I Hate Music

Jan 04

Weedy Eighties White People Singing About Soul Stars #3: China Crisis – “Black Man Ray”

I Hate Music23 comments • 26,795 views

“Black Man Ray” is Ray Charles, who China Crisis apparently believe in. Now Ray Charles’ blackness is not a secret, so why did China Crisis see fit to remind us of it on their incomprehensibly awful single? My theories:

i) They were talking about the photographer Man Ray, and asserting that he was black. Which he wasn’t. But this was the 80s and all sorts of people were black back then – Shakespeare, Rick Astley, etc. – generally at the behest of ‘loony lefties’ who The Sun had made up.

ii) The song was meant to be a double A-Side with “White Man Ray” about snooker ace Ray Reardon


Jan 04


I Hate Music1 comment • 1,383 views


Haha, Midge Ure sounds a bit like Manure, do you see etc etc etc.
I often had a feeling that Midge, short for Intellectual Midget, got away with an awful lot because the only insult anyone ever laid at his door was that his name sounded a bit like a type of shit. This seemingly simple piece of wordplay apparently distracted people from that fact that Midge Ure was ACTUALLY shit. And this I can prove with a graph, a pointer and the record If I Was.

If I Was is an eighties synthpop version of the ‘If I was Not On PlaySchool Now’ song, which would have Brian Cant and Johnny Ball imagining they were easily mimed things like firemen and backstreet abortionists. Midge’s was obviously less literal and had him ‘carrying the weight of popular demand’ on his back, at least he would if he was a strong man. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a circus, but Strong Men tend to carry big weights. The weight of popular demand when it comes to Midge was obviously very heavy, the demand being that he make no more bloody records.

Here is a list of all the things Midge suggests he could be in If I Was: A better man, a stronger man, a soldier, a sailor, a wiser man, a kinder man, a painter, her leader, a poet and her lover. Let us look at all of these suggestions in full:

If I Was A Better Man
Midge asks would fellow men take me to their hearts? (NO!)
Tanya says: If you were a better man you wouldn’t write toss like this

If I was a stronger man
Midge says he could carry the weight of popular demand
Tanya says you could work in the circus as some poorly moustachioed freak/strongman.

If I was a soldier
Midge says he would lay captive arms before her.
Tanya suggests he might be the kind of cannon fodder generals send out first for being annoying.

If I was a sailor
Midge says the seven oceans he would sail to get to her.
Tanya says, get yourself a map, go the straight line method Jonah.

If I was a wiser man
Midge wonders if other men reach out and touch him
Tanya would reach out, grasp and then knee him in the bollocks. How wise would he feel then?

If he was a kinder man
Midge would dish up love for a hungry world (obv forgetting that love has absolutely no nutritional value)
Tanya would dish up a whole bowl of pain and hurtin’. If he was kinder he should stop making music.

If I was a painter
Midge would paint a world that couldn’t taint her.
Tanya suggests that if you’re a painter, that forth bridge needs a lick or two.

I was her leader
Midge says on food of love from above he would feed her. (Suggests he had a job lot of love food on cheap).
Tanya worries that if you are her leader then some sort of dodgy slavery gig was going on. Call the cops.

If I was a painter
Midge says that all his love in burning words he would show her.
Tanya thinks if poetry was your muse you would think of a better rhyme for feed her than leader.

If I was her lover
Midge says her eyes in kisses he would cover.
Tanya says, clever Midge, your not likely to pull anyone who can see you.

This is such a poor song that it is next to impossible to describe. Slow plodding synth-pop with a sound akin to a very low powered vacuum cleaner. Midge had very few hits after this one, his brand of lack of whimsy and lack of musical talent seemed to go out of fashion. Alternatively, what with all this ‘If I was-ing’ going on, it is possible that the Midlands Serious Crime squad wonder if he was responsible for the Birmingham pub bombings and slapped him in jail for thirty years. About now he should be wondering, if I was on parole’

Jan 04

Weedy Eighties White People Singing About Soul Stars #2: Spandau Ballet – “True”

I Hate Music11 comments • 1,821 views

In particular, Tony Hadley crooning in is fat faced way:
“Listening to Marvin, Allllll night long.
This is the sound, of my soul.”

Well assuming we can even call True a soul song, if there is one thing it does not sound like it is the master of Motown Prog Marvin Gaye. Now I have extolled the crimes committed by Marvin Gaye at great length, and the proof of the evil is in his shooting BY HIS DAD, but Gaye worship is almost as evil. Just think of all these pale, wan soul boys sitting in bedsits above fish and chip shops, listening to Maaarvin Alllllll Night Long. Fine this might involve the frighteningly over-rated What’s Going On, and a touch Sexual Healing, but it will also involve Hear My Dear. Now imagine Tony Hadley, stuffing his face with a pack of Mini-Rolls whilst sobbing his heart out to a record that Marvin wrote to paty off his alimony. That is the sound of his soul!

Spandau Ballet, daft name, dud band, again with the strange idea that name checking a soul legend will somehow lend some of that legendary status to their big collared affair. All it did of course was cause sleepless nights, as you can’t listen to Marvin Allllll night long without ending up like a sleep deprived prisoner of some ancient fare eastern torturer. I know that much is true.

Jan 04

A pair of Jacks

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 637 views

According to Michael Jackson (and he would know) “If your thinking about my baby, it don’t matter if you’re black or white”. Well this certainly seems to be the case if the baby is called Jack. Black vs White in the battle of which Jack is more annoying. Let us look at the evidence.

Jack Black

A comic actor turned rock act. I could happily explain at great length and with a selection of instruments invented by Chilean torturers to Mr Black how there is nothing funny about taking the mickey out of music, in the medium of music. You are merely perpetuating the horror. And what horror it is when the piggy faced Mr Black straps on a guitar as part of his rock duo Tenacious D and proceeds to pretend to be a rock god. Of course the Greek Pantheon of gods had plenty of lousy gods as well as the big guns like Mars and Hera. Using this comparison, Jack Black is a bit like Faris, the Greek God of bodily waste. I note with horror that his new film is called the School of Rock, and appears to involve Black indoctrinating youngsters into liking music. And dressing up like the members of AC/DC who should have been jailed for paedophilia years ago.*

Jack White

A comic rock act turned actor. Equally I could happily use said torture instruments to quickly point out to the pasty faced loser that musicians make terrible actors. Especially terrible musicians. There I was in the civil war drama Cold Mountain, happy that it was set in the days before music when who do I see brandishing a mandolin but White. Everyone knows that there was no music in America before Souza. Well White went on to prove it. At least he did not have his pouty wife/sister/granny with him on kick drums and being kicked.

So Black or White? Which is worse. You do not expect me to answer this. They are both as evil as each other of course. So much so that perhaps they should be in a band or film together, for surely as opposites their co-presence would wipe one enough out. Oh happy day.

*Actually the charge doesn’t matter. As long as they are locked up.

Jan 04


I Hate Music1 comment • 717 views

Picture if you will the dying throes of Britpop (the dying bit is unfortunately a metaphor here). The kids, slowly turning off their Oases and Blurs with the feeling the had been robbed, which they had. What did indie music have to throw up? The only vomit left were rubbish Welsh bands. Elsewhere I have dealt with simpleton whimsy mongers the Super Furry Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Manky. But what of that screeching noise that came from the valleys. A band who reached the top, and imploded within two years. A band named after the state listening to a record by them would leave you in. Why yes, I mean Catatonia.

There was no real surprise when hard drinking party girl Cerys Matthews went nuts. It was the hard drinking bit that did it. Nevertheless the fact that they ever had a chance to write any music in between more pints was the big surprise. It was clear why the songs were no good, they did not spend that much time between pints after all. But they did not need to. The human version of the screech owl mangled the words she sung so much that it did not matter what the words were or even if they rhymed. Consider this lyric from the Tonia’s answer to Star Trekkin’ – Mulder And Scully:

Things are getting strange I’m starting to worry

This could be a case for Mulder And Scully.

I assume that Catatonia had plenty of versions of this song primed depending on what the TV favourite was at the time. If they reformed (please no) I am sure their comeback single would be:

Things are getting strange I’m starting to worry

This could be a case for Rosemary And Thyme.

Or if they traveled back in time to the mid-eighties I daresay they would come up with:

Things are getting strange I’m starting to worry

This could be a case for Cagney And Lacey.

Which actually almost does rhyme, not that you would be able to tell with Matthews’ pronunciation. Of course Mulder and Scully was not their only hit. Lost Cat, a tragic tale of the cat whose voice Matthews stole also troubled the charts before the band split up. Just after Cerys declared that every morning she wakes up she thanks God she is Welsh. Probably why she’s fucked off to live in America then.