What is there to say at this point about the Buzzcocks’ anxious, evergreen anthem of unrequited love, heartbreak and jagged guitars? Composed by the legendary Pete Shelley, the edgy, beautiful, sad and pragmatic (and ever so slightly petulant) “Ever Fallen In Love” is just a perfect pop song. It’s no surprise then that the song’s infectious tune and painfully universal sentiment have turned it into cover catnip. There have been dozens upon dozens of covers of “Ever Fallen…” over the years, the most successful of which was the slick-as-ice 1987 version by Fine Young Cannibals which landed in UK pop top 10, several spots higher than the original managed back in 1978 (sad but true).
They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
The Buzzcocks were unique among British punk bands of the late seventies; not only were they more melodic (at a breakneck pace, granted) than most of their peers, they were prone to lead with their hearts. Pete Shelley, lead vocalist and chief songwriter, was the reason why; while other groups traded furor and phlegm gems with their audiences, Shelley yelped about love and lust, found and lost, in a way that girls and boys could both relate to, and he did it in perfect three-minute bursts. Shelley turns 57 today and is still going strong; we’re honoring him with these five covers from the first phase of the Buzzcocks’ career.