Monday, 19 October 2015

Vintage Vinyl #12

Homosapien by Pete Shelley 7"
Bought from: Kelly's
Price paid: £3

A tad pricey? Hmm, maybe, but it's in decent nick and above all it's a cracking tune. Homosapien was the first single Pete Shelley released as a solo artist following the Buzzcocks' split. Released in 1981, it set the standard for electronic-influenced new wave for the next few years. You probably know of its BBC ban (for its supposedly explicit references to gay sex: "Homo superior in my interior...") and that it and other songs from the resulting album of the same name grew out of demos for an intended fourth Buzzcocks album. But did you know producer Martin Rushent's next job would be on the Human League's 'Dare'? After 'Homosapien' it seems like a logical move in hindsight.

While the media and Buzzcocks fans were miffed at Shelley's new direction, Homosapien became a big club hit, especially in the States where it made the Billboard Club Play top 20. It was also a top 10 hit in Canada. In Shelley's UK homeland however, it failed to chart. The following year, the song was re-released and again did nothing over here. A shame because it is probably the best non-Buzzcocks thing he ever did. Shelley's solo career was, erm, patchy to say the least. Homosapien could be the last great song he made, even post-Buzzcocks reformation.

So £3 - worth it? Kelly's is rather expensive, but it seduces me on every visit. Lovely, sweet vinyl in little plastic sleeves, glistening and gleaming, whispering "buy me Robster... buuuuuy meeeeee..." Three quid? Oh, go on then...



  1. How much for the 12"? I have that

  2. I have the 12" as well... and the album. I have to say that if I came across the 7" in a shop at that price I would have picked it up as well. I agree this is Shelley's best solo song, but I do have a soft spot for Telephone Operator. I have that 12" too. Great pick, Robster.

  3. Martin Rushent at the peak of his powers. Human League benefited greatly from Rushent's production work here.

  4. This is a great song and worth every penny. I have a friend who tells me this is a massive record in certain gay clubs. unsurprisingly.