Mar 08

MUD – “Oh Boy”

FT + Popular84 comments • 5,133 views

#369, 3rd May 1975

A strange, not all that successful mixture of boys past, present, and future: a song from teenpop’s hungry birth, big beats and self-consciousness from the fag-end of glam, and a mid-tempo harmony-heavy arrangement which hints at Westlife to come. The slowdown and rhythmic emphasis shifts the mood of the song from excitement to confidence: Holly’s original is a sack of jumping hormones and itching palms, Mud’s update is more self-assured, self-satisfied and a lot less likeable, even though the harmonies work pretty well. On this YouTube performance the band look awkward, even in the comedy drag bit: pop’s brave new rollerworld really didn’t suit them well.



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  1. 61
    Mark G on 7 Mar 2008 #

    To say nothing of the Oliver Reed ‘version’.. It may not even have been the same song.

    Wonder who they paid the PRS to?

  2. 62
    Marcello Carlin on 7 Mar 2008 #

    That might have been “Wild Thing.”

  3. 63
    Mark G on 7 Mar 2008 #

    Noo, it was on “Michael Aspel” I believe. It was more a gravelly blues ‘stomp’

    Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boeX9KtSvUA&feature=related

  4. 64
    Erithian on 7 Mar 2008 #

    Here’s a link to an interesting piece of alternative history – an interview with Buddy some 40 years on from his fateful decision to offer Waylon Jennings his seat on the plane after that gig in Iowa. It doesn’t explore quite as far as it might, beyond having Holly and Lennon as close friends and co-writers, but worth a read:

  5. 65
    Marcello Carlin on 7 Mar 2008 #

    What Buddy Holly would have been doing musically in 2008, in two words: Rick Rubin.

  6. 66
    Brian on 7 Mar 2008 #

    Erithian – that Buddy Holly alt. history is just plain creepy. I hope Waylon never saw it….

  7. 67
    crag on 7 Mar 2008 #

    I’ve always enjoyed those “what if they had lived” rock alternate histories- I remember Q magazine published some in the early 90’s in which Bolan retired from music to become a successful fantasy novelist, Lennon recorded an album with Lenny Kravitz(I told you it was the early 90s), and Sid Vicious hosted a hugely popular hidden camera show called “Sid’s About” and ended up getting a knighthood for his charity work. Unfortunately i dont remember much of the Buddy Holly part except that he collaborated in the late 60’s on with Patsy Cline “with whom he shared a deep fear of flying after they had both suffered scares years before”.
    Personally i think if he’d lived he’d have continued down the light entertainment, smooth balladering route signposted by his later recordings like “True Love Ways”. Not so much recording with Rubin or being hailed as a Rock’n’Roll pioneer, more likely residences in Vegas and duets with Celine Dion.
    It may sound like i’m slagging him off but i’m not- merely giving an opinion. We’ll never know anyway…

  8. 68
    Brian on 7 Mar 2008 #

    I always saw Buddy as a great tunesmith in a cross over area of country and pop. To me that’s his legacy. If he was still kicking, I’d imagine he’d be more in residence in Branson or at The Grand Ol’ Opry.

    UK residents _ do you see ” Austin City Limits ” in the UK ? http://www.pbs.org/klru/austin/

  9. 69
    Snif on 7 Mar 2008 #

    Or else he’s be another Travelling Wilbury.

  10. 70
    Waldo on 8 Mar 2008 #

    Hmmm… “What if they had lived?” rock alternative histories. Good topic but how about turning this around and discussing “What if they had died?” about artists who are still with us but whom we could well have done without. Yeah, we could have a section called “trading lives”, where we bring someone back from the dead by sending someone currently living to their doom.

    I’ll start the ball rolling. Bring back Nick Drake. Send back Pete Doherty.

  11. 71
    crag on 8 Mar 2008 #

    I’ve had similar discussions with friends- the common consensus was Rod should’ve went about ’78, Sting in ’84 and Prince and M Jackson in the early 90’s- their legacy would have been considerably less tarnished.

  12. 72
    Erithian on 10 Mar 2008 #

    In another sphere of activity, I attended the memorial service for Douglas Adams, after which I overheard someone saying “What a shame this should happen to Doug – when it could have happened to Terry Pratchett.” Not so funny now Pratchett is ill, but drew shocked laughter at the time.

  13. 73
    crag on 11 Mar 2008 #

    Inspired by the amazing youtube totp clip(#20)I’ve finally managed to get a download of Shake it Down- however it misses the best part- that moogtastic intro! Is this missing on the actual original record or have i just got a dodgy mp3? Can anyone advise please?

  14. 74
    Marcello Carlin on 11 Mar 2008 #

    The intro certainly appears on both the original seven-inch and the CD version.

  15. 75
    Mark G on 11 Mar 2008 #

    Talking of “Shake it down” reminds me of an article abouth The Hollies where the writer bemoaned the lack of chart action for “Wiggle that Wotsit” blaming the record company and radio for not ‘getting behind it’ sufficiently.

    Not to mention the general crapness of it, no.

  16. 76
    Marcello Carlin on 11 Mar 2008 #

    The next track on that album, fittingly, is entitled “48 Hour Parole.”

  17. 77
    Lena on 11 Mar 2008 #

    I can’t wait to write about the next song!

  18. 78
    Tom on 11 Mar 2008 #

    Wait no longer! Sorry it took so long – horribly busy ATM

  19. 79
    crag on 11 Mar 2008 #

    thanks for the advice re:Shake it Down(#74)- guess i will have to keep hunting!(I may even go as far as buying it on cd!)

  20. 80
    intothefireuk on 22 Mar 2008 #

    Fairly proficient but unremarkable cover but then that’s not really the point. There’ll always be room for bands like Mud or Madness who play pop purely for fun while knocking out rollicking good tunes. Unfortunately there aren’t nearly enough examples of this and I certainly can’t think of any in the 90s or 00s. Mind you if the Kaiser Chiefs were funnier…..

  21. 81
    Auntie Beryl on 23 Mar 2013 #

    Schoolyard Watch: as far on as the late 80s, this nostalgic 1975 hit was still sufficiently part of popular culture to prompt this version…

    “All my life
    I’ve been a-waiting
    Tonight there’ll be no… masturbating
    Oh boy…”

    …whenever any of us actually managed to go on a date with someone. The gulf from 1975 to 1989 seemed immense at the time, I wonder if there was another cultural reason? A parody? A film reference?

  22. 82
    Mutley on 24 Mar 2013 #

    Re 81. Could it be connected with Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story which opened as a stage musical on the West End in 1989 and Broadway in 1990 and has been on tour ever since? The cultural gulf probably goes back to the Buddy Holly hit in 1957 when I assume your schoolyard version was first sung.

  23. 83
    lonepilgrim on 3 Nov 2019 #

    the original Buddy Holly version is a joy – and despite Mud’s panto tendencies even they can’t destroy the song completely – nevertheless they do their best (or worst) to turn it into a stomp along audience participation piece and the public lapped it up

  24. 84
    Gareth Parker on 22 May 2021 #

    Don’t really have much time for this record, I’m afraid. I think I’m being generous with a 3/10 here.

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