This is England ’90 Various Artists - Review (COMPILATIONS)

Rating: 8/10

“You have to empathise and think about what the characters would play,” says show producer Mark Herbert of the music on this Original Soundtrack of the Channel 4 TV show. Although the miniseries was set in Sheffi eld, it was steeped in the music of Manchester and the rave and baggy scenes of the time. Shane Meadows says this music charts his transition from skinhead in 1983 to raver in 1990, but some scenes, for extra realism, demanded “the best shit music”, such as the fi nal episode’s scene in a ‘classic disco’ of the era – hence the appearance of tracks such as Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc and Billy Idol’s Eyes Without A Face. The La’s’ There She Goes marks the literal departure from offi ce of the Iron Lady, whose policies served to provide the socio-economic conditions for the programme. Then there are the stone-classic Madchester anthems: The Stone Roses’ Fools Gold, which neatly captures the blissed-out delirium of the time; Happy Mondays’ Step On, which caught some of the menace beneath the smiley faces; James’ Come Home, which refl ected the moment football yobs became luv’d-up; and 808 State’s Cubik, which for the three and a half minutes of its duration recreates the Haçienda nightclub (RIP) in your living room, whether it’s in Gleadless or Grimsby, every time it plays.

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