40 Years Ago: THE POP GROUP release We Are All Prostitutes

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40 Years Ago: THE POP GROUP release We Are All Prostitutes

It had everything that I thought rock and roll should have. It was violent, paranoid music for a violent, paranoid time.

Nick Cave

Bristol's avant-garde masters THE POP GROUP released their second single, We Are All Prostitutes b/w Amnesty International Report on British Army Torture of Irish Prisoners, on this day in 1979. Their first release with Rough Trade after leaving Radar Records.

The attraction of making our next records for Rough Trade was our consciences not being answerable to a multinational corporation.

"We Are All Prostitutes" is probably the best recording we ever made. It's fucking unbelievable. It was much tougher, more aggressive, and more political than anything we'd done. Mark's lyrics on Y are fairly poetic and personal, but "Prostitutes" was really a statement.

Bruce Smith / The Pop Group interview, Rolling Stone, 2014

All of us got much more politicized almost overnight, because it was suddenly such a different country with the [1979] election of Thatcher and the Tory government. We'd been supporting Amnesty International, but after the election we let our personal politics come out more.

I saw Sun Ra in '79 with the biggest band he would ever have onstage, a 45-piece band with everybody kind of doing their own thing, but in unison. And I'd discovered the American cellist Tristan Honsinger [featured on "Prostitutes"] and Dutch drummer Han Bennink. They were all more exciting than punk, no question about it. I wanted to inform the world about them. They were absolutely amazing musicians who blew my mind completely. There was no turning back for me, no more five-chord songs. Throw the chords out the window!

Gareth Sager / The Pop Group interview, Rolling Stone, 2014

Yes, any kind of entertainment in a capitalist society is made to rebuild the work force, so you have gun, then you are ready for 10,000 years of exploitation. The function of entertainment is just that.