I Hate Music
It’s 1978 and Paul Young is the Toast of the town; that is, he’s a square and his music is crumby. “Toast” is an unholy slice of inarticulate spoken nonsense, put to a sub-Stray Cats accompaniment. It describes the young Mr Young’s lifelong love of the foodstuff toast and, in trying to sound droll and surreal, simply sounds utterly banal.
Given this evidence, who could have known that Paul Young would go on to become Luton’s most successful recording artist? Not counting David Arnold, of course, and his soundalike soundtrack franchise (less “This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats”, more “This LPs Shit, Let’s Slash That Arnold Twat”).
Anyway, apart from the sheer inanity of Toast, Paul Young will always be remembered for his:
– inexplicable string of early eighties top ten hits (cf: Shakin Stevens)
– singing/spoiling of the first line in “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
– remarkable haircut, as seen on the seven thousand unwanted copies of “No Parlez” in the basement of Notting Hill Record and Tape Exchange and in many barber shop windows.
SUNSCREEM – Love You More
‘You can make the sun turn purple, you can make the sea turn turtle
But you know you can never make me love you more.’
Don’t look for a rose in a cess-pit is an adage I’ve followed much of my life, so expecting lyrics that make sense from an early nineties dance act would seem futile. Nevertheless in the forest of platitudinal exressions of love, and waving ones hands in the air this lyric stands out as particularly nonsensical. Who is this man who can make the sun turn purple? That is quite impressive. Not as impressive however this act which is described as “Making the sea turn turtle”. Perhaps this is a reference to how turtles can turn over on their back – suggesting that this fella can literally upend the ocean. Either that or he can turn the entirity of a sea, and perhaps even the entire worlds oceans into one huge – oddly shaped turtle. A feat indeed.
There is only one being that can do this – God. And a somewhat frivolous and malevolent god at that (imagine a purple sun and a sea made of turtle- fishermen would be very very pissed off). The existence of Sunscreem – albeit for one terrible summer in 1992 – kind of runs contrary to the existence of a benevolent god anyway. But wait – what else do they say – ‘you could never make me love you more’ . More than what? Since this being can achieve the near impossible it follows that it would be impossible for the rat-tailed, dreadlocked trustafarian to love him at all. Suggesting that she is indeed the devil. A conclusion the music amply backs up.
A repeat turn on I Hate Music for this plagerised pile of pap, and just a minor one really since both Jam and Start are breakfast foodstuffs. Jam obviously, crushing fruits with lots of sugar to create a bastardised lumpy non-alcoholic version of cassis. Start was a breakfast cereal from the eighties which was fortified with vitamins and minerals (for which read sugar) and had Steve Cram on the cover. Steve Cram is an athelete whom I admire intensely since he has never – to my knowlege – ever committed a single moment of music to recorded history. Unlike say sports stars like Glenn Hodlle, Chris Waddle, John Barnes, John McEnroe or the man with a zebra crossing on his head Pat Cash (I wouldn’t mind crossing him – with a steam roller).
I have gone into some depth as to why Start in particular out of the sludge pit that was the Jams numbers is particularly poor – unsurprisingly this rests on it being completely plagiarised from The Beatles. Nevertheless any opportunity to remind ourselves that before Paul Weller was the leather faced fool he is now, and even before he wore two tone shoes and got mud (rightly) slung at him in the Style Council – he was in The Jam. A band who, lest we forget, took all the good things about punk (being from tiny villages in Surrey, being so bad you never got played on the radio) and turned them into adverts for a reasonably enfranchised youth. Going Underground eh? Proper punks couldn’t afford tube tickets. And how dare he talk about the dreams of children? My dreams were full of happiness, item one being Paul Weller being run over by his own lambretta as he wrestled to get out of his Parker. At least I know Bruce Foxton would now be laughing along.
(People looking for the long lost Week Fourteen of olde reckoning I Hate Music can also follow this link to find it).