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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > March 2019 - The Specials > THE SPEED OF SOUND

THE SPEED OF SOUND

RAVE CULTURE MAY HAVE BEEN DE AD AT THE HANDS OF THE TORY GOVERNMEN T IN THE EARLY 90S, BU T A SERIES OF SUPERCLUBS, SPE ARHE ADED BY THE MIGHTY MINISTRY OF SOUND, WERE ABOUT T O GIVE DANCE MUSIC A NEW LEASE OF LIFE …

“MINISTRY WAS PURPOSE-BUILT. IT WAS LIKE, ‘THIS IS FOR DANCE MUSIC ONLY, IT’S NOT YOUR SHARON AND TRACEY SORT OF VIBE.’” TALL PAUL

The death knell for rave culture and the twilight of a joyous and halcyon era in British music came in the form of a particularly resentful and draconian piece of legislature, enacted by Her Majesty’s Government in 1994. The Criminal Justice Act curtailed raves by giving police the powers to shut down events that were identified by “‘music’ [which] includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.” The inverted commas surrounding music are a particularly revealing window into the government’s umbrage and disdain with the culture.

This friction between the government and groups of people utilising space for the large-scale celebration of music began with the “Battle of the Beanfield” in 1985 – a high-profile clash between hippies and the police at Stonehenge – which was followed by the Public Order Act of 1986. This enmity continued throughout the 80s and early 90s until it reached breaking point after the infamous 20,000-strong rave at Castlemorton Common in 1992, which was the catalyst for the impending Criminal Justice Act.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 50 of Classic Pop is on sale now! For our 50th issue, we had to come up with something very special – and we certainly have… our cover stars this month are The Specials, hot on the heels of the release of their superb chart-topping album, Encore. Our must-read interview with the band delves into their remarkable comeback and the story behind their superb new record. We also catch up with the iconic Gloria Estefan who tells us how she brought Latin grooves to the world and Bonnie Tyler talks us through her new studio album, which features a hotly-anticipated duet with Sir Rod Stewart. 30 years on, we celebrate New Order’s Technique in our latest Classic Album feature and we also serve up a buyer’s guide to the blue-eyed soul of Simply Red. As Wet Wet Wet face the future without Marti Pellow, we meet the band as they embark on a fresh chapter with new frontman, The Voice winner Kevin Simm. Our packed new album reviews section features the wonderful return of Chaka Khan plus Dido, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Paul Weller. On the reissues front, we check out a must-have 10-CD Heaven 17 boxset plus re-releases from David Bowie, Sparks, Erasure and more. In our live reviews section, we elbow our way down to the front for Gary Numan and Echo & The Bunnymen at the Rockaway Beach Festival plus gigs by Chrvches and The Christians. Enjoy the issue!