Sunday, March 7, 2010

Great non-Beatles song...

... with a Beatles reference. This entry, the fourth in the series, is by far the best known; it needs little introduction. It's the title track from a 1979 album that's widely considered one of the greatest in pop music history. It was recorded, with burning and forceful vitality, by a rock 'n' roll quartet once dubbed "The Only Band That Matters." Yes, it's "London Calling" by The Clash, and it's epically bad-ass.

The line: "Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust."
The song: "London Calling"

The lyrics also reflect desperation of the band's situation in 1979 struggling with high debt, without management and arguing with their record label over whether the London Calling album should be a single or double album. The lines referring to "now don't look to us / All that (sic) phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust" reflects the concerns of the band over its situation after the punk rock boom in England in 1977 had ended. While many took the line as a slam against the Beatles, another interpretation, offered at the time the song was released, suggested that this line referred not to the Beatles, but to the Broadway production, Beatlemania, which advertised itself as "Not the Beatles, But an Incredible Simulation." Hence, the line castigated late 1970s culture for its lack of substance, such as consuming "phoney Beatlemania," essentially a simulated, rather than actual, experience.

The previous entries in this ongoing series are:
1) "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo" by Jens Lekman
2) "Sunshowers" by M.I.A.
3) "Spit Shine Your Black Clouds" by The Blood Brothers

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