Singles Going Steady

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Singles Going Steady
Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady LP album cover.jpg
Compilation album by
Released 25 September 1979
Recorded November 1977 – July 1979
Genre Punk rock, pop punk[1]
Length 47:49
Label I.R.S., United Artists
Producer Martin Rushent, Martin Hannett
Buzzcocks chronology
Love Bites
Singles Going Steady
A Different Kind of Tension

Singles Going Steady is a compilation album by English punk rock band Buzzcocks, first released on I.R.S. Records in the United States on 25 September 1979.[2]


Singles Going Steady was the first Buzzcocks album to be released in North America and intended as an introduction to the band for the American public, coinciding with a tour of the US. Side one of the original release of the album featured their eight UK single releases on United Artists Records from 1977 up to the time of Singles Going Steady's release in 1979 in chronological order, while side two featured their corresponding B-sides, also in chronological order.

After healthy sales on import in the UK over the next two years, and following the group's split in early 1981, the album was belatedly released in the band's home country on United Artists Records on 16 November 1981 as a 'greatest hits' album.[3] However, as in the US, the album failed to chart.

The album was reissued in expanded form on compact disc in 2001 with an extra eight tracks, featuring the A-sides and B-sides of Buzzcocks' four singles released between Singles Going Steady and the group's break-up.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[4]
Mojo 5/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork 9.4/10[6]
Q 5/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 10/10[9]
Uncut 9/10[10]
The Village Voice A−[11]

Reviewing the album on import in 1979, NME called Buzzcocks "a vital part of the inspiration for the new pop age... This is the best album Buzzcocks never made. Hear it and weep."[12] A second review by the NME two years later upon the album's official UK release was no less enthusiastic, declaring that "this is the best Buzzcocks long-player to be realised, enshrining eight singles and their B-sides in a compilation which at a stroke helps to forgive the inconsistency of their other albums and clarifies the enormous debt which post-Buzzcocks pop owes to this frail practitioner [referring to Buzzcocks principal songwriter and singer Pete Shelley]... Employing the most traditional of beat group formations and turning their attention to the most elemental considerations, Shelley and the Buzzcocks created pop of such intense truthfulness it literally hurts."[13]

Melody Maker claimed that "to describe it as 'wonderful' would be doing the lads a gross injustice... Somehow, they devised a simple, crude but hugely effective medium for songs which were fast, funny and memorable."[14] Reviewing the 2001 reissue, Q said, "When Kurt Cobain picked these aging English punk rockers as the support act on Nirvana's final tour, the Buzzcocks received long-overdue recognition as one of the punk era's greatest singles groups... this singles collection, newly supplemented with eight bonus tracks, has lost none of its vitality."[15]

Looking back in 2019, Pitchfork's Jason Heller called the compilation "a paragon of songwriting about the pain and joy of love" and wrote that it "stands as one of the most endearing, intimate, and impeccably crafted batch of earworms in either the love-song or punk-rock realm". Heller praised the album's willingness to address emotions through punk music, saying, "Unrequited longing, severed ties, knock-kneed bashfulness, rash declarations of euphoric infatuation: Shelley delivers it all with jaunty melodies and deceptively complex chord progressions on par with the Beatles and the Kinks".[6]


The album has been ranked at number 360 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[16][17]

In 2004 Pitchfork listed Singles Going Steady as the 16th best album of the 1970s.[18]

Track listing

Side one

Original release
No. Title Writer(s) Originally from Length
1. "Orgasm Addict" Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley Non-album single 2:00
2. "What Do I Get?" Shelley Non-album single 2:52
3. "I Don't Mind" Shelley Another Music in a Different Kitchen 2:16
4. "Love You More" Shelley Non-album single 1:47
5. "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" Shelley Love Bites 2:39
6. "Promises" Steve Diggle, Shelley Non-album single 2:34
7. "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" Shelley Non-album single 3:09
8. "Harmony in My Head" Diggle Non-album single 3:06
2001 re-release
No. Title Writer(s) Originally from Length
9. "You Say You Don't Love Me" Shelley A Different Kind of Tension 2:54
10. "Are Everything" Shelley Parts 1-3 3:59
11. "Strange Thing" Shelley Parts 1-3 4:10
12. "Running Free" Diggle Parts 1-3 3:14

Side two

Original release
No. Title Writer(s) Originally from Length
1. "What Ever Happened To?" Alan Dial, Shelley "Orgasm Addict" single 2:12
2. "Oh Shit!" Shelley "What Do I Get?" single 1:34
3. "Autonomy" Diggle Another Music in a Different Kitchen 3:41
4. "Noise Annoys" Shelley "Love You More" single 2:49
5. "Just Lust" Dial, Shelley Love Bites 2:58
6. "Lipstick" Diggle, Shelley "Promises" single 2:36
7. "Why Can't I Touch It?" Diggle, Steve Garvey, John Maher, Shelley "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" single 6:32
8. "Something's Gone Wrong Again" Shelley "Harmony in My Head" single 4:29
2001 re-release
No. Title Writer(s) Originally from Length
9. "Raison D'etre" Shelley A Different Kind of Tension 3:34
10. "Why She's the Girl from the Chainstore" Diggle Parts 1-3 2:26
11. "Airwaves Dream" Diggle Parts 1-3 3:54
12. "What Do You Know" Shelley Parts 1-3 3:15


Release history

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 25 September 1979 I.R.S. Records LP SP 001
United Kingdom 16 November 1981 United Artists Records UAK 30279
United States 1988 I.R.S. CD CD 001
Europe 20 August 2001 EMI expanded CD 7243 5 34442 2 8

See also


  1. ^ Anthony, David; Ryan, Kyle; Heller, Jason (March 6, 2014). "A beginner's guide to the bouncy buzz of pop-punk". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  2. ^ McGartland, Tony (1995). Buzzcocks: The Complete History. Independent Music Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-8977-8305-4.
  3. ^ "Datelines". Melody Maker. 14 November 1981. p. 32.
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Singles Going Steady – Buzzcocks". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Mojo (308): 107. July 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Heller, Jason (5 January 2019). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  7. ^ Catchpole, Chris (Summer 2019). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Q (400): 119.
  8. ^ Gross, Joe (2004). "The Buzzcocks". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 124–25. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  10. ^ Lewis, John (July 2019). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady / A Different Kind of Tension". Uncut (266): 43.
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (29 October 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  12. ^ Rambali, Paul (13 October 1979). "Review: Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady". NME. p. 46.
  13. ^ Cook, Richard (31 October 1981). "Review: Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady". NME. pp. 35–36.
  14. ^ Sweeting, Adam (5 December 1981). "Review: Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady". Melody Maker. p. 19.
  15. ^ Elliott, Paul (October 2001). "Review: Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady". Q. No. 182. pp. 140–41.
  16. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Buzzcocks, 'Singles Going Steady' | Rolling Stone". Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  17. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  18. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (23 June 2004). "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s | Features | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
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