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idiot country
(sumner, marr)

my name is not important, it’s a signal, a sign
it means i’m doing what i do because i do it all the time
i get a lot of fun emotion, i get none if i use ya
i would crawl across the ocean so i could not abuse ya

my life’s deteriorating at a quarter to eight
because i wrote myself a letter and i mailed it too late
i got a knock on the door, i got a nail on the floor
i got a nail in my head but it don’t hurt me no more

it’s an open act of defiance
and it’s aimed directly at you
we could form some kind of alliance
we could do what we wanted to do

and the young would live forever
and the sun would shine through the blue
if we got our hands on this nation
we could do what we wanted to do

with all the time i’m sweating, i got you on my mind
you’re gonna lead me into trouble, you will leave me behind
but i am not coming to ya, i’ll only confuse ya
there’s a label on you, i’m gonna rip it in two

it’s an open act of defiance
and it’s aimed directly at you
we could form some kind of alliance
we could do what we wanted to do

and the young would live forever
and the sun would shine through the blue
if we got our hands on this nation
we could do what we wanted to do

it’s an open act of defiance
and it’s aimed directly at you
we could form some kind of alliance
we could do what we wanted to do

and the young would live forever
and the sun would shine through the blue
if we got our hands on this nation
we could do what we wanted to do

versions
12" version – edit (6:06)
album version (5:02)
idiot country two (6:23)
idiot country two (edit) (4:44)

releases
electronic
disappointed
electronic/disappointed
electronic (remastered)
electronic (special edition)

comment
audacious and daring, the rebelliously titled idiot country would have been a complete shock to the system if it hadn’t been presaged by get the message. uncompromising and adament, it’s a startling opening to the first album: awash with contrasting sounds and instruments, and instantly arresting from the first listen. alchemising bernard’s deadpan rap on the threat to england’s rave culture with thumping pop hooks and marr’s insistent wah-wah guitar is much more subversive than they’re given credit for, and it could well be the most innovative song electronic recorded.

bernard sumner: “not every song has a message, but a touch doesn’t go amiss. i used to go to a lot of parties and raves and then the police started busting more and more of them and i got annoyed, so i wrote a song about the police suppression of young people. parties are important if you haven’t got a job or anything else in your life. basically, the police have said that it’s not important, that we don’t count and that’s going to plant a lot of frustration in people that will just fester and come out in vandalism or shooting.”

idiot country was radically remixed with ultimatum (aka stereo mc’s, who had supported electronic in december 1991) and released as the b-side of disappointed — fittingly soon after the spontaneous week-long festival held on castlemorton common in hereford, at which over 20,000 people gathered as a reaction to the demise of the avon free festival at the hands of the regional police. the song addressed a concern that was very much of its time, but it was also a thrilling declaration of commercial ambition and musical independence, vindicated by the success of the album it appeared on.

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