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Friday 13 December 2019

Backs To The Wall

This was written before the result of the general election was known but in gloomy, pessimistic anticipation of a Johnson win. Maybe I was wrong and he's been turfed out into a cold December Downing Street, the door banging shut behind him.

Music is important isn't' it? It brings us together, gives us shared experiences (personal listening experiences and shared ones at gigs or on the dance-floor). It gives a voice to people. It allows us to recognise ourselves in the art others have made. Music gives us something to dance to in the face of disaster and disappointment, both personal and political. Lifts us up and brings us down. Makes us laugh and smile, cry and sigh. Makes you feel like you can face the world.

A Certain Ratio have been celebrating their 40th anniversary this year with a tour and a box set and two new releases (an old one in their unreleased version of Houses In  Motion and a new one in the Chris Massey remix of Dirty Boy, both featured here previously). In 1989 they were only ten years old and had left Factory for the major label environs of A&M. 1989's The Big E album had several songs I'd consider to be keepers but didn't sell well. The single Backs To The Wall was remixed by Frankie Knuckles, one of the originators of house music. He adds a chunky house beat and pumps up the disco elements of the song although in 1989 terms this remix feels quite slow. Nice job though, the symphonic stabs are good, there's some funky guitar riffs and housed up piano chords, a bubbly bassline and several vocal lines that jump out given the current situation, not least the ones about the economic hard times and money talking, 'we're going nowhere, nowhere fast', 'we all need friends to help in the end but nothing lasts forever' and the chorus...

'Backs to the wall
Stand up tall
Don't let 'em get you down'

Back To The Wall (Frankie Knuckles Remix)


Anonymous said...

Oh dear! Looks like Boris Johnson has turned Great Britain into Little England (& Wales). The SNP take Scotland. The Nationalists take Northern Ireland. The Union will break up within the next decade, and who could blame our Scottish and Irish friends for walking. Canterbury held, small mercies!
-still SRC

Swiss Adam said...

A very bad night. The next 5 years will be increasingly shitter and shitter.

Swiss Adam said...

I didn't expect Labour to win, it's been clear for ages that here were huge numbers of people who were never going to vote for Corbyn. That people have gone for the lesser of 2 evils and the lesser in their eyes is a racist says a lot about where this country is right now.

Echorich said...

I love BTTW! And yes!, it is quite slow moving for a Frankie Knuckles remix. More Blacksmith/Brixton Bass Mix really. Listening back right now I am struck how prescient/appropriate a track it is. While none of the Factory stable was particularly political in their output, A Certain Ratio did straddle some ideas of social equality in their music.