Friday, November 26, 2010
I'm not quite sure if this really makes sense, but somehow, this seems very rational to me in my own irrational universe.
Britain has always existed in its own little pop musical universe. It absorbs influences from all over the planet and then in its peculiar insular way, makes them totally undeniably, British.
American Blues? Jazz? Motown? Garage Rock?
Eric Clapton? The Northern Soul Manchester Sound? The Beatles and the Stones as the perfect examples...What could be more bizarre? Brian Jones playing the Bazouki or George Harrison and his Sitar? Yet, they both took the instruments of another culture and the sound and made it so very British...
I am beginning to see pop music as a barometer of the mood of the planet. When times are bad, the music is great. When times are good, the music sucks.
This is my attempt to co relate music and economics as seen through the microcosm of Britain.
1974: In America, Nixon resigns. The economy sucks and in Britain, there are miner strikes and power cuts. Roxy Music releases Country Life....
1976: Carter elected in America. Britain has to be bailed out by the International Monetary Fund. Things really suck. The hit single in America is The Captain and Tenniles, Love Will Keep Us Together, but in Britain, things get really good with the release of The Sex Pistols first single, God Save The Queen.
The birth of punk as the economy slowly sinks!
1986: The economy is booming and Thatcher is is in power. The Rolling Stones release what is probablty their most forgettable record of all time, Dirty Work...it goes to #1, but can you even name a track?
1991: Recession sweeps the globe and one of the best rock records of all time is released. Nirvana'a Nevermind.
1997: New Labour and Blair come to power. We get Oasis with Be Here Now...need I say more?
2009: Capitalism collapses around our ears world wide, the music industry is eating itself, consumed by the technology it fostered....but things haven't sounded this good for years!
2010: The Tories retake the government and are caught in a hurricane of their own denial as the British economy collapses yet again. Their answer? Kill the poor with taxes and repression. I predict a glorious Punk Renaissance!
Yesterdays student demonstration in London which was brutally repressed by the police. Thousands of kids and adults were detained without charges while protesting the drastic hikes in education fees. Cick for article in The New Statesman