Never Found in the '80s: Wire
The opening thumps of the buzzing bass notes in the song Ahead never fail to give me the urge to get skanking on the dance floor. But age and bad knees bring me back down to earth. Oh, but what I would give for it to be a Tuesday night in the late '80s and to be at First Avenue when this song was played.
The band Wire comes out of the late '70s UK punk scene, but you'd be hard pressed to call them punk. They could be punk, but they could also be arty farty, guttural and angry, or they could turn out songs of instantly infectious pop. And they've been at it since 1976.
The song Ahead is from their 1987 release The Ideal Copy and it is possibly the single coolest song ever recorded. Well, that's what I think.
Wire never found their way onto the American pop charts, nevertheless they had a great deal of influence on the musical acts that followed them. Minor Threat, Black Flag, Boss Hog, Big Black, and REM have all covered songs by this excellent group. Elastica's hit single Connection was practically a total rip-off of Wire's song Three Girl Rhumba. So much so, Wire's music publisher accused Elastica of plagiarism. A settlement was reached out of court.
Although taking occasional breaks to pursue side and solo projects over the years, Wire are still together. They released their 13th studio album in March 2013.
- Jim "Dr. Dim" Fitzsimons