While the death of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher earlier this year elicited a flurry of angry words, it also caused a lot of singing. There was even a brief chart war between "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" from The Wizard of Oz and The Not Sensibles "I'm in Love With Margaret Thatcher" (with the level of musical animosity aimed at Maggie, apparently her proponents felt a humorously anti-Thatcher song would be their best shot at a rallying cry!) As for the radio in my head, it put The English Beat's "Stand Down Margaret" on heavy rotation. In the end, it's conceivable that the wealth of musical agitprop that the Iron Lady inspired may be her greatest legacy. Dig This: A Tribute to the Great Strike (Forward Sounds International) was a benefit album to support the Miners Solidarity Fund during the bitter miners' strike of 1984-1985. The album (good piece on it here) features a head-spinning stylistic variety; the driving folk-punk of The Men They Couldn't Hang, the twisted art-country of the Mekons, the loping reggae-punk of Omega Tribe, the frightening anglo-synth rap of Akimbo, the accusatory goth-rock of Leningrad Sandwich, the fierce noise-punk of The Ex, the anarcho-weirdness of The Posion Girls, the hard-to-classify Steve Lake and, of course, the only band on earth who can be described as both Crass' heirs and one-hit wonders, Chumabawamaba.
A1 Poison girls – Cry
A2 Poison girls – Voodoo Pappadollar
A3 Mekons – Flitcraft
A4 Mekons – Trouble Down South
A5 Men They Couldn't Hang – Jack Dandy
A6 Men They Couldn't Hang – Rawhide
B1 Akimbo – The Rap
B2 Steve Lake – Turn Out The Lights
B3 Leningrad Sandwich – We Will Rise
B4 The Ex – We've Got Everything We Never Wanted
B5 Omega Tribe – Young John
B6 Chumbawamba – The Police Have Been Wonderful
Side I: Live at Southbank Poly
Side II: Studio Recordings
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