Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RIP, Poly Styrene

Sad to hear punk pioneer Poly Styrene died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. She was just 53.

I first heard of Poly when I saw her in Blondie's "Making Tracks" memoir -- the above photo is a different pose from the famous shot of Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Viv Albertine, Siouxsie Sioux, Poly Styrene, and Pauline that appeared in the book -- and came to learn that she was one of the industry's most undercredited women in music. After seeing the Sex Pistols in concert, she formed X-Ray Spex in 1976, paving the way for a legion of female rockers. Steve Huey of AllMusic says the band's debut single, "Oh Bondage! Up Yours!," became a punk rallying cry, and single-handedly anticipated the riot grrrl movement of the '90s.

The clip above takes a look back at Poly's legacy (while she was still alive), and below is a video bookend of her work, X-Ray Spex's first single, "Oh Bondage, Up Yours" and her electronic pop single, "Virtual Boyfriend," off her just-released "Generation Indigo" disc, her first album in 30 years. RIP, Poly.

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