Song Of The Day 3/3/2016: The Housemartins – “Sheep”

Dropped Off In the '80s – The Housemartins felt a lot like happier Smiths. Happier, faster Smiths. They had the same light guitar touch and local concerns, with a little more willingness to play Michael Caine than Richard Burton. Their moment of illumination came with the breezy "Happy Hour Again," and they jolted the British charts with a cover of Isley-Jasper-Isley's "Caravan of Love," maybe the most beautiful R&B song of the '80s. Oh, and get this: They were Christian Marxists. Well, at least one of them was, most likely lead singer and songwriter Paul Heaton. The only reason we know that is because of the liner notes to their great album London 0 Hull 4, which contains the inscription "Take Jesus - Take Marx - Take Hope." Clearly they missed the message that Jesus was a hard-core capitalist who blessed subprime lending and didn't give a shit about the poor unless everyone got to keep their assault rifles. Say, is that Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim on bass? Why, yes it is! "Sheep" is a pretty straight-ahead message. Conformity's a drag, not nearly as cost-effective as one would think. Wonderful line about counting "humans jumping onto trains" instead of the proverbial sleep-bringing sheep. 

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