The Attractions – Mad About the Wrong Boy (XXLP8)/Steve Nieve – Theme Music From the Film ‘Outline of a Hairdo’ (COMB1) (1980)
Graphic designer Barney Bubbles runs amok on this ‘solo’ Lp by Elvis Costello’s Attractions. Would that such an exceptionally weak ‘new wave’ record merited our Colin’s over-the-top efforts. Simply put, it’s as poorly sung and written an album as anyone with as much talent as the Attraction possess that you’re likely to hear–truly, the band’s abilities lie elsewhere. An overload of visual japes and absurdity abound.Kookiness and kitsch in ample portions.Steve Nieve assembles a phalanx of keyboards, enough to gag Rick Wakeman, for this instrumental faux soundtrack ep included with the (already generously packed 16 track) album. Fans of EC’s ‘Shot With His Own Gun’ et al. will recognise Nieve’s opulent Romantic style; he never met a glissando he didn’t like. Note that Bubbles appropriates the pianist’s image from the near-contemporary Get Happy!!!
Without vocals to distract, the ep is the slightly better bet.
But for fans of both Bubbles’ work and of paying £1 for their records in Folkestone, this package will do nicely.
Ultra-rare piece of 90s 7″ vinyl Americana. Not thrifted, but part of my collection. In fact, I was responsible for this single’s bass playing and sleeve. I post this, not merely to blow my own trumpet (or, indeed, pluck my own bass), but to announce a short hiatus from Thrifty V while I go over to the States to play a few shows in celebration of (and to shift a few units of) the vinyl re-issue of the Haynes Boys’ debut Lp, previously only available on cd. The physical album is released on 23rd June and will also be there for the taking on iTunes (not that Thrifty Vinyl readers care about that sort of thing).
Any Thrifty readers in Columbus, Ohio next week are encouraged to check us out. International types are encouraged to like ‘n’ share details on the Facebooks: https://www.facebook.com/HaynesBoys?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Liner notes for the Lp are here: http://www.re-vinylrecords.com/haynes-boys.html
End of commercial.
While I love the Stones’ famous apologia on the a-side, it was the non-Lp flip that caught my attention here and a fine county-style ballad it is too. Given it’s overall sound (esp. Mick T’s prominent ‘wah-wah’ guitar) and the fact that it was co-produced by Jimmy Miller, I wonder if “Lonely Nights” is from an earlier session, possibly those for Goat’s Head Soup; it made a much later appearance on the exceptionally feeble Rarities 1971-2003 compilation. Many thanks to “Sue” for donating this to charity.
(Columbus, Ohio) — Faced with the band’s varied and contradictory cultural signifiers, Clintonville hipster Cyril Hogben is not sure whether or not he should like the Rolling Stones.
“Well, for a start, they’re really popular,” explained the part-time OSU journalism master’s student. “Normally, this would mean the kiss of death for the hipster, but we’re a contrary breed and so, I could actually like the Rolling Stones precisely because they’re popular.”
“There are also some desperately mediocre lowlights in the band’s canon,” he continued. “I’m thinking of things like, “Where The Boys Go”, “She Was Hot”, Dirty Work, that sort of thing; which I could easily like because they’re so bad. Unfortunately, there are also many, many assuredly great songs and albums, which I could only appreciate with fulsome genuineness, an emotion anathema to the moral relativist.”
Further complications arise from the Stones changing sartorial style: “They dressed so fantastically trendily during their first flush of success in the mid-1960s that it’s impossible not to love (or dismiss as calculated) their look,” Hogben stated. “Likewise, they looked so ridiculously tragic during most of the 80s that it’s similarly hard not to love (or dismiss as calculated) that look.”
When it comes to the band’s behavior, hipster judgement is also vexed, alternating between revulsion, admiration and moral detachment. The average hipster just doesn’t know what to think regarding the Rolling Stones’ drug use, authority flouting, establishment embracing, misogyny, professionalism, lack of professionalism, blues championing, money grubbing and staying power.
“If only the Stones were really unpopular and bad, like, say, Mick Jagger’s solo albums,” smiled Hogben. “Ironically, those are some records I can get behind ironically.”
Editor’s note: I was given this charming contractual obligation piece about life in the big city a couple years. It is, of course, nonsense. I thought the b-side featured Eric ” ‘God’ ” Clapton on lead gi-tar, but other sources say it’s Ry Cooder.
Last week, an anonymous reader wrote to Thrifty Vinyl complaining that she couldn’t remember the difference between ’70s artistic New York singer-songwriter and poet Patti Smith and ’80s videogenic New York singer-songwriter and actress Patty Smyth. We asked readers if they could tell the difference and, if so, how. We were literally deluged with e-mails, so, with apologies to those whose letters we didn’t print, we present a small sampling of the scores of responses we received.
- …the obvious distinction of the ‘i’ and the ‘y’ denoting the ‘i’ phoneme in the respective ladies’ surnames always reminds me that ‘Y’ is the first letter of ‘you’, as if ‘You cannot be serious!’ which, as we all know, is the petulant catchphrase of tennis star John McEnroe, who is, wait for it…Patty Smyth’s husband. — Mary Smoked-Trout, Glyndebourne
- …clearly, Patti Smith is an anagram of ‘Tim, pat this’ while Patty Smyth reveals ‘Ty, tap myths’ when jumbled. Easy as you like. — Peter Manorhousegrey, Edinburgh
- …the iconic photograph of Robert Mapplethorpe on the cover of the Lp Horses is of one or the other of the two women, I think. —Karen Catspaw, Truro
- …back in my day, we had a school yard chant to tell them apart. It went: ‘Patti with an ‘i’ wrote a song with The Boss/But Patty with the ‘y’ couldn’t give a toss/Alas her solo career couldn’t hold a candle/To her MTV band that she called Scandal’. — Candy Matchstick, Crewe.
- …like all women, I tell them apart by which one I’d shag. — Bob Ammonite, Teddington.
We hope that clears things up. Next week’s challenge comes from Anna Mole’s-Breath of Exeter. She asks, “What’s the difference between blues guitarists Albert King, B.B. King and Freddie King? By the way, I’m not a racist, I can tell some black people apart.” Good luck with that one readers.
Darin was a swinging cat in the 50s, and yet his transformation to 60s hipster still made sense; witness, his cover of Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe” on the A of this single. The folky flipside must be one of the weirdest things to come out of that weird time. What is that Velvet Underground racket in the background? Hear here.
I’m a sucker for Atlantic stuff, ‘specially if it’s only 50p.
One of the last great pieces of sexist Stones iconography, though I’m having difficulty putting my finger on exactly what constitutes “sexist” here. It just seems wrong somehow. Anyhow, the image originally appeared on the inner sleeve of what is generally regarded as their last great (or acceptable, depending on your level of worship) album, Tattoo You. Tattoo You was a big deal at the time. After the success of Some Girls, 1980’s Emotional Rescue had been something of a disappointment (though I still rate at least half of it), despite being their first UK #1 Lp since 1973. The band chose not to tour behind ER, unlike Some Girls, so, despite nearly two decades as the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band®, it kinda felt like make or break time career-wise. Fortunately for them, Tattoo You delivered and with “Start Me Up”, they had their last great signature song. I picked this up last weekend for 50p–still sounds boss, as does the bluesier B.Apart from Mick ‘n’ Keith, none of the other Stones appear on the cover of Tattoo You; they’d tried a similar stratagem with Goat’s Head Soup, though on that one at least Bill, Charlie and Mick T. featured in the inner gatefold. Interesting for an act whose demeanor is so tied up with the notion of being a band, or better, a gang, that they promoted themselves as a two-man show.I got the Tatto You patch around 1981; however, it wasn’t sewn onto the obligatory Levis Jean Jacket until years later when Mrs Asbo did the honours. My youngest son rocks it these days.