In the late seventies, music critics and record labels declared the punk movement dead, leaving almost no media space for bands who remained in those circles. Punk rock went completely underground, but thankfully, during those years, several subgenres emerged from the remnants. Anarcho-punk, d-beat, crust, hardcore punk, UK82, Oi!, post-punk, art-punk, and goth-rock were probably the most important ones, but there are even smaller scenes that played a significant part in shaping the punk rock we listen to and adore today. UK82 was probably the most influential among them, delivering the pioneers of the genre, such as The Exploited, GBH, Discharge, UK Subs, Anti-Nowhere League, Angelic Upstarts, Vice Squad, etc. Of course, someone needed to encapsulate the importance of this scene with a book, and who’s more capable of doing that than Ian Glasper? He distilled all his knowledge into Burning Britain, a book about the bands that shaped the British punk rock scene during the eighties in one way or another.
I can’t even explain the importance of this book. If you ever stumble upon Glasper’s books about any music scene, you probably know there’s anything you need to know about it. It’s a must-have for anyone who seeks knowledge about UK82 bands. The book explores its beginnings, delves deep into the politics and attitudes, and provides profoundly detailed biography and information about each band involved. Besides that, you’ll notice a comprehensive collection of band photos, gig photos, posters, flyers, etc. Burning Britain is a punk rock encyclopedia for those looking for aggressive, fast, political, in-your-face British punk bands that inspired many artists, bands and everyone else involved in the music nowadays. Inside, you’ll stumble on bands like The Exploited, Discharge, GBH, Anti-Nowhere League, UK Subs, Abrasive Wheels, Vice Squad, The Partisans, The Varukers, Anti-Pasti, Toy Dolls, The Adicts, Chron Gen, Broken Bones, The 4-Skins, UK Decay, Peter And The Test Tube Babies, Cockney Rejects, Angelic Upstarts, Blitz, etc.
Some gatekeepers would consider some of these bands as hardcore punk, crossover thrash, classic punk rock, or Oi!, but these were the times when those classifications were not important at all. The bands had the desire to play punk rock in the way they wanted, and they weren’t limited by the genres at all. The same diversity makes UK82 so unique and popular even today, forty years after its initial appearance. Burning Britain is a perfect starter kit for anyone who has even the slightest interest in extreme underground music. This piece of literature comes in handy if you hate searching for information over the web and need a quick tool that provides everything you need to know about the particular, significant era of punk rock music. As usual, Ian Glasper did an exceptional job compiling all the bands together in one place. His work on Burning Britain proves he’s one of the best punk rock historians out there. Head to PM Press for more information about ordering the book, or check Earth Island Books for UK and EU orders.