52 Songs for 52 Weeks: The National Front Disco by Morrissey

Week 31

There’s a country,
You don’t live there,
But one day you would like to.

Morrissey, the former lead singer of the Smiths is a controversial guy and this song was one of his most controversial.  The UK press literally freaked out over this song because on the surface, it seems sympathetic to the UK National Front, an ultra-nationalist political movement in England.  That’s a shame that the press did that because this is one of the best songs Morrissey has recorded in his post-Smiths career.

Here’s Morrissey’s take on the subject:

“The reason why ‘The National Front Disco’ was pounced upon was really because – if I may say so – it was actually a very good song. And if the song had been utter crap, no one would have cared. I was stopped by many many journalists who obviously raised the topic in an accusatory way, and I would say to them, Please, now, list the lines in the song which you feel are racist and dangerous and hateful. And they couldn’t. Nobody ever ever could, and that irked me.”

You tell me.  I say it is a great song.

-cj cheetham

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52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 30 – Cities in Dust by Siouxsie and the Banshees

…your city lies in dust, my friend…

It’s not everyday that you come across a catchy tune about the destruction by a volcano of the city of Pompei in 79 A.D.

Siouxsie and the Banshees were sort of relegated to the “strange band category” and therefore weren’t fully discovered in their day.  Here in this song, you get some excellent instrumentation with the distinctive, powerful voice of Siouxsie Sioux. 

There just aren’t any other bands that could set these lyrics to a catchy beat:

We found you hiding, we found you lying
Choking on the dirt and sand
Your former glories and all the stories
Dragged and washed with eager hands

This song covers the same territory as Shelly’s great poem Ozymandias (published in 1818) – namely the folly of man’s monuments to himself because all glory is fleeting.

Listen to the song.

http://youtu.be/_hMagNuhLkk

-cj cheetham

P.S. Here’s Shelly’s poem:

Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.[1]

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 29 – Only You and I by the Psychedelic Furs

This is not a five and ten; this is not a joke

The Psychedelic Furs were one of the most innovative and cutting edge bands in all of music from 1980 – 1991. Led by a charismatic singer with a distinctive voice, the furs blended grinding guitars with synthesizers and saxaphones all undergirded with a driving bass and drums.

You get all of that and more in this in this outstanding song – track 4 on the 1982 Forever Now album.

It seems like the Furs should have been even more popular. I’ve theorized with other music afficianados that maybe it was the strange band name that kept some listeners from fully discovering this band. Don’t let that happen to you!

When the drums really kick in on this song – you’ll love it.

I never shouted it
Like we do in school
And knee-jerk negativity
Just never got me through

http://youtu.be/SExjtl7-8OU

-cj cheetham

52 Songs for 52 Weeks: Week 28 – Halloween by Matt Pond PA

I heard it’s modern to be stupid
you don’t need to talk to look good

It’s October – but this is not a scary song.  Halloween is just 26  days away.

One time when I was in a used CD store they gave me a free sampler CD at the checkout.  One song on that CD was a song (Closer) by Matt Pond PA.  All I could think was how does such a great band remain relatively unknow for so long?

This is a fantastic song from Matt Pond PA – trust me – buy some of their stuff.

http://youtu.be/cdjaMCH56yM

I surprised myself as my mouth started speaking
there is nothing left of my nerves
as I lean over to ask her

-cj cheetham

**P.S.

Here’s that song “Closer” that got me hooked on this band

http://youtu.be/YVx3YNBAhJo

52 songs for 52 weeks will get your music collection up to par. If you want to have a better music collection – check in each week . Add a song a week and in one year’s time your music collection will be the envy of all your friends.