As UK avant-garde legend ,Cornelius Cardew, actually came up with the idea of democratising music with his 'Scratch Orchestra Constutution',he should be credited as the inspiration behind The Portsmouth Sinfonia.He had already put this into action with his Scratch Orchestra performances,a couple of years before his chum Gavin Bryars nicked the idea. So it makes complete sense that Cardew would invade the world of Rock music just before the Sinfonia made their own Classic Rock covers album.
For Cardew, it was a result of his very hard left Political views that caused him to reject the Avant garde as elitest and embrace the far more inclusive world of Rock and Pop. No matter how out of place he looked.
So he started the 'Peoples Liberation Music' project,which was more or less a collective rather than a band.Anyone could play in it if they had half an idea how to make a musical note. It also provided a stage for his tiresome Political ideas,which were ruthlessly rammed down the listeners throat.
There's a reason why Classical Musicians,or communists, shouldn't be let anywhere near a Rock group,and this is a fine example.Another one was that truly awful Classical/Rock fusion group from the eighties 'Sky',which makes this stuff sound like The Sex Pistols.
The dreadfully anemic tunes seem to be there as an afterthought, to play behind those cringe-laden lyrics.Plenty of shite like "Will Of The People"....where have we heard that before?....Hitler,Brexit,Trump.....not a marxist among them. There also seems to be an inexplicable obsession with Ireland too.
It sounds not unlike one of those Christian Rock ensembles that released bucket loads of terrible records in the 60's and 70's. I suppose Communism isn't that far from being a religion,so the likeness is inescapable.
However,I have to say that, I find this album a weirdly charming, and very, very funny experience.I can't stop playing it!?
Some of the Irish tunes have a folky edge that may have influenced professional Irish Cockney and drunk, Shane MacGowen(Who,incidently was indeed a public schoolboy at Westminster school,and is therefore also Posh!). However, Cardew's singing voice has a clearer intonation than MacGowens spittle soaked expectorations,which figures, because he's so obviously very Posh.Of course he was,with a name like Cornelius Cardew for fucks sake!
In my decades living on a council estate in the midlands,I didn't meet one single Cornelious, luckily for him he didn't exist, or he would have got a daily kicking.The real working class that Cardew was so keen to liberate.....he obviously never met any.
I was daily under threat of violence after I qualified for Grammer School. No longer was i called by my given name. It was now the affectionately charming 'Posh Cunt!'. "Here's that Posh Cunt! Who does he think he is?...Fooking Posh Cooooont!" (Punch Kick Hurt)
They obviously didn't want anybody to be liberated,if it wasn't themselves.The underclass conspire to keep each other down, nevermind the fucking Bosses!?
This album is the sound of bourgeois guilt,and the cluelessness of what working class people actually want.Trump and Brexit is their kind of language......fuck 'em.
Cardew fans think that singing about Smashing the Social Contract,Irish Peat Bogs, and Imperialism was enough for MI5 to do Cardew in.So when he got run over after walking in the middle of the road after Midnight in 1981,he was obviously assasinated and absolutley NOT a victim of a 'Hit and Run' driver.
As with any famous person's death in the realm of the conspiracy theory,they are nearly always murdered and never die of natural causes or accidents.
In this case it was almost certainly an accident.....but at least it stopped Cardew from making this god-awful rock music ever again!
Meanwhile a tatooed mother clad in knocked off sports gear, shouts through her facial piercings into the street,to inform her son that dinner is served....."Cornelius, get in 'ere, yer fooking chicken nugget's are in the bastard microwave !!!"
1 El Pueblo 4:17
2 Will Of The People 2:36
3 Hail Ireland's Glorious Martyrs 4:19
4 Peat Bog Soldiers 3:39
5 Men Behind The Wire 2:23
6 Give Ireland Back To The Irish 2:06
7 Revolution Is The Main Trend 2:59
8 Nothing To Lose But Our Chains 4:10
9 School Days 2:20
10 Watkinsons' Thirteens 4:08
11 Smash The Social Contract 4:53
12 Law Of History 6:16
13 Thälmann Song 1:32
14 Freiheit 2:25
15 United Front Song 2:06
16 De Madregada 3:33
17 4 Principles On Ireland 5:02
18 British Imperialism 3:01
19 We Only Want The Earth 4:41