Music and British Identity: Pre-Punk Influences


Performers: David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Can, Velvet Underground

Songs for study:

 

"Paranoid" - Black Sabbath, Top of the Pops - British TV (1970)

 

Finished with my woman
'Cause she couldn't help me with my mind
People think I'm insane
Because I am frowning all the time

All day long I think of things
But nothing seems to satisfy
Think I'll lose my mind
If I don't find something to pacify

Can you help me occupy my brain?
Oh yeah

I need someone to show me
The things in life that I can't find
I can't see the things that make true happiness
I must be blind

Make a joke and I will sigh
And you will laugh and I will cry
Happiness I cannot feel
And love to me is so unreal

And so as you hear these words
Telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life
I wish I could but it's too late

 

"War Pigs" - Black Sabbath, Live in Paris (1970)

 

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death's construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds
Oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

 

Yeah

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'till their judgment day comes
Yeah!

Now in darkness world stops turning
Ashes where the bodies burning
No more war pigs have the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of judgment, God is calling
On their knees the war pig's crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan laughing spreads his wings
Oh lord yeah!

 

"Queen Bitch" - David Bowie, Old Grey Whistle Test - BBC TV (1972)

 

I'm up on the eleventh floor and I'm watching the cruisers below
Oh, my heart's in the basement, my weekend's at an all-time low
He's down on the street and he's trying hard to pull sister Flo
'Cause she's hoping to score, so I can't see her letting him go
Walk out of her heart, walk out of her mind, oh not her

She's so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that

She's an old-time ambassador of sweet-talking, night-walking games
And she's known in the darkest clubs for pushing ahead of the dames
If she says she can do it, then she can do it, she don't make false claims
But she's a queen and such are queens that your laughter is sucked in their brains

Now she's leading him on, and she'll lay him right down
Yes, she's leading him on, and she'll lay him right down
But it could have been me, yes, it could have been me
Why didn't I say, why didn't I say, no, no, no

 

She's so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that

So I lay down a while and I gaze at my hotel wall
Oh, the cot is so cold it don't feel like no bed at all
Yeah, I lay down a while and I look at my hotel wall
And he's down on the street, so I throw both his bags down the hall
And I'm phoning a cab 'cause my stomach feels small
There's a taste in my mouth and it's no taste at all
It could have been me, oh yeah it could have been me
Why didn't I say, why didn't I say, no, no, no

She's so swishy in her satin and tat
In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat
Oh God, I could do better than that

You betcha
Oh, yeah
Uh-huh

 

"Starman" - David Bowie, Top of the Pops - British TV (1972)

 

Didn't know what time it was and the lights were low
I leaned back on my radio
Some cat was layin' down some rock 'n' roll 'lotta soul, he said
Then the loud sound did seem to fade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of phase
That weren't no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive

There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

I had to phone someone so I picked on you
Hey, that's far out so you heard him too!
Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel two
Look out your window I can see his light
If we can sparkle he may land tonight
Don't tell your poppa or he'll get us locked up in fright

There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
There's a starman waiting in the sky
He's told us not to blow it
'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la (repeat)

 

"Paperhouse" - Can, German TV (1972)

 

 

"Moonshake" - Can (live, 1972)

 

 

"Heroin" - Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

 

I don't know just where I'm going
But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can
'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man
When I put a spike into my vein
And I tell you things aren't quite the same

When I'm rushing on my run
And I feel just like Jesus' son
And I guess that I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I have made big decision
I'm gonna try to nullify my life
'Cause when the blood begins to flow
When it shoots up the dropper's neck
When I'm closing in on death

You can't help me now, you guys
And all you sweet girls with all your sweet talk
You can all go take a walk
And I guess I just don't know
And I guess that I just don't know

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
On a sailor's suit and cap

 

Away from the big city
Where a man cannot be free
Of all the evils of this town
And of himself and those around
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

Heroin, be the death of me
Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life
Because a mainline into my vein
Leads to a center in my head
And then I'm better off than dead

Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore
About all the Jim-Jims in this town
And all the politicians making crazy sounds
And everybody putting everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

'Cause when the smack begins to flow
And I really don't care anymore
Ah, when that heroin is in my blood
And that blood is in my head
Then thank God that I'm as good as dead
And thank your God that I'm not aware
And thank God that I just don't care
And I guess I just don't know
Oh, and I guess I just don't know

 

"Ladytron" - Roxy Music, Old Grey Whistle Test - BBC TV (1972)

 

You've got me girl on the run around, run around
Got me all around town
You've got me girl on the run around
And it's getting me down, getting me down

Lady if you want to find a lover then you look no further
For I'm gonna be your only
Searching at the start of the season and my only reason
Is that I'll get to you

I'll find some way of connection, hiding my intention
Then I'll move up close to you
I'll use you and I'll confuse you and then I'll lose you
Still you won't suspect me

 

 

 

 

GRAFFITI STUDY WALL: MUSIC & VIDEOS
SEX PISTOLS
KRAFTWERK
THE CLASH
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.
JOY DIVISION
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
AU PAIRS
COCTEAU TWINS
ARTERY
HUMAN LEAGUE
HEAVEN 17
THE SPECIALS
CABARET VOLTAIRE
TEARS FOR FEARS
DEPECHE MODE
THE SOUND
THE GLOVE
THE CURE
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN
A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS
GANG OF FOUR
NEW ORDER
U2
THE POLICE
CRASS
NEW MODEL ARMY
ELVIS COSTELLO
SPLIT ENZ
THE THE
XTC
THE EXPLOITED
DISCHARGE
THE SMITHS
THE HOUSEMARTINS
RADIOHEAD
PORTISHEAD
PET SHOP BOYS
M Y BLOODY VALENTINE
SLOWDIVE
CRASH MUSIC
MUSIC OF THE TROUBLES

VIDEOS:

SEX PISTOLS
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (LIVE)
THE CURE (LIVE)
COCTEAU TWINS (LIVE)
NEW ORDER (LIVE)
PORTISHEAD (LIVE)
JOY DIVISION MINI-DOCUMENTARY
NUCLEAR WAR PREPAREDNESS: PROTECT & SURVIVE MANUAL