MIXING POP AND POLITICS (AGAIN)

The news headline and coverage from Ukraine these past few weeks have been heartbreaking.   After one particular grim bulletin, I was thinking that I should somehow use the blog to reference the war, but it just felt as if I was being tactless.   The images of carnage made me think of the poster which inspired this:-

mp3: Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

Nicky Wire‘s words backed by James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore‘s music.

Incredible and indeed mind-blowing fact.  This ode to the idealism of Welsh volunteers who joined the left-wing International Brigades fighting for the Spanish Republic against Franco’s military rebels, was hi-jacked by the far-right British National Party in 2009 for use as part of its campaign against what it described as the violence, hatred, fragmentation and despair happening in London as a result of multiculturalism. Click here for more background, where you’ll also be relieved and happy to read that immediate action was taken to have the song removed.

I bought one of the two CDs that the single was issued on back in 1998. It was the one with two remixes:-

mp3: Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (Massive Attack Remix)
mp3: Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (David Holmes Remix)

The remixes are exactly along the lines of what you’d expect from those involved.  The Holmes mix is epic, coming in at over ten minutes in length.

Thank you for reading and listening today.

JC

6 thoughts on “MIXING POP AND POLITICS (AGAIN)

  1. JC – this is far from tactless. It’s appropriate, powerful and what I’d expect from your good self.

    This image is disturbing It should be.

    The carnage in Ukraine continues apace with the Ukrainian government branded Nazi’s via a concerted disinformation campaign by the Russian Government. The far-right hate-machine is unfortunately still with us. We have evolved so much in so many ways and evolved so little in so many other ways.

    Coincidentally the album this comes from is the only period that I am familar with Manic Street Preachers.

  2. The Call Up by The Clash came up on random play a couple of days ago. Includes the line: “Maybe I wanna see the wheat fields, Over Kiev and down to the sea.” Pretty chilling and powerful lyric still (41 years after release) when teenage Russian conscripts are being forced to give up their lives for Putin’s madness.

  3. Well done. I’ve been trying to write about it but haven’t found the words yet. Not tactless at all. Love the poster too- there’s a copy in the People’s History Museum in Manchester (you probably saw it when you were down here).

  4. Thanks, JC, a necessary post and well put. I had no idea about the BNP misappropriating the song, but it resonates with how the Russian media has (mis)presented the invasion of Ukraine and killing of innocents to its population.

    If You Tolerate This… remains a Manics’ career highlight for me. The Massive Attack remix is a bit so-so for me, but the David Holmes remix is one that I revisit at least as much as – if not more than – the original version.

    Out of interest, I remember The Stranglers were quick to pounce on the song’s musical similarities to Duchess (they – or their lawyers – seemed pretty hot on this at the time), but did Kraftwerk express a similar interest in the Holmes remix and it’s homage to The Model?

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