Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: The Ruts – Babylon’s Burning


157 – The Ruts – Babylon’s Burning (1979)
Written by The Ruts
Label – Virgin

Fantastic riffs aren’t solely reserved to rock and metal music, and here’s a shining example of how great punk rock music can deliver memorable musical motifs. This taut, angular burst of aggression, viciously directed at the British National Front (fascists),with Malcolm Owen’s snarling vocal forewarning us of the consequences for any form of acceptance. But for the untimely death of Owen just a year later, there are many punk critics who believe that this band could have been bigger than The Clash. I’m unconvinced, but I still believe that they were a great, great band. Just ask Henry Rollins!


4 responses to “Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: The Ruts – Babylon’s Burning

  1. One of the greatest 45’s ever. Magic, unrelenting. Powerful, melodic, punk? New wave? Pop? The Ruts were underrated, unappreciated, but cool. To a 15 year old Kenny Badham, the Ruts were ice cool. The 53 year old Kenny is so pleased this band and this song helped soundtrack his youth. I didn’t have the joy of the 60’s, but I had the privilege of being able to live FOR music from 78 through 84 as it unfolded, and I know that the stuff I like now is in no small part due to the sonic influence of the Ruts
    Happy memories Hackskeptic. 10/10

    • I know I’m probably biased but I really do believe that the decade between 1976 – 1985 was the most diverse, innovative and truly memorable period in popular music. Punk of course was the catalyst, but think of all the genres that either developed in its wake or were enhanced by its burst of energy. It was like dropping a two tonne boulder in a pool of water, the ripples spread everywhere. The Ruts, for such a brief period made their own seismic waves. Thanks Kenny, I think you know how much I loved them.

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