Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Dreadlock Holiday" by 10cc (1978)

Just in case you think there's nothing I like out there – I don't dislike 10cc. I don't know much about them, but I can tell you “I'm Not in Love” is one of the most beautiful, most atmospheric songs from the 1970s that I know. It's not that 10cc is crap – just that this, one of their most well-known songs, is.

It appears that this is the tale of an English man on holiday in Jamaica, who is assaulted by some Jamaicans and decides to respond by claiming to love things Jamaicans stereotypically like: namely, in turn, cricket and reggae. In the end, he is seduced by a Jamaican woman, and decides (as far as I can tell – the lyrics are banal beyond belief) that he loves Jamaica (or alternately, loves the seducer but hates Jamaica). Whatever. What is is is embarrassing cod-reggae by people with no specific appreciation for the genre or the culture it's rooted in. It's crass and, what's more, it's annoying. How many times have you been in a mall or an office somewhere and heard “I don't like reggae; I love it” quietly in the background and, like a code word that triggers a trained Doberman, suddenly and inexplicably filled you with rage and an urge to kill? That's what this song (and its horrible accompanying video) can do. This was a number one in England. Shame, England, shame.

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