Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dig This: A Tribute to the Great Strike (1985)

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.

The Police Have Been Wonderful by Chumbawamba on Grooveshark

Fitzwilliam by Chumbawamba on Grooveshark


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

Give us your view on the musical legacy of Thatcher in the COMMENTS section!


  1. Let us know what you think of this strange stew Maggie inspired right HERE!

  2. She raped the country for all that it was worth, the industries that we had are no longer here, the legacy she left rots it's way through the Tory/LibDem coalition and also so called new Labour

    New Labour my fucking arse!

  3. thanks for the up!

  4. greetings from greece

  5. The "Great Strike" was classic emotion over logic.
    It's easy (and profitable) to appeal to the entitled masses - make them feel like victims (despite their own ignorance and decisions), and anything, no matter how wasteful, is considered an "outrage".
    I love great music. But, listening to their out-of-touch useful-idiot political views is retarded.

    1. Maria:
      The 'entitles masses'? You are a hateful person who's has been taken in by the spiteful ideologies of the privileged.

  6. Any comp with the Mekons AND the Ex has just got to be great. Thanks.

  7. I second Brink and will add that I always fancied omega tribe as one of the better Crass-like bands. I'm not sure what Maria is trying to say...I'm not sure which of us is confused. Brian

  8. Boy...I had never heard this Omega Tribe song...not much like Angry Songs...

  9. THanks, Jeffen! Rare Mekons and Chumba! Etc!


  10. Hey, everybody who enjoyed this post - thanks for the feedback more of such goodness to come!

  11. Belated thanks for this, I remember seeing it in record shop racks at the time but, dammit, I couldn't afford EVERYTHING - I was just out of college, on the dole, & trying to live on my own while supporting a burgeoning record collection & going to half a dozen gigs a week, etc - I don't think ate much back then tbh! :)

    Nice to finally hear it, in fact I'm tempted to try & track down a copy just because Clifford Harper's sleeve is so bloody wonderful!


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