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Saturday, 10 March 2012

11. The Redskins - Lean on Me

The Redskins famously once said that they wanted to walk like the Clash but sing like the Supremes. I'm not sure they ever really achieved either, but thank god they didn't want to sing like the Clash, (or walk like the Supremes). On the plus side Chris Dean's soul-stomp combo have not dated in the least since the heady days of the early eighties and retain that unique combination of sweet soul and harder packaging that they aspired to.

I taped the first Redskins Peel session and instantly fell for the commitment and power of the band. The soul element was underplayed in those initial songs, but when I later borrowed the album from a friend down our street, all the pieces came together in a tight package of left wing northern soul punkiness. Is it my memory or was the album originally called 'Neither Washington Nor Moscow...but International Socialism'? The International Socialism bit seems to have been erased from history for some reason. Needless to say, whatever it's called, this was one of the greatest albums of all time for me. Chris Dean apparently now lives a reclusive life in Paris, which is basically what all former pop stars should do in my opinion.

'Lean on Me' is a minor miracle of horns, guitars, harsh drums and gritty vocals. There's something about the song which makes you slightly disappointed when it's over, even with the false ending, and I'd be happy if they'd produced a twenty-five minute version to save me flicking back to the start of the track. A song that will live with me until the day I die.

1 comment:

  1. I thought that was the title too. This would be high up in my all time favourites too. Best album of all time? Probably the album I've listened to the most.