Depending on the person one asks or the source one consults, Chron Gen was either formed in late 1977 or early 1978 as the Condemned by Glynn Barber (occasionally referred to as Glynn Baxter) and John Johnson while the pair were still students in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. The earliest incarnation of the band consisted of Barber (guitar and vocals), Johnson (drums) and Adam (bass) playing covers of early punk hits by the Ramones and Sex Pistols. Pete Dimmock soon replaced the band’s surname-lacking bassist and the trio recruited Jon Thurlow to play rhythm guitar and finalize the group’s lineup.
With lyrics drawn from Barber’s experiences on the dole and a melodic sound that earned them comparisons to the Buzzcocks and Anti-Pasti, Chron Gen found themselves—along with Anti-Pasti, the Exploited, and Vice Squad, among others—at the forefront of the third-wave British punk scene After forming their own record label (Gargoyle), the band released their debut four-song EP, Puppets of War. After the EP sold out all one thousand copies in the initial pressing, it was picked up by Fresh Records.
Despite the success of Puppets of War, Chron Gen did not manage to release an LP until 1982, when the band recorded Chronic Generation, which reached the British Top 100 that same year. Despite the promising sales of their LP, however, Chron Gen eventually faded away and are now perhaps best known for their cover of “Jet Boy, Jet Girl,” which appears on scores of punk and Oi! compilations.
Puppets of War, EP (Gargoyle Records; re-released by Fresh Records, 1981).
Chronic Generation, LP (Secret, 1982).
Jet Boy, Jet Girl// Abortions (Live)/ Subway Sadist (Live), Single (Secret, 1982).
Outlaw// Behind Closed Doors/ Discotheque, Single (Secret, 1982).
Apocalypse Live Tour June '81, LP (Chaos, 1984)
Nowhere to Run, Mini LP (Picasso, 1984).
Live at the Old Waldorf - San Francisco, LP
© Sobriquet Magazine 2006