Monday, June 08, 2015

Tony Banks: Best Political Song (With a Jaundiced Eye)

Not the clearest photo of Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks that I could find, but I liked the shot of him surrounded by keyboards. So I used it.

But this isn't about Tony's brilliant keyboard playing. It's about his brilliant writing. I wish Tony's albums had gotten more of a listen by radio. Each album had songs that were hit worthy. But one in particular from his solo album "Still" always stands out because it has to be one of the most deliciously keen, incisive, and cynical takes on politics I've seen. It's called "Red Day on Blue Street." You can give it a listen here.

What is almost preternatural is that this song came way before Bush vs. Gore in 2000 — really before the whole "red state vs. blue state" thing became a byword. And that got started when USA Today published a map of that election showing a mass of red states where George Bush won a vast majority of counties across America, but the Electoral College decides presidential elections. The map was a bit misleading because it did not take population centers into account.

Another thing: Tony is English, and typically isn't all that concerned with American politics. I think his target was politicians in general. I have a hunch the song is applicable in the UK and in America. The Tory/Conservative Party in the UK is not exactly comparable to the Republican Party in the States, although there are some similarities. Also, the Labour Party is not an exact duplicate of the Democratic Party in America.

All this said, Tony delivers a sharp stick to the gluteus maximus of politicians, and I enjoy every minute of it.

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