Featuring the Ramones, Patti Smith, The Modern Lovers and some undiscovered treats

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4 THE RUNAWAYS
The Runaways
MERCURY, 1976

Chugga-chugga-paced hard rock sufficiently rudimentary to pass for punk, the debut by Kim Fowley’s teen-girl rock group is the missing link between the glitter-fetishism of Rodney’s English Disco and the day-glo punk of Los Angeles’ Masque club. Constructed around lingerie-clad singer Cherie Currie and moody guitarist Joan Jett, The Runaways cut up rough on “You Drive Me Wild”, with attitude aplenty on “Cherry Bomb”, but Jett felt there was revolutionary intent, too. “Girls playing rock’n’roll means that they’re being blatantly sexual,” she said. “And in America, girls and women aren’t allowed to be.” JW

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5 THE MODERN LOVERS
The Modern Lovers
HOME OF THE HITS, 1976

Post-punk before punk even existed, Jonathan Richman had dialled down the volume considerably by the time the first Modern Lovers album was released. Recorded between 1971 and 1973, when the insanely sensitive Bostonian’s mission was to splice the clanking assault of his beloved Velvet Underground to lyrics that espoused hope and a healthy lifestyle, The Modern Lovers celebrates motorway driving (“Roadrunner”), loving your parents (“Old World”) and romance, though purely from the neck up. Richman’s U-certificate quest for honesty would lead his MkII Modern Lovers to spend part of the summer of 1977 recording a version of “The Wheels On The Bus”. Winsome, lose some. JW

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6 TELEVISION
Marquee Moon
ELEKTRA, 1977

New York punk’s founding fathers – they literally built the CBGB’s stage in 1973 – Television were the last of the first wave to actually record an album. By this point, the group had dropped co-founder Richard Hell from bass and moved from the ballsier, more succinct garage-derived sounds of their original live incarnation. The tense, abstruse poetry of Tom Verlaine’s barked, sneered and whispered lyrics lend an urban intellectual bent to songs like “Elevation”: but it’s his questing, free-jazz inflected guitar trade-offs with Richard Lloyd on the title track that define the record, and became their trademark. DL

  1. 1. Introduction
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