Mondeo Pop Month: Tanita Tikaram – Good Tradition
Released: July 1988
UK chart position: #10
From the album: Ancient Heart
If the big man Chrissie Hitchens ever dropped a guest blog on ILB (we’re working on it), he’d probably ask “Why do women never want to Mondeo Pop?” And if he was joined by the even bigger Big Ron Atkinson, then Mr Bojangles would probably enquire as to whether or not the “coloured lads are too lazy to Mondeo Pop”.
It’s a fair point. There’s a multi-racial element to some Mondeo Pop – the dude from Fine Young Cannibals, one of Big Country, Sharleen Spliteri sucked off Method Man, Black’s name is Black – but it’s hard to write any history of white collar Britain in the 1980s from a black viewpoint. Black people didn’t exist in Britain until Alan Jackson joined the cast of Eastenders in 1993, to my knowledge.
Women, though… Mondeo Pop is almost certainly male. I’m not 100% sure why: housewives can listen to Mondeo Pop, and even enjoy it, so it’s not “aimed” at men. Indeed, it’s harder to imagine a more bitchmade band than Prefab Sprout.
Is Mondeo Pop misogynist? Paul Heaton certainly is, and we’ll elaborate on our “Heaton is the British Biggie” theory on a later date, but I’d feel awkward taking him as a representative of the entire Mondeo Pop sexuality.
So where does this leave Tanita Tikaram? It’s probably worth pointing out that “Good Tradition” is the first “non-great” song we’ve written about here. I mean, it’s not bad, but sometimes Irish folk pop doesn’t hit the spot. That time is “whenever you’re not listening to ‘Fiesta'”. But as the first British-Asian to make a big impact in the UK music scene (or second after the dude from The Rutles), she deserves some credit, rather than to be filed around with the rest of the late 80s “people with vaginas who had one massive debut album, a second slightly less popular one, and then just basically did fuck all while still releasing music nobody cares about” types (Tracy Chapman, Neneh Cherry, Terence Trent D’Arby).
Not gonna happen, though.