Strikingly original, and catchy to the point of irritation, “Maggie’s Last Party” is a curious post-rave oddity thrust onto a dazed Britain nursing a serious comedown in early 1991.
A fusion of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s uncompromising speeches with a slowly-evolving post-acid house backing, something in unknowns V.I.M.‘s first crack at club stardom is proving irresistibly addictive, even to these dad rock-hardened ears.
But what’s it all about? A blatant party political broadcast or gentle, poking satire? Proto-Guido Fawkes-esque marrying of Thatcherism with the spirit of the Second Summer of Love, or clever critique of the incumbent government’s tough line on illegal raves? A fond farewell to the departing Iron PM, or a hearty “good riddance”?
Personally, my money’s on the latter—rightist politics and popular music are rarely comfortable bed-fellows—although with lines like “I’m not prepared to restrict our legitimate freedom to party” and “everyone can see / and everybody knows / that this party is best”, your guess is as good as mine. To be honest, I don’t really care.
So then, a challenge: listen to this, say, three or four times one morning, and try to not keep blurting out “the bass goes on” and “acid party!” at inappropriate intervals throughout the day. You don’t win anything. But betcha can’t do it. And if you do, you’re a better man than I am (Gunga Din).
All together now: Rave, rave, rave, murder… Acid party!
// Notes from the Road
"Cage the Elephant rocked two sold-out nights at Summerstage and return to NYC for a free show May 29th. Info on that and a preview of the full Summerstage schedule is here.READ the article