Culture – I’m Alone in the Wilderness

One of the best things about the diamond Jubilee, other than the 2 bank holidays, is the revived interest its brought back to the Punk scene, which broke out of the shadows and onto the pages of the mainstream media at the time of the silver Jubilee of 1977.  Good old Beeb 4 has shown a couple of fantastic documentaries – one on the years preceding the punk explosion and another on the incredible punk poet John Cooper Clarke, who pisses all over Queen Liz in terms of British iconicness. But of course back then alongside the punk movement another equally profound change was occurring in British musical culture as a generation of white working class youth was turned onto the soundscapes of Jamaica, as reggae and dub began to find increasingly receptive audience in the UK. One of the most lauded releases of that year was Culture’s seminal Two Sevens Clash album. I’d venture to say it’s a slightly overrated album, not as powerful as some of the records coming out of the island at the time by the likes of Burning Spear and Johnny Clarke, but it’s certainly intriguing with its mixture of sweet seductive harmonies and dark, apocalyptic lyrics.  And when Culture got it just right, as they did on the tune below, it’s hard to beat. The album was released in fancy packaging 30 years on, with Mick Hucknall contributing to the sleeve notes, another reason why Simply Red are not the devil incarnates they’re so often made out to be. ‘Fairground’ is a top tune but anyway, I digress …

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