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Read Chuck Berry’s scathing 1980 reviews of The Clash, Sex Pistols and other early punks

If anyone had the right to absolutely write off the most iconic songs in early punk, it was the legendary Chuck Berry.

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The Grandfather of Rock went to town on The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramones, amongst others, in a 1980 interview for St. Louis-based music zine Jet Lag.

This is what he had to say:

The Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen

“What’s this guy so angry about anyway? Guitar work and progression is like mine. Good backbeat. Can’t understand most of the vocals. If you’re going to be mad at least let the people know what you’re mad about.”

The Clash – Complete Control

“Sounds like the first one. The rhythm and chording work well together. Did this guy have a sore throat when he sang the vocals?”

The Ramones – Sheena is a Punk Rocker

“A good little jump number. These guys remind me of myself when I first started, I only knew three chords too.”

The Romantics – What I Like About You

“Finally something you can dance to. Sounds a lot like the sixties with some of my riffs thrown in for good measure. You say this is new? I’ve heard this stuff plenty of times. I can’t understand the big fuss.”

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

“A funky little number, that’s for sure. I like the bass a lot. Good mixture and a real good flow. The singer sounds like he has a bad case of stage fright.”

Wire – I Am the Fly and Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

“So this is the so-called new stuff. It’s nothing I ain’t heard before. It sounds like an old blues jam that BB and Muddy would carry on backstage at the old amphitheatre in Chicago. The instruments may be different but the experiment’s the same.”

Via Open Culture.

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October 23, 2018

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