Saturday, 31 May 2014

Criminal songs - 10 songs about crime

I've published a music chart of Murder Songs but here's one of other crimes.

1) Genesis - Robbery, Assault And Battery"
You'd probably never believe it given my music collection as it currently stands, dominated by New Wave, Hip-Hop, Reggae & Art Noise, but Genesis were one of the first bands I ever got into. Peter Gabriel Genesis rather than Phil Collins Genesis of course. But still, I find them impossible to listen to now. Weren't videos made in the 1970s really rubbish?

2) The Prodigy - "Firestarter"
The album this comes from "The Fat Of The Land" is almost excellent, but as with this track I just feel each song on it threatens a lot sonically and musically but somehow always manages to truncate it without nailing it. Maybe that's why Liam sacked the rest of the band.

3) New Order - "Thieves Like Us"
Um I loved this period New Order (that yielded the album "Power, Corruption and Lies". Not my normal type of music, but I guess there was a sentimental attachment from the Joy division days. I wonder if they lost any fans who felt the synth-heavy sound meant that they had sold out the Joy Division legacy? I certainly felt similar when one of my favourite noise bands The Swans went all quite singer-songwritery and recently when my favourite contemporary band Liars produced a second successive album that ditched their art-noise roots for plinky-computer game soundtrack music.

4) Renegade Soundwave - "Probably A Robbery"
I can't remember anything else about this band. One-hit wonders? Probably.

5) The Jam - "Thick As Thieves"
Supposedly a concept album because 3 of the songs were linked, of which this was one. But ignoring that, Paul Weller's gift for longing back to a childhood of being able to belong to something never bettered than in this song.

6) The Clash - "Bankrobber"
 I never pass up any excuse to play this song really! I always thought it was just another one of their reggae covers before I discovered that no, they'd penned it themselves. Very hard to do white reggae well, but this is definitely at the top of the white reggae charts.

7) Ministry - "The Land Of Rape & Honey"
This band are from Texas. They don't fit in very well down there...

8) MC 900Ft Jesus - "The City Sleeps"
Criminally (get it?) under-appreciated artist, really sorry they stopped after a couple of killer albums. This is waaay more menacing than anything the cartoon gangster rappers might pontificate upon.

9) Pulp - "Joyriders"
Never really a Pulp fan, a mix of professional Northerner with auto-didact intellectual, just didn't strike a chord with me. Sort of Morrisey without the racial prejudice.

10) Swans - "Blackmail"
This period Swans when female vocalist Jarboe joined the band saw their enormous power sound teeter on the point of fracturing as her voice cut against it. It was brilliant these two divergent muscularities.

11) Beastie Boys - "Car Thief"
Well you know I love all things Beastie Boys. I chose this song because of the title, but let's face it, the video for their song "Sabotage" which spoofs Starsky & Hutch's opening credits is one of the best music videos every made, so I'm linking to that! Makes me a bit of a cheat, but not a criminal!

12) 50 Cent - "P.I.M.P"
The Caribbean steel band vibe of this is genius, no matter how desultory the song would be without it. #guiltypleasure

13) Gary Clail - "Two Thieves And A Liar"
Another artist like The Prodigy who has the germ of brilliant songs but never quite manages to see them through (I find this also with Adrian Sherwood's Tackhead from which Clail spawned). But this song delivers all the way through.

14) Slits - "Shoplifting"
Another band who teetered on the brink of great tunesmithery but always managed to pull back. All the elements are there, but somehow the song sounds slightly weedy, which for dub is a bit odd. I did like their track "New Town" though.

15) Ice-T - "Grand Larceny"
The granddaddy of blustering gangster rap and where is he now? Oh yeah in a police drama series on TV. Oh the irony.


Unknown said...

I'll add to that impressive list of misdemeanours:

Nine Crimes - Damien Rice

Where The Wild Roses Grow - Nick Cave, Ft Kylie Minogue

Suffer Little Children - The Smiths

Unknown said...

Just saw that this is supposed to be other crimes than murder. Oops. But murder makes the best songs!

Sulci Collective said...

ah but I covered homicide on another chart!

And Elly you're being very naughty, you know this is a Smiths/Morrisey free blog :-)

Unknown said...

Ok I'll swap the Smiths for Plan B - 'She Said' is about someone falsely accused of a crime by an ex lover, allegedly: