Thursday, 12 January 2012

Songs for Social Justice: Primal Scream – Come Together

Jesse Jackson’s speech at Wattstax in 1972 is sampled at the start of this song. Wattstax was a music festival organised by Stax Records on the 7th anniversary of the Watts Riots, which lasted for five days. The root cause of the riots is still discussed today, but racism; discrimination; high unemployment; poor schools and poor living conditions for African Americans living in the Watts area of Los Angeles are regarded as being factors.

The influence of politicised popular music and culture can be heard in many of Primal Scream’s songs and interviews. In the autumn, the band condemned the Tories when they were said to have used a Primal Scream song at their party conference.

On Primal Scream’s recent 20th anniversary tour of Screamadelica, singer Bobby Gillespie added extra lyrics to Come Together relating to the economic and political climate of today, repeating the refrain ‘Agitate, Educate, Organise’ at some of the latter shows.

Primal Scream – Come Together (Live at T in the Park):

Jesse Jackson – Wattstax:

Songs for Social Justice dance night featuring guest DJ Jerry Dammers -
o      Thursday 26th January
o      STUC Centre, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow
o      6.45pm – midnight
o      Tickets £8/£4 Available direct from the STUC - 0141 337 8100

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