How Buzzcocks invented indie with help from the Sex Pistols, a Renault and the Quo

n January 1977 a young punk band called Buzzcocks walked into the Manchester branch of Virgin with a box of singles they wanted to sell. They had set up a label called New Hormones and paid for the records themselves with an early form of crowdfunding – borrowing £500 from a couple of friends and the guitarist’s dad – and their only ambition was to sell enough of the 1,000 copies they had pressed to be able to repay the loans. The Spiral Scratch EP ended up selling 16,000 copies and reaching the top 40 – there was no problem with the loans. More importantly, though, it proved that it was possible for artists to be in complete control of their music, from production to distribution, and in the process invented indie… read more >

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