Monday, December 3, 2012

Songs from the Cold War #2: Frankie says...

"Red Skies" and "The Gap" might not be obvious songs about the Cold War, but "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood was pretty clear.  Keep in mind, however, that I didn't grow up watching MTV (my dad wouldn't dream of paying for television), but even without having seen the video wrestling match with Reagan and Chernenko I thought it was obvious.  "When two tribes go to war, a point is all that you can score" and references to Reagan ("Cowboy number one, a born again poor man's son / On the air America, I modelled shirts by Van Heusen") were usually hard to understand, but air raid sirens and explosions weren't.  Plus, this song had several remixes, at least one of which featured a "public service" voice giving instructions for how to survive the attack (see the "Protect and Survive" videos), and another had a very Reagan-like voice.  I never noticed it at the time but there are also some very Russian-sounding notes played during the song.


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