Sunday, December 02, 2018

Laibach: Geburt einer Nation


A shocking reworking of a beloved Queen song that turns it into a Nazi anthem?

I see Laibach's version of One Vision as bringing out the totalitarian tendencies inherent in the song and in stadium rock in general.

As Moe Bishop once said for Vice:
If you don’t have time to listen to their cover of the Beatles' entire Let It Be album, try their cover of Queen’s “One Vision” (retitled "Geburt einer Nation," or "Birth of a Nation"). It’s hilarious, but it’s not satire or even parody. 
[Milan] Fras transforms the lyrics ("One flash of light / One God, one vision / One flesh, one bone / One true religion / One voice, one hope / One real decision," etc.) not by mocking them, but by believing them with a militancy of which Freddie Mercury was not capable. 
By singing Laibach’s covers in this way, Fras doesn’t reduce them to absurdity. Instead, the performances reveal the songs as authentic visions of utopia that had been betrayed by their creators.
Talking of their cover of Let It Be, their beautiful Across the Universe has already been a Sunday music choice for this blog.

2 comments:

david walsh said...

Not all that odd to recall that Laibach (which is the old Germanic name for Lubjiana) are honoured western guests on what passes for the rock scene in Pyongyang.

I also note that the backing drummer and bugler at the beginning of the track are modelled on the Hitler Youth musicians in Triumph of the Will.

Jonathan Calder said...

There is a good article on Laibach here.