The Masses Against The Classes

Album: Forever Delayed (2000)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • The title is taken from a quote by the 19th century British Prime Minister, William Gladstone, "All the world over, I will back the masses against the classes."
  • This was released in a strictly limited edition and deleted after one day. As a result it sold 35,000 copies on the day of its release.
  • The opening sample, "This country was founded on the principle that the primary role of government is to protect property from the majority," is by linguist and socialist Noam Chomsky. At the end of the song a line is quoted from the French novelist and playwright Albert Camus' 1951 book The Rebel: "The slave begins by demanding justice and and ends by wanting to wear a crown."
  • This was the first UK #1 of 2000.
  • Bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire explained the song's meaning to NME: "It was a reaction to the supposed bigness and blandness of This Is My Truth…, coming back with something that starts with a Chomsky sample. It's not such a political song, it's a song about us. That idea that 10 years on, we'd become one of the biggest bands in Britain. But nobody really wanted to do it except me."

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