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Thursday 7 March 2013

I Got A Letter From The Government The Other Day...

... opened it and read it, it said they were suckers.

Is as good an opening line for a song as any I can think of. In fact, the receiving of a letter is a good starting point for songs generally- Jimmy Cliff's Vietnam, Son House's Death Letter both spring to mind. It could die out within a generation couldn't it?- I was cc'd into an email last week doesn't carry the same drama.

Tricky's cover version of the Public Enemy song Black Steel In the Hour Of Chaos is one of those covers that is better than the original. The clattering beats, the female lead vocal shifting everything from the original around, the full on bass, the descending punk guitar riff- this is one of the best songs of the 90s and one of the few Tricky songs I can come back to time and time again. And there was a guitar heavy remix on the 12" that was even better.

Black Steel

Gypsy Rose Lee got more than a letter from her government- she was investigated by Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare of the early 50s. You've got to watch those burlesque artistes- Commies every last one of them.


davyh said...

Awesome record. I would throw myself under a bus for Martina Topley Bird's voice.

hsd said...

Great post mister.

Walter said...

Great record and a great post too SA. It is horrible to remind those McCarthy times. I remember the late 70s in Germany where people working for the government lost there job just because they were members of the communist party or being in closer contact to them. Even conductors lost their job