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NME, No.3 Track of 2006
NME Best 100_2000s (2012):
No.42 - Written by Beth Ditto as a fiery response to the Federal Marriage Amendment – which would have constitutionally outlawed same-sex marriage in the USA if passed – the Gossip's biggest song had three stabs at fame before it eventually hit gold. The title track of their third record was first released as a Le Tigre remix in 2005, in its own form in 2006, then for the last time in 2007 – although it was the Soulwax Nite Versions remix of the song, that appeared on the advertising for series one of ‘Skins’, that ensured the tune its status as an essential song of the last ten years.
NME - Top 150 from 1996 to 2011:
No.34 - Grounded by an about-to-explode bassline and a spinning guitar riff, ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ was The Gossip’s glammy moment in the sun. Beth Ditto later revealed herself to be a dizzyingly charismatic addition to indie’s mothballed regulars, but at this very moment she was just a vocalist who oozed the sort of creamy, soul voice that seemed to have sprung from another time and universe. Despite the political nature of the lyrics, which were written with a sexuality specific agenda, they could brilliantly be applied universally. Naysayers would later accuse the band of having ‘just one song’. But, oh, what a brilliant song it was…
Soul: everyone likes to think they've got it. Being told you don't have soul is worse than being told you're the smelliest dullard in the world and that you look like the offspring of Johnny Borrell and Courtney Love. Soulless is mundane. Soulless is accountancy; it's Yates' bars; it's the works of Blunt and the face of Cameron. Soul is the essence of life, soulfulness in music is the holy grail, and The Gossip's lead bellow-bitch Beth Ditto oozes soul from every crevice. Philadelphia soul in particular. With a healthy dollop of Detroit soul smothered on top. It's hard to listen to this without imagining her bent double, eyes clenched shut, yanking every vowel from the depths of her diaphragm. The other two chinwaggers aren't dicking about prostrate either: the drummer lines up snares like dominoes then throws cymbals at them, while guitarist Nathan's chanced upon one of the riffs of the year, in a song that's so trademark it's been whisked to shreds by everyone from Le Tigre to Soulwax.
'Standing In The Way Of Control' is a response to the US government's ban on homosexual marriages, and in the great canonical rabble of protest tunes, it's the one at the front, lobbing megaphones and dog shit and tearing clumps of its hair out in frustration. Don't say we told you: this lot are going to cause meltdown.