Bill Janovitz

Pete Shelley Tribute: Day 4

On my Facebook page I am posting a week long tribute to the late, great Pete Shelley and I thought I would post these on my Blog as well so that as many people as possible can enjoy his music.


I have chosen to feature ‘Why Can’t I Touch It?’  for today’s tribute to Pete Shelley. This was originally a B-side to the equally epic ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays’. The following writers were given credit for this song – Diggle, Steve GarveyJohn Maher, Shelley – which probably means Shelley only had a minor role in the collaboration of this record. Nevertheless, he undeniably made it his own with his trademark vocals.

Writing on the All Music website, Bill Janovitz describes this song in the following manner:

A reggae shuffle of sorts forms the rhythmic basis of this infectious pop tune from the Buzzcocks. While most of the band’s songs were infused with a healthy dose of punk rock energy and aggression, “Why Can’t I Touch It?” is a relaxed, albeit angular groove. The song approaches punk only by way of the Clash’s penchant for Caribbean beats and dub-style production/arranging and perhaps Pete Shelley’s astringent, high-register vocal delivery.