The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984
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The Day the Country Died features author, historian, and musician Ian Glasper (Burning Britain) exploring in minute detail the influential, esoteric, UK anarcho punk scene of the early Eighties.
If the colorful ’80s punk bands captured in Burning Britain were loud, political, and uncompromising, those examined in The Day the Country Died were even more so, totally prepared to risk their liberty to communicate the ideals they believed in so passionately.
With Crass and Poison Girls opening the floodgates, the arrival of bands such as Zounds, Flux of Pink Indians, Conflict, Subhumans, Chumbawamba, Amebix, Rudimentary Peni, Antisect, Omega Tribe, and Icons of Filth heralded a brand new age of honesty and integrity in underground music. With a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain, punk music became self-sufficient and considerably more aggressive, blending a DIY ethos with activism to create the perfectly bleak soundtrack to the zeitgeist of a discontented British youth.
It was a time when punk stopped being merely a radical fashion statement, and became a force for real social change; a genuine revolutionary movement, driven by some of the most challenging noises ever committed to tape. Anarchy, as regards punk rock, no longer meant “cash from chaos.“ It meant “freedom, peace, and unity.“ Anarcho punk took the rebellion inherent in punk from the beginning to a whole new level of personal awareness.
All the scene’s biggest names, and most of the smaller ones, are comprehensively covered with new, exclusive interviews and hundreds of previously unseen photographs.
“The oral testimony assembled here provides an often-lucid participant’s view of the work of the wider anarcho-punk milieu, which demonstrates just as tellingly the diversity as well as the commonality by which it was defined. The collection hints at the extent to which—within a militant antiwar, anti-work, anti-system framework—the perception and priorities of the movement’s activists differed: something the movement’s critics (who were always keen to deride the uniformity of the ’Crass punks’) rarely understood.“
—Rich Cross, Freedom
“With a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain, punk music became self-sufficient and considerably more aggressive, blending a DIY ethos with activism to create the perfectly bleak soundtrack to the zeitgeist of a discontented British youth. Including such iconic bands as Crass, Conflict, Flux of Pink Indians, Subhumans, Chumbawamba, Oi Polloi, Amebix, Rubella Ballet and Zounds to name but a few, Ian Glasper’s history of punk stands out as an important and relevant history of the genre.“
—Dave Faulds, Dulwich Books Review
“Glasper is thorough and democratic. He lets everyone speak, tell their own story, edits out the rambling and bullshit and presents a fair picture of all the main bands from all over the UK and Ireland. Geographically divided up. It’s an encyclopaedic but down-to-earth reference book, full of detail and anecdotes.“
—Ged Babey, LouderThanWar.com
About Ian Glasper:
Ian Glasper is the author of Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980-1984, The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984, and two other books that cover the UK punk scene. A member of many DIY bands and contributor to countless fanzines, Ian lives in the UK and remains passionate and dedicated to Punk Rock.