Usually contextualized against a backdrop of two years of the growing cultural importance of punk rock—Wire’s debut Pink Flag, released in December 1977 on EMI’s progressive label Harvest was in fact was something “other.” To the keen cultural commentator, the timing and label of it’s release will register two essential facts about it. Firstly, too late (a year after the Pistol’s debut release) to be part of UK punk’s first flush and secondly that the band were signaling something beyond punk by their choice of label. Further investigation would reveal twenty-one tracks, some of them clocking in at well under a minute and covering a range of tempi well beyond the buzzsaw rockabilly that had become, even by the second half of 1977, punk’s staple.
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