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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Kirsty MacColl: Desperate Character

Been playing this a lot lately having bought it on CD a year or two back. It's Kirsty MacColl's first album - released in 1981, she would have been 21 or thereabouts.

As an introductory album, it's actually amazing. It swings widely across the styles she would later tackle each in turn: New Wave, C&W, Rock and Roll and Latin. It's remarkable for the way such a young performer recorded her own backing vocals - until you remember it was only just over 20 years since a young bloke called Buddy Holly had done the same thing. And for the same reason. Who was Kirsty gonna find who could do better backing vocals than Kirsty herself?

Clock Goes Round

High energy slab of post-punk noise. Good fun. 3 minutes of despair about being stuck in the same old place. And if you come from Croydon, no wonder.

See That Girl

One of her greatest ever. Only "Soho Square" competes, I reckon. How on earth did this every get lost? The usual story for Kirsty - the brilliant girl dissects the gormless bloke. In the manner of Jackie mag. Deceptively simple rhymes: "I don't want to interfere. But that girl sounds so insincere." Fantastic piano. Beautiful, practically wall-of-sound arrangement. But the longing, the sadness, the determination, the bloody vocals. The brilliant, brilliant, bloody vocals.


There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis


'Nuff said. There's a guy in the Minas Tirith Chip Shop swears he's elvish. But he's an orc and I'm not sure about you.

(Lonely Alcoholic ) Teenager in Love

Sad, funny, a pointer to "Big Boy on a Saturday Night" and, for that matter, "Titanic Days" itself. Or, looking the other way, why must I be a teenager in love - with an immature boyfriend, an abusive father, and a tequila bottle.

Mexican Sofa

Bit of Latin fun on the way to "Tropical Brainstorm".

Until the Night

You know that gorgeous version of "Something Stupid" she did with Raw Sex on the French and Saunders show? It's that. With better lyrics. And a sax solo. Sod it, this is just haunting and brilliant.

Falling for Faces

Bit of standard electro punk. Shades of New Romantic. Echoes of the Stranglers "Get a Grip on Yourself". Utterly desolate lyrics. Brilliant.

Just One Look

Remember all those 60s girl groups? Well that. Except all the parts are Kirsty. And a relaxed, ska-ish feel. 

The Real Ripper

Swingy jazz with a dodgy theme. Real speakeasy stuff.

Hard to Believe

Another bit of 60s rock and roll.  Nice, probably the weakest track on the album. But nothing wrong with it.

He Thinks I Still Care

Nice bit of Country and Western. Teenage angst and some really decent vocals. And that lovely, lovely irony. It's Kirsty, innit?

There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis (Country Version)

Great fun.if you don't have the imagination to imagine what this sounds like - why are you even reading this blog?

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