Ricardo Autobahn (@ricardoautobahn) May 02, 2014
It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard this but the simplistic words popped into my head out of nowhere (they can all too easily be re-applied to world events today rather than the Britain of the so-called winter of discontent of ’78-’79).
“Prices rise, nobody will buy,
poverty strikes, the old will die”
Cheery stuff. Sing along.
I woke up with this decidedly old school art rock ditty stuck in my head again. It was the swift follow up to their very successful reworking of Money.
I believe that Deborah Evans-Stickland became a psychotherapist but has from time to time stepped back into the music limelight.She contributed to a Richard X album a while back and only this year she reprised her Money vocals as part of The Steampunk Opium Wars project.
Image via Wikipedia
At last the final part of this interview from February 13th 1979. Bowie takes questions from phone in callers between music and an ongoing interview with Nicky Horne.
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Long time no tape archive material so I had a quick delve & remembered a cassette I was given long ago featuring rough demo versions of songs that would eventually become David Bowie‘s Scary Monsters album. So here’s an early version of the song that I partly named this blog after, Up the hill backwards.
If you’re familiar with the album version you’ll notice the different lyrics here, particularly the section with to “Skylab is falling”.
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As Britain’s council workers prepare to strike over wages against a backdrop of rising prices and the spectre of continuing inflation returning to the British political scene it’s easy to envisage that we may be at the start of a chain of events that could bring challenges as great as those experienced during the 1970’s.
Of course conditions are different but it’s always worth looking to history for parallels. The recent tanker drivers 14% pay award mimics a chain of pay awards that begat a chain of ‘me too’ strikes across Britain as both the Conservative and then Labour governments of the time tried to cap the size of pay awards against a backdrop of rising prices.
We had many more nationalised industries then over which the government could exert pressure. Indeed sanctions were put in place against many companies both in the public and private sector that awarded pay increases above the governments percentage guidelines and Chancellor Alistair Darling has been making very similar noises by urging firms not to give in to the demands of employees for wage increases as the higher cost of living begins to bite.
I have no doubt that globally we are entering a very challenging economic period so it will be interesting to see how how Britain manages an increasing period jostling for wage settlements and how it will differ when compared to the so-called ‘winter of discontent‘ of 1978-79.
A timeline of the events leading up to the winter of discontent 1978-79