Love Bites

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In early September 1978, the lead off single from the album was released: 'Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have)' was in part personally inspired (by Francis Cookson) but it quickly became Buzzcocks' biggest ever hit, reaching number 12 in autumn 1978 and ranked as number 1 in 'Tracks of the year' by the NME. Since then, it has become the group's signature tune - covered by artists as diverse as Nouvelle Vague and Fine Young Cannibals, who took it to number 9. In 2005 a cover featuring Roger Daltrey, David Gilmour, Peter Hook, Robert Plant and Pete Shelley was released as a tribute to the late DJ John Peel. Love Bites quickly followed. As Shelley explained at the time: "On Another Music, on the first side it was all the things that the first singles had been leading up to. It's very compact. The second side is different and there's a lot of directions that could be followed on it. If you were to take the second side of Another Music and the first side of Love Bites and put them together people'd say it was a concept album. It's almost like we planned like a serial in a magazine where they always leave just enough to keep you interested in what's going to follow up in the next one." Seen this way, the first side continues and develops the themes of album number 1. The concise, biting opener 'Real World' continues Shelley's perceptual preoccupations, as applied to the perplexities of human emotions: "I'm in love with the real world/It's mutual or so it seems/'Cause only in the real world do things happen like they do in my dreams." The hypnotic, speedy 'Operator's Manual' wishes that human beings, like appliances, came with instructions in case of malfunction: although not a single, its popularity gave the title to a 1990's Buzzcocks Best Of collection. Taking on Shelley's schema, Side Two points forward to A Different Kind of Tension. It begins with Steve Garvey's snappy instrumental, 'Walking Distance' - at under two minutes, the shortest track on the record. Steve Diggle's 'Love Is Lies' is both tuneful and determined - a welcome additional voice. The final three songs are all over four minutes. 'Nothing Left' goes along at a fair lick: it talks about love but has a psychedelic noise guitar solo and exhausted lyrics, which could well refer to Shelley's state of mind as he buckled on the post punk rollercoaster.


1 Real World
2 Ever Fallen in Love
3 Operators Manual
4 Nostalgia
5 Just Lust
6 Sixteen Again
7 Walking Distance
8 Love Is Lies
9 Nothing Left
10 E.S.P.
11 Late for the Train