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i Editor's Letter: Some songs should be left well alone

 

Ah, the Brits, the night we feel our age more than any other (p10-11). Don’t be sniffy, there’s a lot of  talent there. It’s not all to my taste, but I’m not a teenage girl. That said, I’m about to get myself into big trouble, worse even than my advocating the eating of bunny. I will risk the wrath of 1Ders everywhere by suggesting that, no matter how good the intentions, some things in life are too sacred to be massacred for charity. One is Blondie’s “One Way or Another”.

For Martians, 1Ders are the fan army of boy band One Direction, whose success is a parable for our times. Third in the 2010 X Factor final behind Matt Cardle (who?) in a year that also gave us Cher Lloyd, 1D have become (yet another) sensation for that nice Simon Cowell.

They have done so, like Gaga and Bieber, via social media: 10 million followers on Twitter, 13 million+ Facebook likes. Harry Styles has even more followers – partly due to his taste for older women, like Taylor Swift. 1D’s first two albums went to No 1 in the US. Their second topped the charts in 30 countries. They make breezy pop too anodyne to hate. Good luck to them.

Once Debbie Harry was a global phenomenon. A poster of her wearing little more than a black bin liner was on teenage walls everywhere. As the 1970s became the 1980s, girls wanted to be as cool as her, boys wanted to... never mind.

Blondie emerged from punk to become huge crossover stars. “One Way or Another” – a sexy, edgy, aggressive track typical of the earthy NYC of its era – was about a stalker-ish girlfriend. Of all the tracks those nice, cute boys could cover for Comic Relief they chose this one? Well, I guess if anyone knows about female stalkers....

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