NME photography legends Chalkie Davies and Denis O’Regan launch their latest exhibition, The Art of Punk and New Wave across the UK this winter, showcasing their work from the golden era of punk rock. We asked both of them to make us a playlist of their favourite tunes from the era, and they duly obliged. Turn up the speakers, it’s about to get loud.
Denis O’Regan’s playlist:
The Clash – Janie Jones
2 minutes 20 seconds. From their first album. I love this. It’s short, relentless and fun. Janie Jones lived a few doors away from a Kensington pub that I frequented at the time.
Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK
Amazing song. Pure rock c/o Steve Jones the genius riff man. It embodies the strutting drawling nature of Johnnie Rotten’s live persona.
Ramones – Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Another short, relentless pop song by the masters of Punk Pop. It’s almost ‘hit & run’ Beach Boys on steroids, which always takes me back to The Roundhouse in 1977.
The Damned -Neat Neat Neat
The Damned were the first punk band that I saw live in 1976, and this song sums up not only that evening but the manic pace of punk itself.
Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love
A melodic love song by Pete Shelley, the finest purveyor of pure British pop punk. I often ended up in the corner of the room at a party listening to him put the world to rights.
The Only Ones – Another Girl Another Planet
A swirling masterpiece by Peter Perrett. It doesn’t matter what the genre or when this was released. I absolutely love everything about it. “I always flirt with death. I look ill but I don’t care about it …”.
Chalkie Davies’ playlist:
Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
Watching the Detectives is arguably the first Dub Rock song, highly influenced by the Clash’s debut LP. One day I asked Elvis what it was about, he looked me in the eye and said, quite simply, Starsky and Hutch.
The Clash – Armagideon Time
I’ve always loved Reggae, and the Clash’s cover of Willie Williams and the Brentford All Stars “Armagideon Time” beats the original in my view. Ironically, Jimmy Cliff’s cover of “Guns of Brixton” beats The Clash’s original.
The Specials – Ghost Town
I did all three LP covers for the Specials, and Jerry Dammers is without question a musical genius. With my old mate Barney Bubbles making the promo film in the deserted City of London on a Saturday night, this song sums up Thatchers Britain.
The Pretenders – Thin Line Between Love and Hate
Chris Thomas not only produced the Sex Pistols but also the Pretenders. He invited me to Air Studios to listen to their cover of The Persuaders tune, “Thin Line Between Love and Hate”. Christie’s vocal sent shivers up my spine that night and still does every time I hear it.
Dr Feelgood – Roxette
Before Punk there was Pub Rock, and Dr Feelgood ruled, we at the NME loved them to death. With Wilco’s machine gun guitar, and Lee Brilleaux’s manic stage presence, they were an unbeatable live act. “Roxette” from their first LP remains my favourite song.
Ian Dury and the Blockheads – Wake Up and Make Love With Me
Many people found Ian a difficult person to deal with, but he was always like putty in my hands, doing anything I asked for a photograph. “Wake Up and Make Love to me”, the opening track on the first LP, sums up for me everything that made him a truly great Songwriter.
Find out more info/purchase tickets for The Art of Punk and New Wave exhibition HERE
Listen to Denis and Chalkie’s playlist on Spotify below