INSPIRED BY PUNK, angered by Thatcher and in love with ’60s culture, the UK indie scene produced some of the greatest (and oddest) pop records of all time. It all began on December 28, 1976 at Indigo Studios on Gartside Street in Manchester. The Buzzcocks had just recorded and mixed four songs destined for the Spiral Scratch EP. A month later the EP would be released on the band’s own New Hormones label, in the process spawning a scene of musicians, songwriters and labels hell-bent on doing it for themselves. Forged in the political turmoil of the late ’70s and early ’80s, labels such as Postcard, Creation, Factory, Zoo and Rough Trade emerged as maverick flag-bearers of a new eclectic indie aesthetic. The DIY revolution had begun and British pop would never be the same again.
From Aztec Camera to Arctic Monkeys, Felt to Franz Ferdinand, Swell Maps to The Smiths, here are MOJO’s 50 essential albums, EPs and singles of homegrown genius.