Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chain Gang Chain Mail

X Ray Spex : Oh Bondage Up Yours

On September 30, 1977 X Ray Spex released its debut single "Oh Bondage Up Yours" b/w "I Am A Cliche". The band was led by an irrepressible half Somali songwriter and vocalist who called herself Poly Styrene. She opens the song with  "Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard" before belting out  "But I think OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS! 1-2-3-4" and keeps on belting at the top her voice while Lora Logic's in-and-out-of-tune saxophone keeps her company.

Despite the line "Bind me, tie me, chain me to the wall / I wanna be a slave to you all!" the "bondage" she sings of has nothing to do with sadomasochism, which was part of the punk fashion at the time.

I came from a religious background, and it's in the scriptures, the whole idea of being liberated is to come free from the bondage of the material world. At that stage I hadn't gone into  the spiritual aspect of bondage. I hadn't gone that far. I certainly had an idea of bondage-- those images from history of the suffragettes chaining themselves to walls, or slaves being chained up, were what I was thinking of.

While the song  and its B side "I Am A Cliche" were--and still are-- cheered by critics, "Oh Bondage, Up Yours" failed to make the U.K. charts.

No comments:

Post a Comment