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The Lurkers

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The Lurkers were a late 1970s English punk rock group from West London, notable for being the first group ever on Beggars Banquet Records.

Unlike most of their UK contemporaries, The Lurkers’ influence lay far more with American punks The Ramones, than with British trailblazers The Sex Pistols and The Clash. Their heavily, and unabashedly derivative style, garnered them the affectionate tag of “The British Ramones”.

Their debut single, 1977’s “Shadow”/”Love Story,” was the first release on Beggars Banquet Records; their biggest hit was 1978’s “Ain’t Got a Clue”/”Ooh, Ooh I Love You,” reaching No. 45 on the UK singles chart. Their first two LP’s were 1978’s Fulham Fallout and 1979’s God’s Lonely Men, and they issued several more singles on Beggars Banquet, such as “Heroin It’s All Over” in 1982, but by the close of the decade, punk rock had fallen out of fashion, and The Lurkers’ straightforward take on the genre was not equipped to evolve. Owing to a lack of commercial success and the shifting musical climate, Beggars Banquet dropped The Lurkers, precipitating their break-up.

In the years since, they have reunited with various personnel numerous times, and continue to record and perform to this day. Their legacy, however, is primarily founded on their late ’70s output. “Shadow” and “Ain’t Got a Clue” in particular are cited by punk cognoscenti as classic examples of the style, and still show up from time to time on genre overview compilations.

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