The Pop Group


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The first wave of British punk was still playing itself in 1978 when Mark Stewart, Gareth Sager, and Bruce Smith decided it was time to scrap it all and start over. The three young men were music fans who were impressed with the energy and rebellious spirit of the Sex Pistols, but grew frustrated with their allegiance to traditional rock music structures. In response, Stewart, Sager, and Smith formed the Pop Group, a band whose music blended elements of James Brown, Roxy Music, the Velvet Underground, the Stooges, free jazz, and radical leftist poetry into one exciting, volatile formula. The Pop Group's career was memorable but brief, releasing two albums before they split up in 1980, and two discs' worth of Pop Group rarities are featured in the box set Curiosities. Curiosities includes a reissue of the 1980 collection We Are Time, a set of rare and unreleased cuts that was issued shortly after the Pop Group's breakup, as well as another similar collection of archival material, 2014's Cabinet of Curiosities. Along with the two albums, this deluxe package includes of bonus booklet of press clippings and little-seen photographs, as well as a souvenir bookmark and a Pop Group badge. Despite the passage of over 30 years, the intelligent ferocity of the Pop Group still sounds potent, and Curiosities offers a fine selection for longtime fans as well as giving the uninitiated a powerful look into their taut, fiery world.

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