Wire - Pink Flag
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Wire's debut Pink Flag, was originally released in December 1977 on EMI's progressive label 'Harvest' perhaps an unlikely label for a release that effectively prefigured both post-punk & art-punk. With it's 21 stripped down tracks and iconic stark sleeve.
In Pink Flag Wire proposed a form of expression which drew on formal structures taken from historic styles of rock and pop (including punk) but somehow subverted those structures by maintaining a sense of controlled distance from the form. A kind of modernist deconstructed rock made in what seemed at the time to be an almost mechanically precise way.
Reviewers from the contemporary to the present day have praised the album "The album has a scale and feel of it's own - totally unique. I can't recommend it enough. It's not like anything you've heard and it'll leave it's mark for a long time" wrote Dave Fudger in Sounds in December 1977.
The album has been influentual on US hardcore, Britpop and 21stC art & post punk. Tracks from it (especially "3 Girl Rumba") remain amongst Wire's most popular songs (if the Wire page on Last FM is to be believed and the album is generally rated as the most popular album amongst people who aren't Wire fans (154 tends to hold that distinction amongst Wire fans).