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Oi!

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Oi!

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Punk rock
Stylistic origins: 1950s R&B, rock and roll, country, and rockabilly, 1960s garage rock, frat rock, psychedelic rock, pub rock, glam rock, and proto-punk
Cultural origins: Mid 1970s United States, Australia and United Kingdom.
Typical instruments: Vocals Guitar Bass Drums
Mainstream popularity: Chart-topping in the UK, less success elsewhere. Some success for pop punk, especially ska punk and Two Tone
Derivative forms: Alternative rock Emo Gothic rock Grunge Math rock New Wave Post-punk post-punk revival
Subgenres
Anarcho-punk Christian punk Crust punk Garage punk Hardcore Horror punk Oi! Pop punk
Fusion genres
Anti-folk Chicano punk Death rock Funkcore Jazz punk Psychobilly Queercore Ska punk Two Tone
Other topics
History Cassette culture Fashion

Oi! is a sub-genre of punk rock that sought to align punk with a working-class "street level" following, originating in the United Kingdom. It began in the latter part of 1977, fusing the styles of early punk bands such as the Clash and the Ramones; early British rock like the Rolling Stones and The Who; football (soccer) chants; pub rock like the 101ers and Eddie and the Hot Rods; and glam rock bands like Slade and Sweet.

The music was seen as promoting unity between punks, skinheads and other working class youths. Originally, the style was called "streetpunk" or "reality-punk." It wasn't until the early 1980s that music journalist Garry Bushell labeled the movement Oi!, supposedly derived from the Cockney Rejects song Oi! Oi! Oi!.

The original Oi! bands included Cock Sparrer, the Cockney Rejects, Angelic Upstarts, and Sham 69, although some of them were around for years before the word Oi! was used to describe their style of music. They were followed by The Business, The Last Resort, The 4-Skins, Combat 84, Condemned 84, Infa-Riot, The Blood, The Oppressed and Anti-Heros.

Because many skinheads were recruited by racist organizations such as the National Front, some histories of rock music dismiss all Oi! as racist. However, none of the original streetpunk bands were particularly racist, and some, such as the Angelic Upstarts, were associated with the left wing and joined anti-racist campaigns. One definite exception is Skrewdriver. The band's early material is sometimes considered classic Oi!. But by the mid-1980s Skrewdriver were leading a small neo-Nazi rock scene. Apart from lead singer Ian Stuart Donaldson, the band had a different lineup from that of the late 1970s. Their music was recognizably Oi!, but they sought to distance themselves from punk in general, preferring the term "R.A.C." ("Rock Against Communism" a reaction to Rock Against Racism). Members of the earlier incarnation of Skrewdriver have stated that they do not wish to be associated with Donaldson's later version.

The media associated Oi! with far right politics following the events of July 4, 1981 at the Hamborough Tavern in Southall, London, when a concert by the bands The Business, the Last Resort and the 4-Skins was followed by violent clashes between the predominantly white audience and the local Asian population, who firebombed the tavern. However it is worth recording that in the aftermath many Oi! bands were not slow to condemn racism in all its forms, as well as categorically denying any association with fascism.

Unfortunately these denials were met with cynicism from some quarters following the release of the Strength Thru Oi compilation album around the same time. Not only was its title a play on a Nazi slogan (Strength Through Joy) but the cover featured Nicky Crane, a Nazi activist who was serving a four year prison sentence for racist violence. Garry Bushell, who was responsible for compiling the album, claimed however that its title was a pun on The Skids album Strength Through Joy. He also denied knowing the identity of the skinhead on the album's cover until it was exposed by the Daily Mail two months later. Bushell, who was a socialist at the time, later noted the irony of being branded a far-right activist by a paper who "had once supported Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts, Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia, and appeasement with Hitler right up to the outbreak of World War Two."

The Oi! movement soon after began to lose momentum in the UK, but Oi! scenes were forming elsewhere in continental Europe, Japan, and North America. In the United States, the Oi! phenomenon was mirrored by the Hardcore explosion of the early 1980s, especially by bands such as Agnostic Front, Iron Cross,and S.S. Decontrol. Although similar in spirit and influence to Oi! (particularly in the earlier stages), Hardcore expounded itself in a peculiarly American middle class (rather than working class) fashion as its influences spread. In the mid-1990s, a revival of interest in Oi! music began, with new bands emerging and older bands receiving more recognition. With this revival came a further concerted effort to distance Oi! from racism.

More recent Oi! bands include The Templars, Oxblood, Wretched Ones, Those Unknown, Nuts and Bolts, The Bruisers, Hanover Saints, Bonecrusher, Discipline, Retaliator, The Lager Lads, Oxymoron and Hard Skin.

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Punk rock
Anarcho-punk - Anti-folk - Crust punk - Garage punk - Hardcore - Post-hardcore - Horror punk - New Wave - No Wave - Noise rock - Oi! - Pop punk - Post-punk - Psychobilly - Deathcountry - Riot grrrl - Ska punk - Streetpunk - Two Tone
Other topics
Protopunk
Skinhead
Ska - Reggae - Oi! - Punk Rock - Streetpunk - Hardcore
 

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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