The best political song ever written, "We're Still Free" concerns the famous tragedy of a Korean passenger jet shot down by fighter planes when it strayed into Soviet airspace. Yet in recounting this act of barbarism on the part of the Soviets, it also implicates the righteousness of the American side of the Cold War ("We're still free here in America"). The song sets up a chilling contrast in the singing of the two performers, with Frith crying out almost desperately against believing what the media tell us, while Tom Cora gently croons the part of the Soviet air controllers as they decide to destroy the plane.
Skeleton Crew was a two-man band with both performers playing drums with their feet along with electronics and strings. Here they set a contrast between the grand, arcing lines of the cello and a homey picking of the violin that's almost shockingly sweet and funny.
Critical of anti-democratic trends in the West, Skeleton Crew was criticized by fans in Eastern Europe for taking freedom for granted.
from Learn to Talk (Rift (US)/RecRec (Switz) Rift/RecRec 08/05) available on CD - Learn to Talk/Country of Blinds (RecRec (ReCDec 512))
the peak of 80s garage from this boston based group! of all the 'new' garage bands who played 60s influenced music i think this one's the absolut best. danelectro guitars, fuzzed up tremolo and pop organ orgasm!
from on fyre (ace of heart) available on CD - those lyres (norton)
Singer\songwriter Paul Brady deals with Folk music . This song is in my opinion up to the level of Bob Dylan \Neil Young . Its melancholic but still up-beat .I like the lyrics a lot : " Tonight were gonna paint this town, were gonna drink champagne till we both fall down ,we'll find some other crazy dream -tomorrow" . Its hard to explain ,but the song moves me very much, the song is pretentious in some ways , but Bradys simple(but not dull) singing makes it not sum up as such.
The DIY ethos of punk served to liberate performers from the obligation to have a great deal of technical ability. The unfortunate corollary was that any display of already-acquired virtuousity instantly marked one as part of the Uncool Wankerage, forcing nascent guitar gods like Andy Summers to play as though suddenly arthritic. Possibly the first artist to successfully bridge Old World training and New World raucousness was Nina Hagen. "New York New York" is the East German-trained singer's signature tune. Over a clipped, dry Morodor techno-dystopia background, the verses present Hagen recounting her then-current regimen of glamourous excess in a harsh, metallic raven's shriek. Then, as though descending from the heavens at the end of a Wagnerian opera, comes the chorus -- a meltingly warm (yet uncomfortable) wave of minor chords, then a soaring, yearning, superbly modulated mezzo-soprano...which, after a jolt of realization, is understood to also belong to Nina Hagen. And so on.
The great NYFD firefighter and actor Steve Buscemi immortalizes this song in the otherwise forgettable Adam Sandler vehicle "The Wedding Singer:" he winces, he exhales extra H's, he emotes. Spandau Ballet's lead singer, Tony Hadley, would never have done that; dressed in all his Bryan Ferry finery and sporting his New Romantic do, he stood with the mike pinched in the fingers of his hand... and emoted. "Oh I want the truth to be SAIIIIID [then his voice breaks]. [Pregnant pause.] [And then the Uh-huh-huh-huh-hi comes in again.]
Yes, "True." Performed by a band with one of the most stupid band names imaginable, "True" invaded Philippine airwaves, spawned a silly Spandau Ballet - Duran Duran showdown on DWLS 97.1, and jumpstarted the dead-end careers of a million amateur singers. (A good friend of mine, who actually could sing, once performed this during some high school party, and had it choreographed so that the lights would go out during the "pregnant pause." The women screamed.)
But darn it, the song still gets to me -- not every time, God no, but only when I'm in a semi-nostalgic mood regarding the worst years of my life (high school). That cheesy sax instrumental break that still haunts my dreams! The harmonizing Kemp brothers! "Always in time / But never in line for dreams!" The sound of my soul indeed.