Modern Times is the first album by the British band Latin Quarter. It reached the top 20 in Germany and Sweden and spent two weeks on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at Number 91. It includes the songs “Radio Africa” which reached Number 19 in the UK Singles Chart. and “America for Beginners” which was covered by Toyah on her album Minx.
Latin Quarter’s lyricist Mike Jones describes the album as “a veritable manifesto” of their left wing views as members of Big Flame. The title track takes its name from the Charlie Chaplin film as it critiques the effect of McCarthyism on Hollywood; “Radio Africa” describes the effect of Imperialism on that continent; “Toulouse” is about racism in France; “No Rope As Long As Time” is a plaintive account of Apartheid South Africa and “America for Beginners” describes the rise of the right wing in the United States. (by wikipedia)
“… the catchy hooks fly thick and fast.” The Hit
“You’ve got to respect an English synth band that bothers to write real songs about real issues.” Playboy
“… a really superb lyrical content throughout.” RM
“The lyric comes from a catchy exercise in light reggae called Radio Africa (included here), and any expectations it awakened that here was a band with not only a conscience but also political awareness are fulfilled by this album. The songs are literate, punchy and pertinent – this tour through the modern world takes in, for instance, South Africa, both Reagan’s and McCarthy’s America, the Falklands/Malvinas, and the Welsh coal-mining valleys. The kind of songs New Internatioanalist readers (and editors) would write if they had the chance and the skill.” Politics 5/5, Entertainment 4/5 – New Internationalist Magazine
Carol Douet (Vocals, percussion)
Yona Dunsford (vocals, piano)
Greg Harewood (bass)
Steve Jeffries (keyboards, vocals)
Mike Jones (lyrics)
Steve Skaith (vocals, guitar)
Richard Stevens (drums, percussion)
Richard Wright (guitar, vocals)
Martin Ditcham (percussion)
Steve Greetham (bass on 03.)
Steve Gregory (saxophone)
01. Modern Times (Skaith/Jones) 3:45
02. No Ordinary Return (Skaith/Jones) 3.35
03. Radio Africa (Skaith/Jones/Keefe) 3.53
04.Toulouse (Skaith/Jones) 4.20
05. America for Beginners (Skaith/Jones) 5.16
06. Eddie (Skaith/Jones(Keefe) 3.08
07. No Rope As Long As Time (Skaith) 4.28
08. Seaport September (Skaith/Jones) 3:18
09. New Millionaires (Jeffries/Jones 3.35
10. Truth About John (Skaith/Jones) 4.00
11. Cora (Skaith/Jones) 258
What’s keeping the White House white
Is it chalk, is it fog, is it fear?
Are they staying up most of the night
And sending somebody out for a beer?
Is it bed-time for Bonzo?
Is it time for a change?
Is it flavour-free TV dinners?
It’s a hard thing to take, when they make a mistake
America for Beginner.
The sound of a bell with a crack
Even the swingers are swinging right
The vigilantes are on the way back
With prime-time “fight the good fight”.
What a start to a day
It starts three times with a “K”
There’s no sponsored hour for sinners
They’II bring back the hot seat
And turn up the heat
America for Beginners.
That’s America for Beginners.
You wear designer jeans after dark
And your shirts are sharp-cut in satin
But won’t you watch out for Central Park
And apartments in uptown Manhattan.
It’s a sign of the times
Better stoy out in front
Because they’ve only got time for the winners.
Just keep living for fun, you son of a gun
America for Beginners.
Everywhere there’s stripes ond stars
Men in dark suits in unmarked cars
Sipping Jack Daniels in Third World bars
They’re close to the edge,
They’re as close as you can get.