Pete Shelley, the Buzzcocks founder and frontman, is set to re – release the recordings he made with producer Martin Rushent in the early eighties in a special limited edition vinyl box set.

‘The Genetic Years features the two ground-breaking and studio albums ‘Homosapien’ (1982) and ‘XL1’ (1983) together with a third long player that collects the innovative remixes, dubs and instrumentals that Shelley and Rushent had put together at the time. The package also comes with a lyrics booklet, additional notes by writer and broadcaster David Quantick and a colour photo signed by Pete Shelley.

In 1981 Pete Shelley was searching for a new sound and by chance the Buzzcocks’ producer Martin Rushent already had one. His new studio Genetic Sound was equipped with synthesisers, drum machines and all the new technological hardware that would come to define the sound of 80’s pop.

Shelley and Rushent were pioneers. In a spirit of experiment and enthusiasm the pair recorded the ‘Homosapien’ album throughout 1981 and soon created a brand new and sonic world that was both exciting and influential. Despite Radio 1 thinking the eponymously titled lead single was too risky for daytime play it was a big success internationally, proving particularly popular in America, Australia, Japan and the UK.

In 1983 Pete and Martin reconvened to begin work on the follow up album  ‘XL1’. With even more new technology [including a locked groove featuring the loading info for a zx spectrum], ‘the second album was another progression in Shelley’s career and featured one of his finest works in the shape of  ‘Telephone Operator’. This was a more rocky and electronic sound than its predecessor and paved the way for not only melodic synthpop, but also ‘dance rock’ which would dominate the 1980’s.

Pete Shelley continued his solo career before creating a new incarnation of the Buzzcocks which still exists today, Martin Rushent sadly died in 2011 leaving behind a legacy of music, hits and innovation.


‘Homosapien’ Album:


‘Yesterday’s Not Here’

‘I Generate A Feeling’

‘Keats Song’

‘Qu’est-Que C’est, Que Ca’

‘I Don’t Know What It Is’

‘Guess I Must Have Been In Love With Myself’

‘Pusher Man’

‘Just One Of Those Affairs’

‘It’s Hard Enough Knowing’

‘XL 1’ Album:

‘Telephone Operator’

‘If You Ask Me (I Won’t Say No’

‘What Was Heaven?’

‘You Know Better Than I Know’


‘(Millions Of People) No One Like You’

‘Many A Time’

‘I Just Wanna Touch’

‘You And I’

‘XL 1’

Extra Tracks:

‘Homosapien Dub’


‘Witness The Change’

‘In Love With Somebody Else’

‘Love In Vain’

‘Qu’est Que C’est Que Ca’ ( Flexi Dub)

‘Witness The Change? ‘ / ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’ ‘ (Dub Mix)

‘Many A Time’ (Dub)

‘Telephone Operator’/ ‘I Just Wanna Touch’ / ‘ If You Ask Me (I Won’t Say No)‘/ ‘Millions Of People’ / ‘No One Like You’ (Dub Mix)         

Pete Shelley also announced the launch of the Collected Lyrics Of Pete Shelley; a new book co-ordinated with Eyewear Publishing and long time collaborator Malcolm Garrett that brings together all the lyrics for his  iconic Buzzcocks and solo work for the first time.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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