One of the most great things about Great Britain that a lot of my non-British friends I have been working with would agree is our pop music.
Take a city like Manchester, probably the most musically fertile places in the world. Everything from The Smiths, New Order, M-people and of course Oasis started up there. In the late 70s and early 80s bands like The Selector, The Specials, Madness and UB40, took some of the ska and reggae sounds of the Carribean and brought them into a new audience in the UK and whole sub genres of music like two tone (referred both to the sound of music and that it appeal to two different racial groups) were born.
Punk, was of course very British with The Sex Pistols and The Clash, these have an obviously aggressive, political theme for it, but it was good musically as well.
The early 1980s had a lot of music that represent the depression that had was around in the 81-82 era, just listen to say the Specials “Ghost Town” which was an iconic track from that period.
Indeed Britain is and should be very proud of the vast amount of talented bands spawned from our green and pleasant land. And I absolutely love pop music of all kinds, old and new, popular and obscure, British and otherwise.
So what the hell happened with the charts in December 2009?
The X-factor. Its cheesy but fun, kind of like Eurovision, some pleasant but short life span tunes often appear often at Christmas. But Christmas isn’t always cheese. Kylie Minogue had a Christmas number one “I believe” which was a sweet, happy feel good sort of song, just the sort of thing Kylie does best.
Someone came out with the idea the Rage against the Machine should reissue “Killing in the name” for the Christmas number one. Oh dear.
Facebook is really good for getting people onto Band wagons, whether its for or against the BNP, or immigration, every type of soap box which people want to stand on, it only recently I have seen the enourmous amount of motivation in can start up to lead people. Take the Wispa chocolate bar was brough back by a Facebook group. I didnt even realise this product had been discontinued in the first place, by nevertheless the PR people from Cadburys listened and people rejoiced as the familiar blue packaged fluffy centre chocolate bar reappeared in corner shops all over the UK again.
So when a campaign to get Rage to number one, Simon Cowell the often rude and disliked record boss who makes short life span fun but ultimately disposable music appear and disappear is the target of a campaign, a bit like hating a parking warden after getting a ticket.
There is nothing wrong with hard rock or metal, but sorry I think Retards against the machine have absolutely no substance to them. Getting 40,000 or so teenagers to click to buy a 79p track on iTunes just to make the X-Factor bands lose was more of factor to see them win. The song was poor in 1992 its certainly no better now. Rage’s message is all about being up against ‘the man’ and being as their title, ‘against the machine’ the fictitious authority which make people like to be on the rebellious side. I hope to see them fast fade away as quick as snow in Basingstoke. Maybe they will appear again 17 years time again.
Of course the angst ridden teenagers that bought this song will be a bit disappointed to find Rage’s record label is the same company as a certain Mr Cowell’s. So in Rage’s expletive ridden lyrics, “f*** you, I wont do you tell me”
Yes you did.
You did exactly what you were told and gave your pocket money to the men at the record companies that put together throwaway music, both X-Factor and kiddiegrunge, and they are chuckling you did.
Do yourself a favour, there were probably more than 2 songs in the charts. Turn on your radio and listening to real music with talent.