According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels each year. Hearing loss can lead to communication problems, other health issues, and concerns for personal safety and the safety of others. U.K. punk legends Buzzcocks addressed the issue indirectly in 1979 with the classic B-side “Noise Annoys,” which is the EHSDA Song of the Week.
The song was initially released on the “Love You More” single and then included on the band’s classic compilation Singles Going Steady. Although the album failed to sell well upon release and the band split up a few years later, Singles Going Steady is now regarded as the ultimate Buzzcocks album and the band has gone on to inspire countless punk and indie rock acts over the years.
After pursuing solo projects for several years, co-frontmen Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle reformed the band several times after 1989 and opened for notable younger artists including Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Shelley died in 2018, but Diggle has continued to lead a version of the Buzzcocks.
While noise does indeed annoy, it’s ironic that Buzzcocks songs are best heard loud. Just not too loud, OK?