Singles Going Steady

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Singles Going Steady
Compilation album by
Released25 September 1979
RecordedNovember 1977 – July 1979
GenrePunk rock, pop punk[1]
LabelI.R.S., United Artists
ProducerMartin Rushent, Martin Hannett
Buzzcocks chronology
Love Bites
Singles Going Steady
A Different Kind of Tension

Singles Going Steady is a compilation album by English punk rock band Buzzcocks, first released on I.R.S. Records in the United States on 25 September 1979.[2]


Singles Going Steady was the first Buzzcocks album to be released in North America and intended as an introduction to the band for the American public, coinciding with a tour of the US. Side one of the original release of the album featured their eight UK single releases on United Artists Records from 1977 up to the time of Singles Going Steady's release in 1979 in chronological order, while side two featured their corresponding B-sides, also in chronological order.

After healthy sales on import in the UK over the next two years, and following the group's split in early 1981, the album was belatedly released in the band's home country on United Artists Records on 16 November 1981 as a 'greatest hits' album.[3] However, as in the US, the album failed to chart.

The album was reissued in expanded form on compact disc in 2001 with an extra eight tracks, featuring the A-sides and B-sides of Buzzcocks' four singles released between Singles Going Steady and the group's break-up.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Classic Rock9/10[5]
Record Collector[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[10]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[11]
The Village VoiceA−[13]

Reviewing the album on import in 1979, NME called Buzzcocks "a vital part of the inspiration for the new pop age... This is the best album Buzzcocks never made. Hear it and weep."[14] A second review by the NME two years later upon the album's official UK release was no less enthusiastic, declaring that "this is the best Buzzcocks long-player to be realised, enshrining eight singles and their B-sides in a compilation which at a stroke helps to forgive the inconsistency of their other albums and clarifies the enormous debt which post-Buzzcocks pop owes to this frail practitioner [referring to Buzzcocks principal songwriter and singer Pete Shelley]... Employing the most traditional of beat group formations and turning their attention to the most elemental considerations, Shelley and the Buzzcocks created pop of such intense truthfulness it literally hurts."[15]

Melody Maker claimed that "to describe it as 'wonderful' would be doing the lads a gross injustice... Somehow, they devised a simple, crude but hugely effective medium for songs which were fast, funny and memorable."[16] Reviewing the 2001 reissue, Q said, "When Kurt Cobain picked these aging English punk rockers as the support act on Nirvana's final tour, the Buzzcocks received long-overdue recognition as one of the punk era's greatest singles groups... this singles collection, newly supplemented with eight bonus tracks, has lost none of its vitality."[17]

Looking back in 2019, Pitchfork's Jason Heller called the compilation "a paragon of songwriting about the pain and joy of love" and wrote that it "stands as one of the most endearing, intimate, and impeccably crafted batch of earworms in either the love-song or punk-rock realm". Heller praised the album's willingness to address emotions through punk music, saying, "Unrequited longing, severed ties, knock-kneed bashfulness, rash declarations of euphoric infatuation: Shelley delivers it all with jaunty melodies and deceptively complex chord progressions on par with the Beatles and the Kinks".[7]


In 2003, Singles Going Steady was ranked at number 358 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[18] It has been subsequently included on updates of the list published in 2012 (at number 360) and in 2020 (at number 250).[19][20]

In 2004, Pitchfork listed Singles Going Steady as the 16th best album of the 1970s.[21]

Track listing[edit]

Side one

Original release
No.TitleWriter(s)Originally fromLength
1."Orgasm Addict"Howard Devoto, Pete ShelleyNon-album single2:00
2."What Do I Get?"ShelleyNon-album single2:52
3."I Don't Mind"ShelleyAnother Music in a Different Kitchen2:16
4."Love You More"ShelleyNon-album single1:47
5."Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)"ShelleyLove Bites2:39
6."Promises"Steve Diggle, ShelleyNon-album single2:34
7."Everybody's Happy Nowadays"ShelleyNon-album single3:09
8."Harmony in My Head"DiggleNon-album single3:06
2001 re-release
No.TitleWriter(s)Originally fromLength
9."You Say You Don't Love Me"ShelleyA Different Kind of Tension2:54
10."Are Everything"ShelleyNon-album single3:59
11."Strange Thing"ShelleyNon-album single4:10
12."Running Free"DiggleNon-album single3:14

Side two

Original release
No.TitleWriter(s)Originally fromLength
1."What Ever Happened To?"Alan Dial, Shelley"Orgasm Addict" single2:12
2."Oh Shit!"Shelley"What Do I Get?" single1:34
3."Autonomy"DiggleAnother Music in a Different Kitchen3:41
4."Noise Annoys"Shelley"Love You More" single2:49
5."Just Lust"Dial, ShelleyLove Bites2:58
6."Lipstick"Diggle, Shelley"Promises" single2:36
7."Why Can't I Touch It?"Diggle, Steve Garvey, John Maher, Shelley"Everybody's Happy Nowadays" single6:32
8."Something's Gone Wrong Again"Shelley"Harmony in My Head" single4:29
2001 re-release
No.TitleWriter(s)Originally fromLength
9."Raison D'etre"ShelleyA Different Kind of Tension3:34
10."Why She's a Girl from the Chainstore"Diggle"Are Everything" single2:26
11."Airwaves Dream"Diggle"Strange Thing" single3:54
12."What Do You Know?"Shelley"Running Free" single3:15



Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 25 September 1979 I.R.S. Records LP SP 001
United Kingdom 16 November 1981 United Artists Records UAK 30279
United States 1988 I.R.S. CD CD 001
Europe 20 August 2001 EMI expanded CD 7243 5 34442 2 8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anthony, David; Ryan, Kyle; Heller, Jason (6 March 2014). "A beginner's guide to the bouncy buzz of pop-punk". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  2. ^ McGartland, Tony (1995). Buzzcocks: The Complete History. Independent Music Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-8977-8305-4.
  3. ^ "Datelines". Melody Maker. 14 November 1981. p. 32.
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Singles Going Steady – Buzzcocks". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  5. ^ Stubbs, David (Summer 2019). "Buzzcocks: Reissues". Classic Rock. No. 264. p. 91.
  6. ^ Cameron, Keith (July 2019). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Mojo. No. 308. p. 107.
  7. ^ a b c Heller, Jason (5 January 2019). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  8. ^ Catchpole, Chris (Summer 2019). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Q. No. 400. p. 119.
  9. ^ Quantick, David (June 2019). "Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady". Record Collector. No. 493. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  10. ^ Gross, Joe (2004). "The Buzzcocks". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 124–25. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  11. ^ Walters, Barry (1995). "Buzzcocks". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 65–66. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  12. ^ Lewis, John (July 2019). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady / A Different Kind of Tension". Uncut. No. 266. p. 43.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (29 October 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  14. ^ Rambali, Paul (13 October 1979). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". NME. p. 46.
  15. ^ Cook, Richard (31 October 1981). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". NME. pp. 35–36.
  16. ^ Sweeting, Adam (5 December 1981). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Melody Maker. p. 19.
  17. ^ Elliott, Paul (October 2001). "Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Q. No. 182. pp. 140–41.
  18. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Singles Going Steady – Buzzcocks". Rolling Stone. 18 November 2003. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  19. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time – Buzzcocks, 'Singles Going Steady'". Rolling Stone. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  20. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time – Buzzcocks, 'Singles Going Steady'". Rolling Stone. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  21. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott (23 June 2004). "The 100 Best Albums of the 1970s – Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 March 2023.