01
Mar
07

Ian Dury “New Boots and Panties!!”

Another record from 1978! This is truly one of my favorite records of all time. The cover is amazing– Ian Dury and a little kid standing in front of a department store (there’s a Woolworth sign reflected backwards in the window, which I’ve never noticed before– is THIS a Woolworth, or is one across the street?) It’s a great black and white photo– one side of the store is men’s wear, and the other side is a rather risqué looking lingerie department. In front of the window stands Ian Dury with cuffed jeans, a white jacket, and an ascot, and he has a furtive, lascivious look on his face. There is a sign that says “Fitting rooms available” between Ian Dury and this really tiny kid, who’s half the height of the very small Dury. The kid’s wearing suspenders and pants with huge bells. It totally looks like Ian Dury is a child molester, and it shouldn’t even be funny, but then you look at the kid more closely, his hands in his pockets and the very grown-up look on his face– he looks like a little gangster! He definitely looks like the mature one of the two!

“Wake up and make love with me” was a song that alarmed me at the time, sounding, like a lot of Ian Dury’s stuff, fairly slick and somewhat disco-ish. But it’s so funny and dirty, I liked it. Then “Sweet Gene Vincent” which was my favorite when I got this album, when I was in high school, partly because of lines like “shall I mourn your decline with some Thunderbird wine?” I’ve got to resist the temptation to just quote lyrics here– there are so many good lyrics. It’s worth looking them up on the internet just to read them, even if you don’t listen to this. Amazing lyrics from beginning to end.

“I’m partial to your abracadabra”– what the hell does that mean? Every song on this record is weird and good– some of them are just great songs. “Sex and drugs and rock’n’roll” was even a hit, played on pretty mainstream radio. It’s the most accessible. Some of the songs are like dirty, pub sing-a-longs. A lot of the songs are very English, and have regional references, or maybe he’s just a very bizarre person, or both– you don’t know what he’s talking about, but it’s fascinating. “Plaistow Patricia” and “Blackmail Man” are just all out lunatic music.

There’s a book about him, I think, that I’d like to look for. Also, I read about him a bit in Wreckless Eric’s autobiography, “A Dysfunctional Success” which is very good– he helped out Eric quite a bit, and his excellent band backed up Wreckless Eric.

I want to go on an on, but there are a few more Ian Dury alubms I have to write about. None are as good as this one, though. He died a few years back, which is sad. If there is one guy I’d like to hang out with, and you know, Bob Dylan was busy, it’d be Ian Dury.

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