Happy Anniversary: Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, “Solution for Pollution”
47 years ago this month, Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band released an environmentally friendly song. No, it didn’t solve the world’s pollution problems, but at least it was funky.
Produced by Wright, who also wrote the song and co-arranged it with Roy Jackson, “Solution for Pollution” has subsequently found its way onto Wright’s 1970 album EXPRESS YOURSELF, but at the time it was actually only the B-side of the album’s second single, “High as Apple Pie.” Still, it was a track that stood out as more socially conscious than the average, as you can tell by the lyrics.
It's nice to be alive
But at the rate we're going
How long can we survive
The first thing I saw this morning
Was polluted skies
Some people walking round
With tears in their eyes
What's the solution for pollution
Brain wash, mouthwash
Soda pop, Banana squash
All the money we got?
A chicken in every pot
I went downtown at noontime
Meet my girl for lunch
There was people gathered round
All in a rush
Someone was making promises
That he would see us through
Raises the taxes a little higher
And I'll take care of you
All I want's to live in peace
Lord, a place to lay my head
And the freedom to roam this Earth
Until the day I'm dead
I want all the things for my kids
I'm not able to spare
The one more thing I wish for all of us
Is just a little too much fresh air
Unfortunately, despite its good intentions, “Solution for Pollution” failed to inspire listeners very much, only hitting #96 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it remains a notable attempt by Wright to – wait for it – express himself.