Album Reviews

Love Music Hate Racism

UK release date: 13 October 2003

Organised by the Anti-Nazi League, the Love Music Hate Racism compilation is the culmination of their efforts to use the postive power of pop music to oppose the growth of racist organisations, such as the National Front, the BNP and Combat 18.

Taking that into consideration, you may assume that Love Music Hate Racism consists of hard-working, responsible popstars, but not necessarily big names. Well, you would be wrong. The album can boast such acts as Sugababes, Doves, Turin Brakes, Faithless and Basement Jaxx.

Accompanying these artists are people like Billy Bragg and Misty In Roots, the bonafide activists, which helps the compilation retain an important sense of credibility (both musically and politically).

One would guess the album’s main selling-point is its ten exclusive mixes, as generously indicated on thetrack listing. Indeed, ten out of seventeen seems like a damn good return to me. Bees fans will be more than happy with the live mix of Angry Man, and I’m sure there are a number of Turin Brakes fans who will gladly foot the modest �9.99 price tag for their excellent acoustic cover of Angel Of The Morning, which, amusingly, contains a section of The Steve Miller Band‘s The Joker. The same obviously applies to the Sugababes, Billy Bragg, Basement Jaxx and Coldcut mixes that simply can’t be found anywhere else.

In terms of a message being given out, Love Music Hate Racism undertakes a variety of positions. Importantly, we have ethnic diversity in the line-up itself, with Punjabi MC opening proceedings with the huge hit Mundian To Bach Ke, and the likes of Die & Skitz and Faithless taking things from there.

Moving on to the tracks themselves, the Bees are part of the chilled approach (“An angry man needs attention”) along with The Milltown Brothers (“Life is for living / Life is for giving”), and Doves offer defiance with Words (“They’re just words / They can’t hurt me”), as does Billy Bragg (“All you fascists are bound to lose”). Moreover we have doubt in the system from Misty In Roots’ Cover Up, and pro-active sentiments in the form of Tompaulin‘s Give Me A Riot In The Summertime.

Love Music Hate Racism is a unique (exclusive, even) collection of tracks, each one portraying uplifiting and defiant attitudes (with the possible exception of Sugababes’ Round Round, but hey, what can you do?). For the quite excellent price of �9.99 you get yourself 17 tracks and the knowledge that you have, in your own little way, contributed to the prevention of racism. I don’t see a problem there.

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