Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Welsh Wednesday #17

#17: Final Day by Young Marble Giants

It’s New Year’s Eve, which means the final day of the year. So what could be more fitting than a song entitled Final Day? Except this isn’t all about one year turning into the next – it’s about there being no next; this is the final day of life as we know it.

Cardiff’s Young Marble Giants released just a couple of singles and a solitary album, but their legacy is extraordinary. Their desolate minimalist music sounded like little else at the time (late 70s/early 80s) and has become the template for so many others since to base their sound on. I can’t hear The xx without thinking YMG.

Final Day is basically about impending nuclear destruction at the hands of the warmongering leaders during the Cold War. The rich and powerful will take shelter while the rest of us poor sods will suffer in the fallout. It remains the band’s best known song; it is probably also their darkest and most haunting. Remember, in 1980 this threat was very real, or at least that’s what our distinguished world leaders led us to believe. So this track must have been terrifying to many who heard it, this facing up to reality was absolutely not your regular topic for a pop song. It retains a certain chilling eeriness to it to this day.

The band occasionally reforms for a gig or two every now and then, all of which pretty much sell out as soon as they are announced. As is typical of such artists, they’re often unappreciated until the world catches up with them. For Young Marble Giants, it took about 30 years…


  1. Still an extraordinarily, bleak and beautiful record.

  2. You and the (new) vinyl villian post some of the best stuff.
    Well played sir.

  3. This has been the final song on hundreds of mixtapes I have made within the last 30 years!

    Happy new one to you, mate!