Don’t get used to the idea of me posting every day. It won’t last.
Today’s tune would have featured soon enough anyway. It’s a song that reminds me of my political awakening. It also reminds me that political songs don’t have to sound like political songs at all, if they’re done cleverly enough.
Let’s be straight about this: Hue and Cry are not an act that I have much fondness for. Putting aside their political leanings for a moment, lead singer Pat Kane is one of those singers who has a habit of over singing. Sometimes it’s like he thinks he’s Cleo Laine (actually, that starts off bloody brilliantly…but get to 1:05 and you’ll see what I mean. Tedious.)
I mean things like this. (See also Annie Lennox. God I hate that record more than almost anything else on Earth.) Frankly, there’s some songs which you really shouldn’t touch and that, Mr and Mr Kane, is one of them.
Maybe it’s a Scottish thing. Or maybe not. (There’s a beardy bloke in the front row there who really doesn’t look very happy about the besmirching of William Wallace. Mostly)
Ah, Scotland. Apparently you hold the keys to power. And you are also responsible for one of the greatest records ever made by brothers with equally bad teeth and glasses: A Letter From America.
Anyway, I digress. It is 1987. A general election was looming but I was just a couple of months under the age when one becomes eligible to vote. And in any event, I lived in John Major’s constituency, so I may as well have voted for Lord Bucket Head, who stood against him in 1992.
Frustrated, this song, more than any other, gave me a form of release.
Labour of Love is one of those records that ticks all of the boxes. Firstly, despite what you might think from it’s title, it’s not by UB40. Always a bonus in my book, that. Secondly, much like yesterday’s post, it’s a political record masquerading as a pop song. Thirdly, it’s catchy as hell. Like a proper pop song should be. I defy anyone to listen to it once and not be singing it for the rest of the day.
This, I think, is one of the greatest singles ever made. You’re welcome to argue. But you’d be wrong. It’s a work of genius. Ask me to name my Top 10 favourite singles, and this is right in there, no question. So there.