Good morning to you folks in the western hemisphere — and happy belated Canada Day to you up north, and merry Independence Day eve to my country-folk. I thought about staying on this side of the Atlantic for today’s gem, but, well, no.
It’s round about June ’77 when The Pop Group forms, and in early ’78 they mark out what they’re about for the NME: “We want to create something that is capable of being good and evil at the same time. We want to be the beatniks of tomorrow.” The Nietzschean influence is evident on their first single, “She’s Beyond Good and Evil,” and amid the echo-y washes of guitar and vocals and Joy-Division-y drums, they rearticulate ol’ Friedrich’s ideas for post-feminist ends, with one of the finest lyrics of the era: “Western values mean nothing to her / she’s the girl of my dreams.”
Members of The Pop Group, which disbanded in 1981, and then re-formed for a few gigs just a few years back, would take up instruments in bands as wide-ranging as Head, The Slits, Rip Rig + Panic (with Neneh Cherry), Maximum Joy, and Pigbag–whose 1981 single “Papa’s Got a Brand New Pig Bag” brought maximum joy to my early adolescence. Little can go wrong in a pop group with multiple drummers!