Thanksgiving Is Ruined
February 03, 2006
but we already knew that, generally
In the liner notes to the very awesome and booty-shake-inducing new retrospective CD of tunes by the Delta 5, the great Jon Langford offers a clue as to specifically why the early Delta 5 (and their comrades) were so interesting, at least in terms of their outlook and how they saw themselves in relation to the specific moment in place and time in which they lived (circa 1979, the radical left/punk scene in Leeds):
We were all obsessed with Funkadelic, Blondie's "Heart of Glass" and "Saturday Night Fever" at the time.
Nevertheless, they stayed punks (of a kind), rather than aspiring to become another Visage (as interesting as they were in their own way), which I suppose could have seemed available as one of several imaginable paths forward, requiring only a few small changes in trajectory.
A Greil Marcus article also included in the liner notes provides another clue:
Ros, Bethan and Julz started their group (harmonizing on Parliament-Funkadelic's chant of "Sh!t! Goddamn! Get off your ass and jam!").
Any of us who have ever hung around the kind of scene where our friends, at the end of a house party after a few bottles of adult beverages, easily could have (or did), break into some chant very like the above, annoy the neighbors and fanatasize about forming a band (then deploy the same chant the next day at a political march and baffle the Old Lefties), could ask ourselves, "Why did we not become the Delta 5?" and realize all over again why their tunes are so unique and easy for us to appreciate.
[cf. "Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat"]