Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Untouchables - Free Yourself

When I was 15, a friend of ours was going to the UK for the first time, and asked what he should bring back. I handed him a particularly detailed and extensive wish list of Ben Sherman's, Fred Perry's, a crombie and a donkey jacket, veritable impossibilities for the time. So I was more than a little bummed out when he showed up three weeks later with a solitary Untouchables t-shirt emblazoned with a silhouette of their guitarist, Clyde Grimes, and the slogan "Free Yourself". It was a one of a kind and I wore it with pride, but it wasn't gonna step up my fashion game the way a British Fred Perry or a fabled Ben Sherman would have. But all these years later, I'm about to ransack my mom's house for that shirt because I was just reminded not only of how great that song is, but what an anomaly that band was. They were the missing link between 2 Tone and the California scene, but more importantly, they were the soul revival way before the soul revival. Not only that, but so many people champion their contemporaries Fishbone when pound-for-pound, this was clearly the better band. And finally, I'd be remiss not to mention the (likely unintentional) Haring-esque video for this song.

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