Harris On The Death of “Maoist Certainties”

When it comes to rock snobbery, is nothing sacred? Or more to the point, have the tribunals for Aesthetic Crimes been told to go home early on Friday?  The Guardian's John Harris is particuarly miffed that proponents of "towelling headbands and songs called things like Expresso Love" aren't enough to sound the Uncool Alarm.


During a recent idle hour on YouTube, I came across an item that therefore caused me no end of amazement. As part of their ongoing quest to bury the memory of the camp, sprightly little pop group who authored such pearls as Mr Brightside, The Killers were captured – on More 4's Live From Abbey Road – reverentially covering the Straits' aforementioned bit of Shakespearian wonderment, attempting to mimic the Knopf's self-taught finger-plucking genius (no chance), and talking about their distant childhood memories of that great music business behemoth, 1985's Brothers in Arms.Thus, I was reminded once again that cool no longer rules, and we are living through the tyranny of what might be called the New Wrong. A few examples: Sean Rowley's Guilty Pleasures franchise is expanding so fast that it will soon have to simply rename itself Pleasures. Its latest in-concert wheeze found the audience dancing to the consummate bilge of Toto's 1982 Africa, and specially-invited musicians covering songs by the likes of Bonnie Tyler, Neil Diamond and Electric Light Orchestra. Further down the age range, among music's current hot hopes are the supposedly cutting-edge Enter Shikari and a gang of Brummies called the Twang; their very different touchstones are the uber-wrong dance attraction Faithless and Joshua Tree/string vest-era U2. Whether we blame the government, the iPod, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, it's true: the Maoist certainties of yesteryear are gone forever.

Whether or not you agree with Harris' implication the Killers have achieved tastemaker status, how about the suggestion anyone should feel guility for liking Neil Diamond or ELO? Compared to Killers, anyway. 

2 thoughts on “Harris On The Death of “Maoist Certainties””

  1. I totally thought that said “Moist Certainties” at first. I would go see a band called “Moist Certainties.”

  2. me too. i thought it was “Moist Certainties” like “Moist Certainies, boss”. ya, know… with a gangstER accent. i agree though liking elo (dave martin be damned) and to an only slightly lesser extent, neil diamond will not ever be a guilty pleasure and \

    and i’ll say this in defense of Toto. Matador, moise certainly, would have one less band on it’s roster if it weren’t for Toto. It’s true, one of your own learned the drums from Toto’s own, Jeff Porcaro.

Comments are closed.