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“What a waste of Army Dreamers” – it’s an anti-war sentiment that was openly echoed through BBC playlists before its systematic suppression more than 10 years after release. Penned by Kate Bush in 1980, the Top 20 single was blacklisted during the Gulf War in 1991 – joining a list of 67 songs simultaneously banned from BBC airplay, including The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, ABBA and Queen.
It’s the latest track reworked by Norwegian singer/songwriter Moddi, from forthcoming album ‘Unsongs’ – released Friday, September 16 via Propeller Recordings. The album aims to uncover a collection of 12 songs that have, at one stage or another, been banned or suppressed, with the attempts to silence them as mild as an airplay ban (in the case of ‘Army Dreamers’) and as brutal as a murder.
“Army Dreamers became one of Kate Bush’s most popular songs and was widely played on radio and TV until the First Gulf War in 1991, when it suddenly disappeared from all BBC playlists” Moddi explains. Despite online records and a full list published by New Statesman and Society, in conjunction with Channel 4 , “the BBC has had an absolute no-comment policy on this issue,” he says. “It has been impossible for me to verify that it has even been removed from radio airplay.”
‘Army Dreamers’ follows Moddi’s rework of satirical hymn ‘Punk Prayer’, that had Russian feminist collective Pussy Riot trialled and imprisoned in 2012.