Elizabeth Dwyer
After her election in 1979, while most of the world was admiring or perhaps just afraid of Margaret Thatcher, The Jam was calling her to account in songs like “Town Called Malice.” There were earlier voices in working-class accents – The Sex Pistols and The Clash – but it was The Jam’s description of the despair and spiritual malaise Thatcherism produced that laid the groundwork for the eventual defeat of the Conservative Party (if not Thatcher herself) nearly a decade later. “The dream life luxury living was a pleasant No. 10 whim.” Today you’ll find very little Reagan-esque nostalgia for Thatcher, and that’s in large part because The Jam won the culture war and got to write the history.