Sunday 22 June 2008

Monday Morning Face Off

OK. At the start of each week I've decided I'm going to venture out into the musical badlands to round up two fantastic death songs that feature in I Shot a Man in Reno. I'm going to haul them back here, under duress if necessary, and for your pleasure and delectation I'm going to pitch them head to head in mortal combat to find out which one is the meanest. And after you've checked them both out, I want you to use the Comments function to let me know which one you'd like to have fighting on your side down a dark alley. Or, if you'd prefer, just tell me which one you like best.

This week we have a couple of very bad tunes indeed. In the red corner, straight outta Compton - or was it New Jersey - tah dah! It's Ice T's Body Count, with Cop Killer. Written in the wake of the Rodney King beating, it caused such a furore when it came out in 1992 - I seem to recall Dan Quayle voicing a typically well-informed objection - that Ice swiftly removed it from the first Body Count album. It seemed like a climb down at the time, but I talked to Ice T for Reno and he said he "stands by Cop Killer." The question is, do you?

And in the blue corner, it's those happy campers Nick Cave and Polly Harvey, with Henry Lee. A traditional song based on the age-old ballad Young Hunting, it provides a neat, gender-twisting counterpoint to all those standard shot-my-woman-down blues; this time, it's the lady who wields the knife. And how. Warning: you may need a cold shower after this one.


Anonymous said...

Henry Lee every time.

That is one sexy video - Polly Harvey can stab me in the back any time she wants to!

Anonymous said...

Cop Killer is 1 of the most importnt songs of the last 20 years. Never heard the other one beofre and it sounds like 2 cats fighting!

John Mark said...

Cop Killer by Tracy Lauren Marrow, OG, SVU

Anonymous said...

So this is kinda New Death versus Old Death...? I've always found the old songs of death much tougher and truer than the more recent ones, which often just want to shock.

Taken out of its context, the Ice T song is preposterous.