Song Of The Day 8/19/2014: The Members - "Solitary Confinement"



If It Ain't Stiff...: The Members had their biggest hit with "Sound of the Suburbs," which snuck up to #12 on the British charts in '79. They also incorporated reggae strains a little more convincingly than some of their rivals. They're still around in some incarnation, minus charismatic lead vocalist Nicky Tesco, whose Dickensian charms you can experience in the video for this song. Drumming on this tune is Adrian Lillywhite, brother of superproducer Steve. Rat Scabies of the Damned was their drummer in 2011, and 2011 only.

"Solitary Confinement" is one of my favorite punk-esque songs of its time because I'm a soft-hearted wussy. It's a very poignant, still very relevant song about the instant marginalization one might get when they move to the big city after they've ended their educational career and have to get a job. Tesco sings about "living in a bedsit," which for my sizable American audience is the UK equivalent of a boarding house, except more sardine-like. You get a single room to yourself and have to share a bathroom with others on your floor. It's like a Green Tortoise without the romance or the reassurance that you'll be leaving soon. Anyway, if you're just moving to South Lake Union after graduating from college and landing that sweet .NET developer position at Amazon, this one's for you, Benjamin Braddock.

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