A Different Kind of Tension

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A Different Kind of Tension
A Different Kind of Tension (Buzzcocks album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1979
StudioEden Studios, London, England
LabelUnited Artists
ProducerMartin Rushent
Buzzcocks chronology
Singles Going Steady
A Different Kind of Tension
Operator's Manual: Buzzcocks Best

A Different Kind of Tension is the third studio album by English punk rock band Buzzcocks. It was released in September 1979 by record label United Artists.

It charted at number 26 in the United Kingdom[1] and number 163 in the United States.[2]

Recording and production[edit]

A Different Kind of Tension, under the guidance of English record producer Martin Rushent and the management of Richard Boon, was recorded at Eden Studios, mixed at Genetic Sound, mastered by George Peckham at Portland Recording Studio, and published worldwide in vinyl LP format in 1979 and 1980 through United Artists Records, EMI, and I.R.S. Records.[3] The album was subsequently reissued many times, and first released in CD format in 1989 by I.R.S. featuring the 1981 6-track promo EP Pts. 1–3. This same version was remastered in 1992. In 2008 (Europe) and 2010 (US) EMI and Mute Records released a 2-CD remastered version of the album featuring its associated singles, demo recordings, and the band John Peel's BBC Radio 1 shows of 23 November 1978 (recorded on 18 November 1978) and 28 May 1979 (recorded on 21 May 1979).

Album cover[edit]

The sleeve features a photograph of the band by Jill Furmanovsky[3] amongst a montage of triangles. This continued the artistic theme established by Malcolm Garrett on the covers of Another Music in a Different Kitchen (squares) and Love Bites (circles).

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Mojo4/5 stars[5]
Record Collector4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[8]
Smash Hits7/10[9]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[10]
Uncut3/5 stars[11]
The Village VoiceB+[12]

In a contemporary review of A Different Kind of Tension, Mikal Gilmore of Rolling Stone felt that the album suffered from repetitiveness, "resulting in a catchall of reworked riffs and static, similar tempos", while nonetheless praising it as their "most formidable record yet".[13] In a retrospective review, Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan called A Different Kind of Tension the best of the band's first three albums.[7] Uncut magazine observed that the album was divided between an unsurprisingly punk-flavoured first half and an experimental second half which harkened to the future.[11]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Pete Shelley, except where noted.

1."Paradise" 2:23
2."Sitting Round at Home"Steve Diggle2:38
3."You Say You Don't Love Me" 2:55
4."You Know You Can't Help It"Diggle2:22
5."Mad Mad Judy"Diggle3:35
6."Raison D'etre" 3:32
7."I Don't Know What to Do with My Life" 2:43
8."Money" 2:45
9."Hollow Inside" 4:46
10."A Different Kind of Tension" 4:39
11."I Believe" 7:09
12."Radio Nine" 0:41


  • Martin Rushent – producer/engineer
  • Nick Froome – second engineer
  • George Peckham – mastering
  • Richard Boon – management
  • Malcolm Garrett – artwork
  • Kevin Cummins – photography (Shelley)
  • Jill Furmanovsky – photography (group)
  • Peter Monks – photography (Maher)
  • Gervaise Soeurouge – photography (Garvey)
  • Judith Wrightson – photography (Diggle)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
UK Albums Chart[1] 26
US Billboard 200[2] 163


  1. ^ a b "Official Charts Company – Buzzcocks". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Buzzcocks – Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b Buzzcocks (1979). A Different Kind of Tension at Discogs. United Artists Records – UAG 30260
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "A Different Kind of Tension – Buzzcocks". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Buzzcocks: A Different Kind of Tension". Record Collector: 116. It hardly chimed with the times but, fragmented and seemingly without direction, A Different Kind of Tension now resembles a punk-era The White Album.
  6. ^ "Buzzcocks: A Different Kind of Tension". Record Collector: 88. The sparkling innocence was replaced by a darker poignancy and self-doubt, but he music was no less compelling...
  7. ^ a b Dolan, Jon (11 May 2010). "The Buzzcocks: A Different Kind of Tension (Reissue)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  8. ^ Gross, Joe (2004). "The Buzzcocks". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 124–25. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Starr, Red (18–31 October 1979). "Albums". Smash Hits: 29.
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  11. ^ a b Cavanagh, David (5 November 2008). "Album Reissues: The Buzzcocks – Another Music In A Different Kitchen / Love Bites / A Different Kind Of Tension". Uncut. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (28 April 1980). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  13. ^ Gilmore, Mikal (29 May 1980). "The Buzzcocks: A Different Kind of Tension". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 February 2012.

External links[edit]