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Flat-Pack Philosophy

BuzzcocksAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2007 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2006 $12.99  
Vinyl, 2008 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B000E8N8LQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,947 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Flat Pack Philosophy
2. Wish I never Loved You
3. Sell You Everything
4. Reconciliation
5. I Don't Exist
6. Soul Survivor
7. God, What Have I Done?
8. Credit
9. Big Brother Wheels
10. Dreamin'
11. Sound of a Gun
12. Look at You Now
13. I've Had Enough
14. Between Heaven and Hell

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Flat-Pack Philosophy marks the fifth release from the Buzzcocks Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle, Tony Barber, and Phillip Barker. In true punk fashion, Flat-Pack Philosophy packs 14 songs into 36 minutes and in places sounds like the best bits of every classic Buzzcocks single carefully welded together. It continues the great Buzzcocks tradition of romantic metaphors and of Diggle's implicit literary references, and will certainly continue the ongoing success of this band. Cooking Vinyl. 2006.

Judged against the exceptional standards of the group's own catalog, this album is not so good. The Buzzcocks, after all, invented and perfected a very smartass, insanely catchy ideal of poppy, ultra-energetic punk rock and half your favorite bands have stolen from them liberally. But judged against other reunion records, it's definitely a fun album, and is easily their best post-breakup album. Steve Shelley's infamous high-pitched vocals sound more like a strange old geezer than a hyperactive kid, but that should not come as much of a surprise. Not surprisingly, the lyrics range from society to love. The songs are mostly mid-tempo, pleasant punk rock. You could do a lot worse, but they could do a lot better. --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Respectable reunion-era album April 1, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This sounds pretty much like the last one, the self-titled "Buzzcocks." It shares the ups and downs of the other records released by the 90s-00s Shelley/Diggle/Barker/Barber line-up. This band's sound can't be compared with the 70's original four; it's like 1972 Velvets vs. the 1966 Warhol-era line-up, or The Fall now vs. 1978! That is, similarities remain, the lead singer(s) are still identifiable and appealing, but also the production's shifted and the sound's more radio-friendly--to a degree among "cult" bands--where I place Buzzcocks proudly.

Since I was around as an older teen when the Buzzcocks made their splash, I admit that I will always hear their later albums as filtered through my 17-year-old ears that listened to the needle dropping down on "Another Kitchen." Giving this four stars is my ranking its consistency with other records from this second line-up, not comparing this to their other albums; on its own terms it holds up well against whatever's the young competition, but does not, honestly, stand out overwhelmingly to crush the opposition. Parts of it reminded me of The Undertones' "Get What You Need" reunion record: accomplished pop-punk by seasoned vets. It's a good, solid, but not jaw-dropping, record.

This preamble made, "Flat Pack" does have, as all the recent records do, some strong, punchy, dynamic songs--the best here is the opening title track. Shelley, as always, is in studio the more memorable vocalist and the clever lyricist. Diggle on record--in the original or the later band--suffers from being muffled on many of his tracks when he takes the mic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great hooks, crunch and vocals. March 8, 2006
By Phil
Format:Audio CD
The Buzzcocks really have no right to be putting out albums as good as their last few at this point in their career, but I'm sure glad they do. I thought their last, self-titled album was an incredible and glorious punk rock album. This one isn't quite so good, but it's still head and shoulders above most punk bands half their age. I know of no other band that so perfectly balances the melodic and the bombastic. No, it's not "Singles Going Steady", but it's well worth the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best December 15, 2007
By Ignite
Format:Audio CD
As a long time Buzzcocks fan, I really cant explain how glad I was that this album delivered. I wont even bother writing a long review, because you either like the Buzzcocks or you dont. If you dont, this wont change your mind. If you do, then GET THIS ALBUM.
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Format:Audio CD
Rather than review this album in isolation, I thought I'd use it to rank the latter day Buzzcocks albums for any of you who, like me, have been a little hesitant to waste your time and money.

The first reunion album was 1993's Trade Test Transmission. It's not terrible but you are never going to put it on when you have their earlier albums in your collection. All Set was the next one, released in 1996, and whilst it is a little better it is still miles adrift of the really good stuff we all loved in the 1970s. In 1999 came Modern, which sounds more like one of Pete Shelley's solo albums than a proper Buzzcocks album. It's actually quite interesting and probably worth owning for it's differences to the other stuff. But Homosapien is way better and you'll probably only listen to Modern a few times before you've had enough of it.

In 2003 they released a self-titled album, something you would think they would only do if they thought they had something defining, quintessential. And that's pretty much what they had - a new album that could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Love Bites and A Different Kind of Tension. Better still, thanks to 21st Century production, it sounds even better than those old records. The sound is simply massive, perhaps the greatest Power Pop I have ever heard. It really is awesome and came at a time when I really didn't think they had it in them any more.

Which brings us to 2006 and Flat Pack Philosophy (FPP). Despite raised expectations, FPP mostly delivers. Yes, it's more of the same sound we got from the previous album but that's actually not a bad thing. Overall, the songs are probably not quite as strong but with that massive wall of sound behind them you probably won't even notice.
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