Why is Wire’s Pink Flag on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Wildly inventive and intriguing punk rock from the UK circa 1977.
Some stats & info about Wire – Pink Flag
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? British Bands, Punk, Punk Rock, Rock, Rock Music, Post-Punk, New Wave
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #310
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Pink Flag released? 1977
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #851 out of 1,000
Wire’s Pink Flag on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Wire’s Pink Flag mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I like how All Music frames Wire as a band which “ultimately made their mark through unpredictability,” splitting Wire off from their contemporary iconic American punk rock band, The Ramones, as “The Ramones Go to Art School.” It’s fun and its fair but even that description doesn’t quite capture how wildly inventive and intriguing Pink Flag can often be.
“Ex Lion Tamer” has a classic punk rock opening for the ages, before segueing into an equal parts catchy and rocking post-punk meets new wave hook that rocks out delightfully. It’s my favorite song on Pink Flag at the moment.
“Three Girl Rhumba’s” reminds me much of a great song released some two decades later by a UK alternative rock band, Elastica’s “Connection.” And, indeed, some quick research pulled up this nugget:
The song was the subject of controversy due to its overt similarity to another band’s work. The intro synthesizer part (later repeated as a guitar figure) is lifted from the guitar riff in Wire‘s “Three Girl Rhumba” and transposed down a semitone. A judgment resulted in an out-of-court settlement and the credits were rewritten. Jonathan Perry writing for The Phoenix noted the similarities to Wire. He included the song in a list of the 90 best songs of the 90s, writing: “‘Connection’, Elastica’s obsessively catchy stateside breakthrough, nicked its signature opening riff from Wire’s ‘Three Girl Rhumba’ – an overzealous (and uncredited) ‘homage’ that proved that though imitation may indeed be the highest form of flattery, it can also cost in publishing royalties. Great song, though.”
Both great songs, indeed and agreed.
“Reuters” has all the guitar tone and attitude and vibe that I could ever ask for in a punk rock song. Its influence – either directly or otherwise – can be felt by innumerable bands down through the years.
Pop Culture stuff that reminds me in some way of Wire’s Pink Flag
A song called “Ex Lion Tamer” by a UK band from the 1970s immediately puts me of the mind of the brilliantly hilarious “Lion Tamer Accountant” sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
He’s got a hat, you know.