Urgh! A Music War is a British film released in 1981 featuring performances of punk and New Wave music, filmed in 1980. Among the artists featured in the movie are The Go-Go's, The Fleshtones, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, XTC, Devo, Oingo Boingo, Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi, Wall of Voodoo and The Police. These are many of the most popular groups on the new wave scene; in keeping with the spirit of the scene, the film also features several less famous acts, and one completely obscure group, Invisible Sex, in what appears to be their single public outing.
Urgh! A Music War acquired a cult following in the United States in the 1980s due to its frequent showings on USA Network. The film has been released on videocassette but is currently out of print. Because of an exclusive contract to publish this movie on a now dead format (CED), the contracts for the individual artists are missing. Because you can't renegotiate a contract without the original to amend, no one can touch this. It is currently owned by its original producer, Miles Copeland (founder of IRS Records), and he has the film of three songs from each band in storage, but because of the legal landlock he cannot release it. If he does some day, there's potential for a 6 hour 2 dvd special edition.
This movie consisted of a series of punk and new wave songs, without narration or explanatory text. All clips were live, recorded around 1980, mainly in England and the USA. Clips were also taken from a concert in Fréjus, Var, France with the Police, XTC, Skafish and UB40 among others.
To coincide with the film, A&M Records released a double-album soundtrack. The selection of songs was almost the same as the film, but there were a few minor changes and several acts featured in the film did not make it to the album (John Cooper Clark, Chelsea, Surf Punks, Invisible Sex, Splodgenessabounds