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Nov 20

BUSTED – “Crashed The Wedding”

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#964, 22nd November 2003

“You Said No” was an uneven mix of Busted’s charms and their weaknesses; “Crashed The Wedding” is all upside. All of Busted’s singles so far have played like episodes in the band’s imaginary TV show – a vaguely naughty comedy story; a goofy sci-fi pastiche; a high school melodrama. “Crashed The Wedding” is more like the climax of the group’s first movie, the riotous denouement of a pop-punk rom-com. Though the ‘punk’ side is getting even more vestigial – this is scruffbag power-pop, and all the better for it.

It’s melodrama with a sense of fun, and while it doesn’t have many jokes it’s a conceptual cousin to their funniest and best song, “Year 3000”: take a situation (The Future, A Wedding), add Busted, let hijinks ensue. In terms of a sense of potential, “Crashed” was probably peak Busted for me – of course, it helped that it came out just in time to be played at my wedding, complete with ill-advised Busted jump. But you might have to go back as far as Madness to find a British group with such apparent commitment to telling larger-than-life stories and tall tales through pop. “Crashed The Wedding” is a romp; a breakneck dash full of hooks and harmonies and the pinch-yourself delight of decisive action: “I said I’d do it and I did”. In pop or out of it, there are few happier feelings.

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Comments

  1. 1
    Lee Saunders on 1 Nov 2020 #

    Very pleased this got an 8 and the review nails its appeal for me (beyond The Memories). A Present for Everyone was the first album I ever owned the day it came out – cue much pestering of my dad (“no its not Christmas yet” etc).. I never did play it as much as the first album and can barely remember it beyond its singles and a few other songs so I must revisit it.

    One of the B-sides was a cover of Build Me Up Buttercup which was a collaboration with a group who had not yet put out any records. The favour was returned on the flip of when we’ll first meet them.

    Beat out the comeback single buy Busted favourite Britney as well, a song which kept Madonna at number two for the third time this year. At number 6 entered a song which would eventually peak at number 3… four months later (while all the while flyby number ones kept it at bay). At number 10 was Missy Elliott almost inventing M.I.A.

  2. 2
    Ricardo on 1 Nov 2020 #

    Actually, M.I.A. came exactly at that point. The original 12″ of “Galang” was released in around October of 2003, on a limited 500-copy edition by a now-defunct small indie called Showbiz Recordings, which had also previously released a 12″ by none other than Punjabi MC. Come mid November, Gilles Peterson was playing it on his Worldwide show, back when these things still truly mattered.
    But yes, I do get the connection, even though Missy was actually jumping on a moving bandwagon by then, what with her adopting one of 2003’s key signifiers: the Jamaican Diwali riddim, as heard on Sean Paul’s “Get Busy”, Lumidee’s “Never Leave (Uh Oh)” and Wayne Wonder’s “No Letting Go”, just to cite examples that managed to chart.

  3. 3
    Shiny Dave on 1 Nov 2020 #

    2) Of course, today physical distribution limitations are completely irrelevant, which is how someone can emerge out of nowhere to be big in a lot of different ways, for better and worse. As opposed to either needing to slowly gain support like M.I.A. or have an out-of-the-gate label/media push like… Busted, as it happens.

    I fell into a bit of a demographic crack when it came to Busted – I was in sixth form so felt just slightly too old for out-and-out schoolboy rock, and I was definitely too queer to embrace the out-and-out schoolboy urges of the lyrics. It was no coincidence that it was my younger brother who had at least one Busted album; I was busy playing the likes of Snow Patrol at the time.

    I really thought that the landfill indie of the era was better at the time? Yes, and I was spectacularly wrong. The casual misogyny of “What I Go To School For” and “Britney” may have rubbed me decidedly the wrong way, but few guitar bands of any era – let alone this one – owned an aesthetic and energy better than Busted. Nor did they tend to have hooks as good as “Year 3000” or, yes, “What I Go To School For.” Hating them felt easy at the time; it takes effort now. And this is as chaotically energetic as anything they did, and a worthy chart-topper in an era with more unworthy ones than perhaps any before or since. Enough reflexive dislike of the band – and stronger memories of their other hooks – to hold the score back to a 6. But no further.

  4. 4
    ThePensmith on 1 Nov 2020 #

    I made the argument in the entry for ‘You Said No’ that Busted were poorly represented by all but one of their number ones. This is said chart topper, for many of the reasons you cite Tom. Their best songs are generally always the ones that follow a wider reaching narrative, this of course following the ‘Miss MacKenzie’ dialogue of both ‘What I Go To School For’ and ‘Loser Kid’ off their debut album.

    It’s an absolute riot from start to finish, and I always especially loved the way it all drops out before the last chorus and crashes back in: ‘The ring she got was lame / She couldn’t take the blame / She didn’t want a shitty second name’ (or is it silly? I’m gonna go with the former). The video was one of their best too, still really funny even now (even if Matt, as he himself observed on Popworld at the time, does resemble Sam Fox as the bride). A resounding 9 for me.

    Also this marks the start of the crossover into inter-band homogeny with their soon to be launched – and much bunnied – successors and support act for their first arena tour at the start of the following year, who were first trailed in a flyer that came in early copies of the ‘A Present for Everyone’ album.

    Watch the video for this again and you’ll realise who the drummer is, but look at the writing credits and you’ll also see this is the first of ten bunnies credited to the pen of a certain Tom Fletcher, whose very same management team had not long moved him into a semi detached house in Whetstone with three other strange boys who played instruments…

  5. 5
    Stephen Emmett on 3 Nov 2020 #

    A pop punk nerd myself, but I think this record can hold up perfectly well if you think of it as pure teen comedy, something like from Not Another Teen Movie or something.

    A fair 8 and a half from me. BTW, this was the last proper UK Number 1 to count not just CD sales, but also cassette singles (cassingles, for short) – if we’re not counting the precious few or so limited edition cassette (3/3) copies of a certain 2004 bunny which were printed and manufactured before the discontinuation date of 17 November 2003…

  6. 6
    Chelovek na lune on 5 Nov 2020 #

    This is a very generous review ;) . I’d not really made the “big stories a la Madness” connection, but I can see the case for it, although maybe the Undertones might be a little closer in some ways.

    I found Busted well, frankly, tedious, with what I took to be their manufactured (and as far it goes pretty protectively manicured and molicoddled) image of teenage life that I presumed wasn’t based in the experience of the performers and writers (or if was: what a tedious imitation of rebellion). “Year 3000” was great fun, and well crafted (and yes would have been a great accomaniment to Cheggers Plays Pop antics) , but otherwise in general my repsonse to their records was: this is an upper middle class Viz cartoon depiction of life elsewhere that is pretty wide of the mark – and often annoyingly infantile rather than cutely charming.

    I don’t care for this, although the basic energy and presence of a basic tune and structure means it’s not totally redundant. But I can’t give any grounds for giving it higher than 5. And that is generous in my book.

  7. 7
    AMZ1981 on 9 Nov 2020 #

    I don’t think there is an awful lot to say about this one. If you like Busted (and I do) then you’ll like this one. If they aren’t your thing, then you won’t. At least I can remember it which is more than can be said for Me Against The Music.

    I was interested in the comments above about the discontinuation of cassette singles and also the landfill indie of the time. That chimes into looking at the sort of chart Crashed The Wedding headed; a mildly interesting race to the top between two big releases that would already be forgotten the following Monday and lower down a holding pattern of new singles from well known artists – most mined off existing albums and selling to completists. Of bands I considered myself fans of in late 2003 there is a Red Hot Chilli Peppers song I remember fondly and a Stereophonics song I don’t remember at all.

  8. 8
    Stephen Emmett on 10 Nov 2020 #

    @7 Thanks for referring to my comment about cassette singles. I will discuss a little bit further when we do get to that February 2004 bunny Busted did..

  9. 9
    INKWISITIVE on 16 Nov 2020 #

    Busted, and especially lead songwriter James Bourne, knew their way around a good (frequently great) power-pop hook, and I agree with Tom that they’re best classified by that genre than pop-punk. You Said No was one of their weaker singles, so happy to see Crashed doing them more justice on this site. On the festival circuit, crowd enthusiasm seems only surpassed by Year 3000 and, curiously, Air Hostess (kept off the top by a monstrosity of a bunny IMO) – that’s one of my favourites, with the intro a perfectly pitched gateway to the thrill of guitar music in the same way, I dunno, Ballroom Blitz might’ve been to uninitiated kids in the ’70s.

    They were limited, but it’s hard to overstate just how much Busted stood out on the radio to a then 9-year-old like me – the other options seemed to range from bland MOR (that, looking back as a grown-up, was only more suitable for adults in that it said nothing whatsoever of note – the worst insubstantial music is un-self-aware insubstantial music) to post-boyband RnB-inflected pop and post-90s dance-pop. And I’d say that A Present For Everyone stands as their best album across their entire career, if a bit bloated at 15 tracks

  10. 10
    adaleen616 on 18 Nov 2020 #

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  11. 11
    Coagulopath on 26 Nov 2020 #

    The video’s great. The past 18 years have given it an unintended camp quality, of course – all three band members have dyed/frosted tips, which were everywhere in 2002 (even David Beckham had them). These days, that hairstyle is more commonly associated with gay men.

    Their band name has acquired a certain ironic depth, too. “Busted” used to be a slang verb meaning you’d gotten caught. Now, its meaning has grown to encompass an adjective meaning “lame, uncool, washed up.” (“That party was busted.”)

    Father Time takes no prisoners. I know I’d be scared of picking a band name – it’d probably be a ethnic slur by 2030. Comedian Patrick Hastie has a bit about a friend who went and got a tattoo of his favorite metal band…Isis.

  12. 12
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