From the era when it seemed every band was named after a fabric, this angular indie gem was, for my money, one of the very best singles of the nascent Britpop era. Precipitating the self-referential indulgences of later bands, but not with the aura of smugness that pervaded the Albarn-esque dahn-tha-dawgs mockernee, the legend that is no-surname Lawrence (from alternative gods Felt) spews forth a classic.
The best way to describe this is 'miserable glam' - a great Mud-style beat clashes perfectly with Lawrence's scathing vocals of how he hates everything about so-called classic rock: "Spector's wall, knock it down; Jerry Lee, run him out of town." He ends up extolling the virtues of MOR and, in a stroke of utter pop genius, segues his tune into Middle Of The Road's hit Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep as sung by the kind of girl who populated the 70's Top Of The Pops LPs.
It's a situation we can all imagine ourselves in - an ex-partner is getting married, we're invited, we get drunk and embarrassing at the reception. Twinkle, aka posh girl Lynn Ripley (who went to school with Camilla Parker-Bowles!) is a lyrical genius and this unbelievably good little number was relegated to the B-side of her final 60's single, Micky.
This song contains one of my favourite song lyrics ever. Pondering why they split up, Twinkle admits it was because she wouldn't have sex with him until they were married and says "it was a woman that he wanted, not a lady". How great is that? I thought she was going to say "...not a girl" first time I heard it and was taken aback by the simple brilliance of that turnaround.
Plus, well an American friend has nicknamed me Twinkle because I'm her favourite Brit-girl and I can live with that.
from B side to 'Micky' 45 (Instant IN 005) available on CD - Golden Lights (RPM)
03 Sep 05 ·skippedparts: Wow. I really want to find this song now. Great recommendation!
Before the Sugababes became just a catalogue of "epic" ballads and stylist errors they were a phenomenally good UK pop band. Not marketing themselves as slappers or party girls, they exhibited an edginess not commonly associated with mainstream chart acts. The whole first album is a miraculous hotbed of beats and songwriting that gels so unbelievably well with the girls' image that you can believe their contribution to the process was more than just the "change a word, take a third" Spice Girls school of songwriting. Overload and Run For Cover are two of my favourite singles of the last ten years.
Equally commendable (and something else, along with member Siobhan and nice clothes, that fell by the wayside come second album time) was their attention to B sides and bonus tracks. Most had a quality that rivalled the album songs and singles - and Sugababes On The Run is even better. I can see why it wouldn't fit on the album - too novelty-ish, few people can pull off a track with their own name in it - but it works perfectly as a flitty ditty about the best teen subject: being pissed off at your parents.
Nevertheless, it does has a depth to it. In its own pop way, it's examining the precipice between youth and cynicism - does getting older always mean losing your ideals?
The sweetness of the vocals (particularly Keisha's) and the general kid sister affection of the 'Babes mean that, however much crap they release I'll still be there every new release Monday hoping for another B-side of this quality - and getting a god-awful remix instead.
from New Year CD Single (London LONCD455), available on CD
As a 60's girl group collector who's been at it for a number of years, I'm always delighted when some compiler somewhere turns up an absolute gem. As this is from the sleevenotes-shy semi-legal Marginal records, I had to find out on my own that this is infact Jill (with bonus "l") Gibson, Jan-of-Jan-and-Dean's girlfriend and rock photographer. Jan and Dean also recorded this song.
Very quiet vocals in contrast to a lot of 60's girl groups - almost a little Margo Guryan in there if it weren't for the stomping in the background. No info at all on the production. If anyone can fill me in, I'd love to hear it.
from Back To The Girl Zone (Marginal MAR 103), available on CD
This is the record that pretty much kicked off the whole 'bastard pop' genre - where a clever bootlegger would fuse the vocal track of one song with the backing of another. Here we have Public Enemy and Herb Alpert (Bittersweet Samba, from Whipped Cream...).
The reason this record (unlike most of the other mash-ups) works so well is that it sounds like a genuine collaboration - the parps of the Tijuana Brass and Chuck D's rap spits meld perfectly. It's a smart-arse idea that becomes a work of art.
from the single By The Time I Get To Arizona [Whipped Cream Mix] (Pickled Egg Egg 8)