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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

 

Name That Tune

I dread to think what pop tune the Liberal Democrats will choose as their campaign anthem in the forthcoming general election. If the previous election is anything to go by, it will probably be another crock of shit.

As John Harris reminds us in a
witty article in today's Guardian G2, in 2001 the Liberal Democrats inflicted Boyzone's New Beginning on the British voters. Peter Black, in his posting earlier today, is too charitable about this choice. Personally, I would have had the party official responsible publicly horse-whipped from one end of Westminster to the other.

There are, to the best of my knowledge, only six people in the Liberal Democrats with impeccable pop taste. Besides me, of course, they are Gareth Epps, Roger Hayes, Ian Osborne, Mark Smulian and former record shop manager Norman Baker MP. I am not aware that any of us have been consulted by Cowley Street on this crucial matter.

The choice of record requires considerable expertise. There is no point trying to choose a recent hit. There are few things more desperate than middle-aged men trying to sound hip. Think Keith Fordyce on the BBC circa 1963 introducing the Beatles. Better still, remember that notorious footage from election night in 1997, of John Prescott, Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson bopping away to Things Can Only Get Better.

On the other hand, there is no point trying to choose something from the 70s or 80s. To find out why, read Mark Ellen's interview with Tony Blair in the April edition of
Word magazine (Ellen, now a rock journalist, played bass in Blair's Oxford rock band Ugly Rumours). Blair's tastes are clearly stuck in a time warp; All Right Now and Jumping Jack Flash are all very well but, for younger punters, they just smack of 'dad rock'.

What does that leave us with, pop pickers? I'd recommend choosing an R&B classic from the post-war, pre-'British invasion' era. Apposite songs in the current political climate might include Howlin Wolf's How Many More Years?, Jimmy Reed's Shame, Shame, Shame or, if we're really honest, Willie Mabon's I Don't Know.

Or maybe we could get the party's latest supporter Brian Eno to write something?

Meanwhile, two questions for you.

First, there is bound to be someone reading this blog who has an inside track on Cowley Street's choice of tune for this election. If so, it is your solemn duty to reveal the truth. If the chosen song is exposed now and subjected to sufficient ridicule early on, we can persuade the party to drop it and spare us all any further embarrassment. Don't worry about confidentiality - there are marginal seats at stake.

Second, and only if you have impeccable pop taste, what should be the party's choice of song? If you can come up with a good enough nomination, I shall attempt to bribe Chris Rennard with a large box of Belgian chocolates into substituting this more tasteful choice.

Finally, I was amused to read, in John Harris's Guardian article, a criticism of Labour's choice of Eric Prydz's hit Call On Me for its party conference last September. It was "presumably picked on account of its intermittent refrain", muses Harris. No it wasn't. It was chosen because of the
video. I don't know about you, but this steamy video made a happy man very old.


Comments:
How about Morrissey's Irish Blood, English heart?
"I've been dreaming of time when the English are sick to death of Labour & Tories"

But wouldn't it be great to have something written by Fran Healy of Travis :D
 
I've always thought pushing a Bowie track would be a good way to get CK on side. "Golden Years"?
 
Tempted as I am to name something more mainstream, I'd settle for 'Know Your Rights' - either the Clash version or maybe the Primal Scream/Retribution cover from the anti-Criminal Justice Act EP. Topical and comes 'with guitar'. Strummer lived in Somerset and may well have voted the right way too...

The obvious one for Bliar of course is The Libertines' "Can't Stand Me Now" ('and blamed it on the Brown....').
 
For the record (ahem), New Beginning was Stephen Gately’s first, and last, solo hit after splitting from Boyzone - following the shock revelation a member of a boyband was gay.

Anyway, here’s my top 5:

1. Love me, I’m a liberal – Phil Ochs
2. Winning is just the beginning – Nunsense II
3. Vote early (vote often) – Sandy Andina
4. Focus on you – G.A.
5. Negotiate with love – Rachel Stevens (for when there’s a hung parliament of course).

Cheers, stephen
 
For the record (sic), New Beginning was Stephen Gately’s first (and last) solo hit after splitting from Boyzone following the shock revelation a member of a boyband was gay.

Anyway, here’s my top 5 (brought to you by iTunes):

1. Love me, I’m a liberal – Phil Ochs
2. Winning is just the beginning – Nunsense II
3. Vote early (vote often) – Sandy Andina
4. Focus on you – G.A.
5. Negotiate with love – Rachel Stevens (for when there’s a hung parliament of course).

Cheers, stephen
 
For the record (sic), New Beginning was Stephen Gately’s first (and last) solo hit after splitting from Boyzone following the shock revelation a member of a boyband was gay.

Anyway, here’s my top 5 (brought to you by iTunes):

1. Love me, I’m a liberal – Phil Ochs
2. Winning is just the beginning – Nunsense II
3. Vote early (vote often) – Sandy Andina
4. Focus on you – G.A.
5. Negotiate with love – Rachel Stevens (for when there’s a hung parliament of course).

Cheers, stephen
 
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