Disco 2002

Issue section: 
(269)

The problem I had with Lee Billingham's article on music (October SR) and Muhammad Salleh's letter (November SR) is that both of them said, 'Buy this band, they're political.'

When so much chart music is so shallow, you can understand where they're coming from. But music isn't meant to be journalism with sounds added on afterwards. Interesting art follows different rules.

It would be nice to have some music reviews which talked about the sounds of bands, the relationship between words and music. One of my favourite songs of the 1990s was Babybird's 'You're Gorgeous'. A huge, saccharine pop hit, it sounded so sweet and idyllic that people played it at their weddings. But listen to the words, and the society it described was one where sex was a commodity and people's lives were cheapened.

Another song of the 1990s, Pulp's 'Common People', talked about class and class values. Just as the song built up to a crescendo, though, the words died out, and only the band remained. For me that said something about Pulp's musical politics--they didn't have the words to tell people what the revolution would feel like, but they did have the sound.

Dave Renton
London