Babylon's Burning
by Ruts

Album: The Crack (1979)
Charted: 7
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Songfacts®:

  • This single captured the mood of the time, as riots swept Britain in the summer of 1979. "Babylon's Burning" is about the fiery collapse of western civilization.
  • The Ruts were heavily involved in anti-racism causes and Southall born lead singer Malcolm Owen was particularly affected by the race riots in his hometown in April 1979. Another song on the album, "Jah War," is about those riots.
  • This was featured in the 1980 film Times Square.
  • This was The Ruts biggest hit and they never recovered from the death of Malcolm Owen from a heroin overdose the following year.

Comments: 1

  • Stephen Brown from Newcastle-under-lymeI knew Malcolm Owen, before the band took shape. We met in Northwich Cheshire. He was visiting friends in Barnton from London. Mell and Jan their daughter Zoe who had moved away from London to bring up their daughter. He invited me round, visitors would turn up from all over Britain. One place that was a favourite place for us all was a Farm on Anglesey in North Wales near Llandeussant. Another two properties near Tregaian where rented at this time. I was 14 at the time and Malcolm was just getting together with Rocky. A few from the area Carron Lawrence and I and Norman Bull, David Lightfoot would all hand out, I was taught to play the guitar and the saxophone, there were musical instruments of all kinds around. Sometimes we had jamming sessions depending on who was about at the time. At the age of 18 I would travel all over from London to Anglesey to Manchester, Bristol. It was in London that the band came together, the money was got together by means that I can not put down here. India was involved, and money was lost in getting a friend back from India, as a bribe. There is more I could tell concerning the lives of those associated with the startup of the band, how they got to number one, and what happened to achieve this.
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