Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady [I.R.S., 1979]
The title is the perfect conceit for this collection of eight relentless British forty-fives--arranged chronologically, the A sides on the A side and the B sides on the B--about love and lust among the unmarrieds. The Buzzcocks' knack for the title hook and the catchy backup chorus, along with their apparently asocial lyrics, tempts tastemakers in jaded olde England to dismiss them as mere pop, but over here their high-speed, high-register attack sounds powerful indeed. The best song on the record, "Orgasm Addict," is the most cynical; the second-best, "Everybody's Happy Nowadays," is the most gleeful. Good sign. A-