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Wire in 10 Songs

on April 22, 2015, 12:00pm
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“1 2 X U” FROM PINK FLAG (1977)

Pink Flag betrays an obsession with the linear and the binary. We get straight lines, one-dimensional boys, and daily trips from A to B (which avoid C, D, and E). Then there’s the album’s denouement, “1 2 X U,” which propels punk rock dead ahead to its logical endpoint. In less than two minutes, the song crystallizes — then dismantles — everything The Ramones and Sex Pistols had been working toward prior to the release of Pink Flag. Accelerating like a flip-book before finally collapsing in on itself, “1 2 X U” distills the art of the vignette down to a few unforgettable lines, and reduces the science of the riff-driven anthem to a brilliantly boneheaded simplicity. There’s an unmistakable finality to this implosive song, and Wire would have no choice but to move onward from here, leaving the rubble of punk in their wake.


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