Don’t sack the DJ
Posted on October 5, 2009
I had a sudden rush of nostalgia when I read Laurie Penny’s recent post about the Daily Mail’s homophobia towards the right wing blogger Iain Dale, mainly because she gave an honourable mention to the Tom Robinson classic: Sing if you’re Glad to be Gay. The first album I ever bought was Power in the Darkness by the Tom Robinson Band, in fact I’ve still got it today, complete with the clenched fist stencil that came with it that you were presumably supposed to use for grafittiing on walls, an activity I of course have never been involved in: oh no.
Anyway, listening to that song again brought back some memories. Memories of the 80’s and life under Thatcher, and of the music that made up my own personal soundtrack of those times. I’m not talking here about Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet or any of the rest of that New Romantic shite that everyone cites when the subject of 80’s music comes up, but of the protest songs, songs with a distinctly political message that provided a backdrop to that era. Well, for those of us who were politically active at the time anyway.
So here’s my selection of favourite late ’70’s/80’s/early 90’s protesty tunes: feel free to add more in the comments.
Oh yes, and I’ve also got a request to make. It’s pretty clear now that unless there’s a miracle, the Tories are going to be back in Government again within the next 12 months: if they’re anything like the last lot we’ve got some interesting/crappy years ahead of us. So will someone please please sort some decent fucking music out!
Like this little lot. Enjoy!
Billy Bragg: Which Side are You On
Tracy Chapman: Talking ’bout a Revolution
Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin: Sisters are doing it for Themselves
Peter Gabriel: Biko
Linton Kwesi Johnson: Fite Dem Back
Latin Quarter: Radio Africa
Bob Marley: Get up, Stand Up
Prince: Sign o’ the Times
Rage against the Machine: Killing in the Name
R.E.M: Orange Crush
Sinead O’ Connor: Black Boys on Mopeds
Sting: They Dance Alone
The Beat: Stand down Margaret
The Clash: London Calling
The Communards: Breadline Britain
The Jam: Going Underground
The Redskins: It Can be Done
The Specials: Ghost Town
The Style Council: Walls Come Tumbling Down
Tom Robinson Band: Aint gonna take it
UB40: One in Ten