Cock Sparrer
The Punk Singles Collection
The Punk Singles Collection: 1977-1980
U.K. Subs

Pop/Rock » Punk/New Wave » Oi!

By the end of the '70s, British punk was splintering into several distinct strains, most of them arty or ambitious in their own ways. Oi! music was an attempt to keep punk a populist, street-level phenomenon; most of it came from the Cockney working class of London's East End. Likely taking its name from the Cockney Rejects' 1980 song "Oi! Oi! Oi!" (before which it was simply known as street-punk), Oi! was loud, brutal, and extremely simple, with loads of shout-along, almost football-chant choruses. In essence, it was punk rock that was most at home in a rowdy pub. It was somewhat similar to hardcore, but not quite as extreme; Oi! stuck much more closely to the original punk blueprint laid out by the Sex Pistols and early Clash. In fact, critics frequently disdained the style for its punk-purist lack of adventurousness, and the way its political statements often replaced the Pistols' wit and intelligence with angry rabble-rousing. The latter wasn't universally true, but all the same, Oi! acquired a bad reputation when it was adopted by racist skinheads aligned with the neo-fascist National Front organization. Most bands (and skinheads) took pains to distance themselves from this unsavory element, especially after a number of violent incidents at live gigs; however, a few genuine white-supremacist bands (most notoriously Skrewdriver) were enough to give Oi! a stigma which it never completely shed. The band that brought Oi!/street-punk to prominence in 1978-79 was Sham 69, and they in turn gave career pushes to Oi! stalwarts like the Angelic Upstarts and the Cockney Rejects. The mid-'90s punk revival led to a renewal of interest in Oi!; many favorite early albums were reissued, and a number of new bands popped up both in the U.K. and overseas.

Oi! Artists Highlights

Cock Sparrer
Cock Sparrer
U.K. Subs
U.K. Subs
Anti-Flag
Anti-Flag

More Oi! Artists

Oi! Album Highlights

The Punk Singles Collection
Cockney Rejects
The Punk Singles Collection
The Punk Singles Collection: 1977-1980
Sham 69
The Punk Singles ...
The Decca Years
Cock Sparrer
The Decca Years
At the BBC
Sham 69
At the BBC
Tell Us the Truth
Sham 69
Tell Us the Truth
Cockney Cowboys: The Very Best of Sham 69
Sham 69
Cockney Cowboys: The Very ...

More Oi! Albums

Oi! Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
On The Streets Again Cockney Rejects
Hurry up Harry Sham 69
I Need a Witness Cock Sparrer
Borstal Breakout Sham 69
If the Kids Are United Sham 69
Run Like Hell Peter & the Test Tube Babies
Police State U.K. Subs
Machine Gun Kelly Angelic Upstarts
Someone's Gonna Die Blitz
Shadow Lurkers

More Oi! Songs

Other Styles in Punk/New Wave