma of Punk, the possibilities [of] Post Punk were seemingly limitless. When it comes to defining ‘Post Punk’, the problem is less a question of what to include, but what do you leave out?”
(Neil Taylor, sleeve-notes for To The Outside Of Everything)

Post-Punk was a belated term adopted to describe the creative outpouring of largely independent music which flourished in the wake of the Punk explosion. It was an incredibly fertile period. Prior to Punk Rock, music had been dominated by the middle classes. Instruments, studios, labels and distribution were difficult to access if you didn’t have connections or money. All that that changed with Punk Rock and its mythical implication that you didn’t need to play, let alone master an instrument. It was an era of great social unrest and the masses had something to say about it. Rock and pop was the ideal medium and the spring of indie labels made practically anything possible.

Named after a lyric from Magazine’s ground-breaking hit, ‘Shot By Both Sides’, To The Outside Of Everything tells a musical story of how the UK’s post-punk scene evolved from the spirit of 1977 and the arrival of key labels such as Fast, Rough Trade, Zoo, Factory and Cherry Red.

Like many of these exhaustive collections, To The Outside Of Everything’s rewards will depend largely on the listener’s own background and standpoint in respect of Post Punk. If you’re a beginner you’ll get to hear iconic tracks like New Order’s ‘Ceremony’ or PIL’s ‘Death Disco’. If you’re already an expert, you’ll still find some tracks appearing on CD for the first time ever. In all likelihood you’ll be somewhere between those two poles and thus the compilation will service both nostalgia and discovery.

Looking back it’s also interesting to play ‘influence spotting’. The works of bands like Dif Juz and Durutti Column have a clear forbearing toward post rock while the archetypal ‘lean and angular’ post punk sound made its own resurgence after the millennium.

The five disc box set includes landmark singles by Joy Division, PiL, Wire, Gang Of Four, The Slits, Killing Joke, Echo And The Bunnymen, Scritti Politti, The Pop Group, Human League, The Fall, Alternative T.V., Tubeway Army, Adam And The Ants, Josef K, The Teardrop Explodes, Throbbing Gristle, The Psychedelic Furs, Theatre Of Hate, The Birthday Party, The Associates, Fire Engines, and Ultravox. As per the norm with the Cherry Red reissue team, the set boasts and lengthy essay and band histories by ex-NME journalist Neil Taylor. It comes with a lavishly illustrated 48-page booklet.

To The Outside Of Everything is released December 8th on Cherry Red.

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