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A sociopolitical youth movement based in Great Britain, oi arose out of the punk and skinhead cultures in the late 1970s. Its audience was working class in background; more specifically, nonconformists who were alienated from politics and establishment mores.

The music exhibited the same hardcore energy characterizing the leading punk bands of the day such as the Sex Pistols and the Clash, while the lyrics exhibited the same sense of social outrage found in 1960s protect music and Bob Marley's reggae anthems. The opening verse of "Labour Politicians Ain't Working Class" typifies the message in oi compositions:

They talk about poverty and how fast money goes

But how can they relate to kids in hand me down clothes

They don't live in the East End or Glasgow

Don't have to go to places we all have to go

Labour politicians they ain't working class

They eat, sleep and travel on a first class pass


Top Artists and Their Recordings

The Angelic Upstarts--2,000,000 Voices (1981); Still From the Heart (1982)

Bad Manners--Gosh It's... (1981); Party Four EP (1981)

Blitz--All Out Attack EP (1981); Never Surrender (1982)

The Business--"Harry May"/"National Insurance Blacklist" (1981)

Case and Conflict--The House That Man Built EP (1982)

Cockney Rejects--Greatest Hits Vol. I (1980); Greatest Hits Vol. II (1981); Greatest Hits Vol. III (1982)

The Exploited--Punks Not Dead (1980); On Stage (1981); Troops of Tomorrow (1982)

The 4 Skins--The Good, The Bad and the 4 Skins (1982)

Infa Riot--Still Out of Order (1982)

The Last Resort--"Having Fun"/"F.U. 2" (1978)

Rose Tattoo--Rock 'N' Roll Outlaw (1980)

Sham 69--Tell Us the Truth (1978); Hersham Boys (1979); The Game (1980)

The U.K. Subs--Another Kind of Blues (1979); Brand New Age (1980); Crash Course (1980); Endangered Species (1982)