Tracks to educate young people with

(posted by quarsan)

Number Six : Thief of Fire – The Pop Group (lyrics) (Wav file)

The Pop Group were one of the most original sounds to come from the punk explosion. A mixture of wild jazz, deep funk and a raw, burning anger. This band were out there on the edge. They stood for revolutionary political values whereas The Clash just adopted a posture.

I remember seeing the album cover and just wanting to hear what was inside. I got home as fast as I could and put it on the stereo, lit the blue touchpaper and stood well back.

From the first howl, I was entranced. This was something overpowering. I sat open mouthed in front of the speakers, my mind running in a hundred different directions as I tried to work out just what on earth was going on here. The influences came from a myriad of sources brought together into something almost unlistenable, so wild it seemed that the band would lose control of what they were creating.

I later found this was the case, there having been a bumper crop of magic mushrooms in the Bristol area at the time of recording. Mark Stewart once told me he had no recollection whatsoever of making the album, or indeed which studio they used.

But this was the start of their assault on capitalism. Not for them the misery of Crass, but a wild joyful and cacophonous anger. Their single ‘We Are All Prostitutes’ had on the B-side the catchy titled ‘Amnesty International Report into the Torture of Irish Prisoners by the British Army’.

The single was released in a plain sleeve adorned by the lyrics.

On stage they were chaotic, putting everything they had into each moment of every performance. The Pop Group burned with a fire and a passion that just isn’t seen today.

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