The Fascist Groove Thing, by Hugh Hodges
This is the late 1970s and ’80s as explained through the urgent and still-relevant songs of the Clash, the Specials, the Au Pairs, the Style Council, the Pet Shop Boys, and nearly four hundred other bands and solo artists.
Each chapter presents a mixtape (or playlist) of songs related to an alarming feature of Thatcher’s Britain, followed by an analysis of the dialogue these artists created with the Thatcherite vision of British society. “Tell us the truth,” Sham 69 demanded, and pop music, however improbably, did. It’s a furious and sardonic account of dark times when pop music raised a dissenting fist against Thatcher’s fascist groove thing and made a glorious, boredom-smashing noise. Bookended with contributions by Dick Lucas and Boff Whalley as well as an annotated discography, The Fascist Groove Thing presents an original and polemical account of the era.