The Smiths – Panic
Is it not existentialist to incite the hanging of DJs? I wouldn’t say so: it definitely has an aftertaste full of bluson noir!
Or at least that’s what the magical duo Marr/Morrisey thought, strongly resentful that the BBC had unexpectedly broadcast, after a reportage from Chernobyl in the immediacy of the well-known nuclear disaster, a song as mild as Wham’s I’m Your Man. The DJ to hang, just to name him, was Steve Wright.
The Chernobyl blast happened in April 1986, just some weeks to record the song, and in July 986 The Smiths release Panic.
The brilliant duo is the thinking heart of one of the most alternative (and existentialist) bands of the whole Great Decade, always very much on ethical and political issues: against the monarchy (an album entitled, as a wish, The Queen is Dead), against Thatcher (another wish, this time almost come true, it is Margaret on the Guillotine), against meat consumption (the album Meat is Murder, explains everything), in favor of the miners and their very long and unfortunate strike of 1984-85 (the background noise of their strikes precedes for two minutes Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loves Me).
The band is also accustomed to talking lightly about death (the car accident of There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, but also Girlfriend in a Coma, just to mantion a couple of songs).
In short: Marr and Morrissey get angry and write a short and very direct lyric against pop music, inviting to burn discos and hang DJs, because the music they play does not tell anything about real life (so it’s not worthy of an existence itself).
To give more strength to the idea, the chorus/slogan is also sung by a group of children, in a possible claim of continuity with the autocover of Career Opportunities by The Clash on the album Sandinista.
The Smiths on Wikipedia