During the first UK punk movement of the late '70s, John Cooper Clarke emerged as a political poet. He won renown in the Manchester scene as a "punk poet" and his first recordings, including 1977's Innocents EP, were for producer (and Factory Records co-director) Martin Hannett's independent label Rabid. In 1979, he scored his only UK Top 40 hit with "Gimmix! (Play Loud)." His recorded works often include backing music from The Invisible Girls, which featured punk and post-punk luminaries Martin Hannett, Pete Shelley, Steve Hopkins, Bill Nelson, and Paul Burgess.
John Cooper Clarke's 1980 album Snap, Crackle & Bop reached number 26 on the UK album charts and was followed by 1982's Zip Style Method. Over the course of his career, he has shared stages with The Sex Pistols, The Fall, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, and New Order. Cooper Clarke was the subject of the 2012 BBC documentary Evidently... John Cooper Clarke. He continues to perform regularly, and is spending summer 2015 touring the UK, with a fall tour planned with alternative rock band Squeeze. A 3-CD/DVD collection of his work, Anthologia, is out October 2015.