Showing posts with label Ian Dury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ian Dury. Show all posts

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Sex and drugs and rock and roll - Ian Dury

'Sex & drugs & rock & roll' was written by Ian Dury and Chas Jankel in Dury's flat in Oval Mansions, London. According to Chas, he would be repeatedly given the lyric for the song by Dury but Jankel kept rejecting the song only for it to be at the top of the pile again the next time - only to be rejected again. This went on until Dury sung the song's guitar riff to Chas and sang the song's title in time with it.

Released as it was at the height of the popularity of punk rock, the song was misinterpreted as a song about excess as its title would suggest. Dury himself maintained that the song was not a punk anthem and said he was trying to suggest that there was more to life than a 9-to-5 existence.

My collection: 7" single no. 1738
Found: Out on the floor, London, October 18, 1992
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Sex & drugs & rock & roll' / 'Razzle in my pocket'

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Spasticus Autisticus - Ian Dury

'Spasticus Autisticus' was written by Ian Dury and Chas Jankel in 1981 for the International Year of Disabled Persons. The lyric was deliberately provocative, as the word Spastic (a name for sufferers of cerebral palsy) was becoming taboo in Britain, due to its use as a derogatory term. Despite the fact that Dury was himself disabled (from polio, rather than cerebral palsy), the BBC deemed it offensive to polite sensibilities and denied it airplay, only confirming the validity of Dury's uncompromising lyrics.

The single did not chart in any territory, but I remember it made quite an impression on me when the single was first released and Dury performed it on television in the music programmes at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 2939
Found: Record fair, Leiden, January 31, 1998
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Spasticus Autisticus' / 'Spasticus Autisticus (Version)'

Sunday, 31 January 2010

I want to be straight - Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Ian Dury and the Blockheads released their last album for Stiff Records in 1980, entitled 'Laughter'. At the time, Dury was an alcoholic, and also addicted to Mogadon, a brand of sedative. Coupled with his bad reaction to celebrity, and his bouts of depression, these addictions caused him to be confrontational, argumentative, and controlling. This caused the recording sessions for that album to be quite difficult.

Ahead of the album, however, the single 'I want to be straight' was released. This was the first recording by Ian Dury with the new line-up of the Blockheads, as Chas Jankel had left the band after a particularly stressful tour. This single reached number 22 in the UK singles chart in the summer of 1980.

My collection: 7" single no. 4489
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 30, 2010
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I want to be straight' / 'That's not all'

Monday, 25 January 2010

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3 - Ian Dury and the Blockheads

'Reasons to be cheerful, part 3' can be described as a 'shopping list song'. It is a simple list of a number of reasons to be cheerful. The list of reasons to be cheerful includes Buddy Holly, equal voting rights for men and women, Piccadilly Circus in London, porridge oats, wine, Elvis Presley, a cure for smallpox, going to the toilet, National Health Service's free glasses, Woody Allen, the song 'Volare', Smokey Robinson and nudity.

The single was released in July 1979 and reached number 3 in the UK singles chart. How apt.

My collection: 7" single no. 1601
Found: Record fair, March 28, 1992
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Reasons to be cheerful, part 3' / 'Common as muck'

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Hit me with your rhythm stick - Ian Dury and the Blockheads

According to its author Ian Dury, 'Hit me with your rhythm stick' has an anti-violence message. It was reportedly written during a jam session and inspired by a piano part near the end of the track 'Wake up and make love with me'. At least 11 takes of the song were recorded before one was chosen to be released as a single. Much of the band as well as producer Laurie Latham remain unhappy with the chosen take's mix, claiming it to be too dominated by piano and vocals.

When the single reached the UK singles chart, it was initially kept from the top spot by The Village People's smash hit 'YMCA'. However, after that single had spent five weeks at the top, 'Rhythm stick' still reached number 1. In the Dutch Top 40, this single peaked at number 4.

My collection: 7" single no. 1595
Found: Record fair, March 28, 1992
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Hit me with your rhythm stick' / 'There ain't half been some clever bastards'

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Reasons to be cheerful (remixed by Paul Hardcastle) - Ian Dury and the Blockheads

In 1985, the popularity of Paul Hardcastle in the UK was taking on serious shape. He had a big hit with the track '19' and was subsequently commissioned to make remixes. One of them was this single, 'Reasons to be cheerful' by Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Originally it was a hit for them 1979, reaching number 3 in the UK singles chart.

This single reached number 55 in the UK singles chart, but the A-side was the remix of 'Hit me with your rhythm stick', which appears as a B-side on this single. Why the sides were swapped in Europe, I do not know. It did not work anyway: the single flopped. But still, these remixes are interesting to hear, even if they sound a bit dated.

My collection: 7" single no. 4012
Found: Vinylfabriek, Haaksbergen, September 14, 2009
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Reasons to be cheerful (remix)' / 'Hit me with your rhythm stick (remix)'

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