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Various Artists

Punk in England DVD

Review by Gary Hill

When Bob Geldof talks about punk rock it leads you to really question the genre. He begins by talking about how so much great rock and roll is from England. Then he talks about how the punk bands at the time came out as a reaction to a staid world of music that was afraid of change. They saw music as monolithic and inflexible. So, their music was created as a reaction to that. From Geldof’s telling punk ran into trouble because they became too rigid and inflexible and there just wasn’t enough meat on the bones to keep it interesting. To a good degree you can’t argue with that logic. I mean, as good as punk rock was it only had so much gas in its tank.

In any event, this documentary chronicles a lot of the punks from the era before they ran out of gas. I find it a bit confusing and odd that they seem to lump ska into punk rock. Certainly the genres were related, but the titles are not interchangeable - nor were they ever so. All in all, though, this is an intriguing documentary and worth checking out. 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at

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