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Thursday, December 11, 2014

MA-25 - Over Reaction: Songs in a Nuclear Vein


Another in the series of assemblies of highly charged music.



1 - Hydrogen Bomb     Al Rex   1959
2 - The H-Bomb's Thunder  John Brunner  1959
3 - Walking On The Ground  Sheldon Allman   1960
4 - Standing on the Outside of Your Shelter  Shel Silverstein  1962
5 - Doomsday The Shirelles 1964
6 - Atom Ant TV Theme 1965
7 - Testing the Bomb Shel Silverstein 1965
8 - Who's Next Tom Lehrer 1965
9 - Apeman The Kinks 1970
10 - We Got the Neutron Bomb The Weirdos 1976
11 - Bombers (Single Version) Gary Numan / Tubeway Army 1978
12 - Save The World George Harrison 1981
13 - Going Under Devo 1981
14 - It's a Mistake Men At Work 1983
15 - Armageddon Planet P Project 1983
16 - Distant Early Warning Rush 1984
17 - P.O.E Adam Ant 1985
18 - Common Ground Goanna 1985
19 - Lucky The Dead Milkmen 1985
20 - Put Down That Weapon Midnight Oil 1987
21 - Luftwaffe Flashlight Brown 2000
22 - Nuclear Blues Seismic Anamoly 2003
23 - Iranian Uranium Robert Lund 2006
24 - We're Gonna Drop The Atom Bomb Turbonegro 2007
25 - Atom Ant   Theme Remix Cartoon Network Groovies 2008
26 - Nuclear Disaster The Fresh and Onlys 2009


There are some real items of note here:

Track Three is a solemn plea to the people of the world to wise up and save the world from destroying itself.  A noble sentiment!  But the problem with songs like this (and a nearly identical approach in Track Twelve by ex-Fab Guy G Harrison) is the basic "conceit" (in the literary use of that term).  This conceit or pretense is a self-deception, a viewpoint that if only everybody else would sit down and listen to the simple truths expounded by the singer, then suddenly the mental clouds would part.  The songs' listeners would shake their heads as if from a daze and say, "Of course!  We too are custodians of this delicate planet!  All our selfish concerns with power and self-importance are as nought.  We abjure such ego-centric notions and hereby vow to let you, o wise singer, dictate the provinces of world government from now on."

Hey, clueless people (the song performers)!  If you do not pre-suppose the fact of original sin (in practice or theology), you are living in a blissful world of ignorance about the reality of human behavior.  Sadly, people choose most anything over helpful behaviors like: thinking ahead or charity or consideration for others.  These selfish types who wouldn't mind having glowing fishes (as long as they can have the next size of TV) --  a typical characterization by anti-science types -- are not going to be reformed by your earnest head-shaking.

More fun are songs like Track Five, a great often-neglected song by the Shirelles.  "I thought the world would end in a burst of nuclear fire," they tell us.  "But if you broke my heart, that would be just as bad."  It's just a great little lyrical parallel.

Track 23 is another sardonic look at reality.  If certain overly radical types get the ability to wreak destruction on their enemies, I bet they have a few in their camp who'd like to  melt the enemy down.  It's a pretty cute idea, using an arrangement and melody from a certain great classic musical.

Anyway, have a listen and glow with satisfaction.


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