Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Guilty Pleasures Pt2

After part 1 of this series fell foul of just about everybody and his dog naming Karen Carpenter in their Guilty Pleasures List, I thought I’d better be a bit more left-field this time. After some thought the following occurrence gave me some inspiration.

I was chatting to a work colleague in the way that you do, about this and that, and he happened to mention that whilst taking his weekend rugby coaching session, he had noticed a spectator skulking on the sidelines. On further investigation that person turned out to be Dave Robinson, original founder of Stiff Records, the label that kick-started the post-punk revolution in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This sort of thing seems to happen to my colleague a lot so I didn’t bat an eyelid.

This got us talking about the label and we surprised ourselves by reeling off a whole raft of top acts that had started life at Stiff. The likes of The Damned, Madness, Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, Kirsty MacColl and Dr Feelgood (and even Motorhead) all signed up. A pretty impressive roster for a newly formed recording enterprise.

Of more interest were some of the lesser known talents to be taken on. The likes of Rachel Sweet and Wreckless Eric came up in conversation but the one that really hit a sensitive spot was Lene Lovich. This is where I have to admit that her big single ‘Lucky Number’ is nestling in my never-played-now singles collection and I loved it, even though I wince at it a bit now. Lene was right up my street, exotic, enigmatic and completely mad. All the attributes a proper pop star should have and which were probably derived from the combination of her English and Eastern European heritage.

This is the bit where I should on and on about how good it is but suffice to say that I find its roller-coaster melody and hiccoughing vocal delivery rather fun and what’s music for if not to entertain us? My interest in her pretty much expired after the release of that single and I have not bothered to look her up since.

However, Wikipedia informs me that she is now knocking on the door of her 60th year and that her last album was released in 2005. Good grief! Not only that, her original collaborator on ‘Lucky Number’, Les Chappell, is still with her and still collaborating. Amazing! Even mad women have a life it seems.

I shall go and play (guiltily, natch!) my copy of ‘Lucky Number’ just for old time’s sake...but I don’t think I’ll be leaping out to buy her latest effort. I mean, let’s be sensible about this!


Asbo said...

Watched a programme on BBC4 recently all about Stiff records, one thing I didn't know was that Lee Brilleaux of Dr Feelgood gave Dave and Jake Rivera a loan to start the label (about £400).

musicobsessive said...

Amazing what you can do with £400, isn't it!
Probably the best loan Lee ever proffered.
Thanks for stopping by!

Owen said...

I saw Lene a couple of years ago doing a duet with the Dresden Dolls at their Roundhouse gig - she's on the DVD too!

musicobsessive said...

Amazing! I had no idea she was still performing. You can't keep a good musician down.