New wave, synthpop
Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh, Glenn Gregory
British Electric Foundation
"(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" is a song written and performed by British synthpop band Heaven 17. It was a minor hit in the UK in 1981, despite being banned by the BBC. It was also a minor dance hit in the US.
Details and ban by the BBC
"(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" was written by Heaven 17 members Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh and Glenn Gregory and included on their 1981 debut album Penthouse and Pavement. It was the first single released by the band.
In the lyrics fascism and racism are described in an ironic fashion, using the lexicon of funk music. The lyrics of the song also reference the UK and US political leaders of the time, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan, respectively, and include denunciations of both racism and fascism. According to the book Banned!: Censorship of Popular Music in Britain, 1967-92, the song was banned by the BBC due to concerns by Radio 1's legal department that it libelled Ronald Reagan as he was the new US President at the time of the song's release.
Reception and chart performance
Despite being banned by the BBC, "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" reached number 45 on the UK singles chart. It debuted on that chart on 21 March 1981 and peaked one week later. The single peaked at number 72 in Australia, and was also a minor dance hit in the US, reaching number 29 on the Billboard Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart in 1981. Allmusic reviewer Stewart Mason describes the song as "clattering and jangled", with multiple electronic rhythm tracks played simultaneously, making the song seem faster than its nominal tempo. "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" has appeared on over a dozen 80s music and dance music compilations, including Rhino Records' Postpunk Chronicles and Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s compilations.