Protests against Edward Heath and the Conservative Party in early 70s Britain were just one starting point for the rise of punk rock

1970s England

Generally, the music scene in 1970s Great Britain was largely characterized by mainstream successes in progressive rock mirrored by the rise of alternative music, namely punk. The country struggled with racial tensions, a dramatically weakened economy that left many struggling to support families, and an extreme conservative government led by Edward Heath (1970-74) that did little to raise either morale or the economy itself, followed by a five year seat by the Labour party, led initially by Harold Wilson. During 1979 (post-punk) Britain was once again governed by the Conservatives, led by the formidable Margaret Thatcher. While its genesis may have been spurred by the Heath Government, punk rose to the occasion during Harold Wilson’s Labour regime to provide the platform many of the working class youth sought for self-expression and freedom. However, by its very nature, punk was doomed to burn bright, but brief, leaving behind a vast blank slate on which new bands could enjoy near limitless freedom to experiment and create truly unique sounds, setting the stage generally for post-punk and specifically for our soon-to-be heroes – Bauhaus.