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Baker's Dozen

Bristol Fashion: Mark Stewart Of The Pop Group's 13 Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , March 22nd, 2012 06:44

Julian Marszalek talks to post punk agitator Mark Stewart about 13 favourite albums

"I think it's important to engage with reality across every kind of social platform," states Mark Stewart as he prepares to discuss his favourite 13 albums with The Quietus. "We have to really fight for some kind of say in the future. I'm thinking like a crusader. I'm sorry to go on about it but it only takes good people to do nothing for evil to prevail. It's time that people rolled up their sleeves and really had a go again. Everybody needs to be on it!"

To listen to Mark Stewart - a near breathless ball of enthusiasm, concepts and philosophies - isn't to be reminded of a time when pop, politics and culture regularly coalesced to create the kind of heady brew that changed lives and altered perception; it's to be made aware of how little today's pop and rock music engages with the realities of the outside world.

As singer of The Pop Group, Stewart and his Bristolian cohorts melded punk, reggae, huge slabs of funk and the kaleidoscopic energy of free jazz with a political awareness and consciousness that defined the battle lines of the early 1980s. Unleashing provocative statements in the form of 7" single 'We Are All Prostitutes' and second album For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?, The Pop Group inspired subsequent generations of bands and led Nick Cave – then frontman of the equally influential The Birthday Party – to state, "Mark Stewart changed everything."

His subsequent work has seen him team up with a variety of names including On-U Sound, Massive Attack and Tricky as well as releasing a steady stream of albums under his own name. His latest album, The Politics Of Envy, sees Stewart teaming up with a veritable list of rebels, thinkers and influential figures including former P.I.L. guitarist Keith Levene, Crass' Eve Libertine, The Raincoats' Gina Birch, film maker Kenneth Anger and production wizard Lee 'Scratch' Perry amongst many others. Beat driven and seething with a righteous anger, this is troubled music for troubled times. Click the image below to see the full list and read his views.

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