Thursday, June 30, 2016

Everybody Up! 11 - In Which We Say "Piss" An Awful Lot

5. BRYAN FERRY "The 'In' Crowd"

Byron Ferrari is BACK!  Shorn temporarily of Roxy Music, this is Bryan committing full-on, all-out, balls to the wall to his lounge lizard persona - a bit of an odd jump for the undeniably working class miner's son, and therefore one that needs this level of absolute commitment; living the gimmick, like a suave, sophisticated Undertaker.

Once again this is a cover, which shows how many of the iconic songs of this era were repurposed from older days, but it's made so much the artist's own that I find it impossible to associate it with anyone else.  Mind you, Ferry was really pumping out the covers at this stage; indeed, his first two solo albums are entirely composed of covers, which would be an unusual step nowadays.  Back then?  Not so much.

The only further thing I would say is that it's an odd inclusion given we could have had another Roxy Music one on here instead - "Love Is The Drug", anyone?  Or do I just like that because Kylie covered it? - but by odd, by no means do I mean unwelcome.

6. PATTI SMITH "Piss Factory"

Get down and get with it, for this uptempo toe-tapper about...  Erm...  A urine manufacturing plant?  OK, whatever.

Given that this is piss-weak performance poetry - hey, maybe that's what the factory was manufacturing?  I mean, she *did* work there and all - I nodded off a couple of times throughout and thought it best to have a read of the lyrics.  And my interpretation thereof comes down, in essence, to this:

* Patti has a job;
* Patti does not like the job;
* Patti wishes to tell her superiors to stick said job;
* Patti is moving to New York to be a star.

Well, good for Patti.  Fingers crossed for Patti.  Patti can also fuck right off.  I'm bloody sick of hearing creative types banging on about escaping the nine to five - Sleater-Kinney were the last band to annoy me with that behaviour, and their records have been banished to the 'Never Play' list.

Because whilst some may hear this as a clarion call, an example to impressionable young minds to jack it all in, move to a now-unsustainable life in a huge urban sprawl and try desperately to be noticed, an ant in a pile of identical ants, I only see the intense patronisation of the 'normal' human life in a capitalist society; the idea that they're all squares, wage slaves, salarymen and women, propping up the machine, maaan.

Some of us don't have the opportunity to leave the piss factory, Patti.  Still more only get as far as the piss office or the piss shop.  A few of us run our own piss businesses, some get stuck on the piss dole, a lucky few might get enough piss qualifications to go and work at the piss hospital or fly a piss plane.  And none of them are any better or worse than you, in your piss band with your pretentious poetry and your eventual pop sellout.

And the song?  Well, that's the only thing that isn't piss in this whole affair.  It's shit. 

Ahem.  Rant over.  Time to get off my piss soapbox and back to the music.

7. COCKNEY REBEL "Tumbling Down"

A much more engaging and heartfelt entry than when last we joined them just two short posts ago (keep up, slowpokes!), "Tumbling Down" is sonically much closer to the one Cockney Rebel song everyone remembers, "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)", although by the time that was recorded the band was shorn of most personnel aside from Steve Harley.

I thought I had heard this light, dramatic, mournful offering before, but couldn't place where.  Turns out it's one of the songs they used in flop glam retrospective drama "Velvet Goldmine", for the 'Bowie' character who isn't Bowie because he refused to let them use his name or songs.  Nice to know someone profited from that particular opportunity!

8. THE GLITTER BAND "Angel Face"

"#Gary Glitter, he's a bad bad man/ruining the reputation of The Glitter Band..." - Luke Haines, "Bad Reputation"

Ah.  It seems, both inevitably and unfortunately, that we have reached the point where we can no longer avoid dredging up that name.  A bold choice by the compiler then, though we must bear in mind that The Glitter Band (formerly The Glittermen, latterly The G Band) were the person in question's live backing band only, with the records being handled separately to all members save occasional interjections from the horn section.

And you know what, this song isn't bad at all.  It's very glam-by-numbers, but in doing so it hits all the right places - it may be overtly familiar as a genre piece, but it's a superior offering, clearly made by more-than-competent musicians, so it's never a chore to listen to.

But let this be a lesson to all of us to choose your friends, and where possible your collaborators and colleagues, very carefully - lest you be caught in the fallout of fatally toxic reputational damage.  Still, "Goodbye My Love": it's a hell of a record...

Join us next time for some foxy goings-on, a ton of greasepaint and an example of the Japanese getting it very, very wrong.

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