Prince - When Doves Cry

Ace. Not much more I can say about this apart from the fact that it's perfect to sing in a pub/club singer stylee; and other parts can be sung as Eddie Waring ("Dig if you will, a picture"), Hylda Baker ("Animals strike curious poses") and Su Pollard (pretty much the rest of the song).

If that's your bag, that is.

The worst wedding I ever went to (for sundry reasons, which just make me even more depressed than this slightly waspish persona does its best to mask) had Su's masterpiece Starting Together as its opening dance. I'll never get over that night.


And why does nobody say sex thimble any more? 

Because it was/is SHITE, that's why.

Little Ronnie Corbs, 'cuddly' Dudley Moore and His Purpleness all paraded under this tabloid banner and like those curious and horrible juxtapositions I spoke about last time, it's my fate never to escape the Sunday tabloid soubriquets when recalling the horrors of my youth. And I know that there are weirdos out there who will know for sure that "wheelbarrows-of-benefits", unemployed labourer Superdad's real name is/was John Knight.

I SO wish that it was the odd couplet from Sir Philip Sydney's poetry which wedged in my mind.

And where's August 20th's 1978, I pretend to hear you say? Like I told you. Too depressed.

No, not fucking What Is It, Hun?


Ray Parker Jr - Ghostbusters

I was doing a gig the other week and in one particular poem a former lover berates her ex-partner with a series of insults including a reference to their delight in the sweary updated Old Mother Riley shitcom Mrs Brown's Boys. I could sense that for this particular audience I was making a faux pas, and that they thought MBB was in some way good. Similarly, it distresses me that so many otherwise clued-up people like/love Ghostbusters (the film). I took two of my nephews to see the film in '84 and after a few minutes (yes that long) I thought 'This is shit.' Along with "This is just silly", "Action Comedies are by their very nature, shite" (a bit formal for a thought, that one), and "Bill Murray's wants to auto-fellate himself."
I was made up when so many dickheads got upset about the all-female version - their sexism belying the fact that they believed Melissa McCarthy and chums were setting fire to Le Mort d'Arthur or something.
The only thing I can say in favour of Ghostbusters (the film) is at least it's not The Goonies.
Or indeed this dreadful Huey Lewis-rip off title track.

Jesus, I hate this song. 0/10

Tears for Fears - Mother's Talk

Even TFF fans know that this we've-just-woken-up-half- cut, v poor effort 'jam' is crap. My mate listened to the frequently brilliant Tears For Fears debut album The Hurting when he'd found himself plunged into a world of debilitating sadness and depression. I would hear Ideas as Opiates (in particular) seeping out from his closed door but I didn't have the wherewithal or linguistic or emotional tools to help him. That's why today's attitudes are a thousand (well thirty eight) years away from the just cheer up, for Christ's sake/you're supposed to be a man era. 2/10


A record that inverts The Pleasure Principle to such a degree that those who purchased it were actively seeking pain rather than any hedonistic release.
"Are you here for the Rod Stewart gig?" is one of the many distressing, unsolicited questions I've been asked by a hotel receptionist (along with "Are you the gentleman who lost the shoe?*"; "Are you married?**, and "What part of South Africa are you from?"***

*I like the definite article element of this question, and also the fact that (presumably) I resembled the 50% shod gentleman.
**Not even a curveball request for sex.
***Post-apartheid, thankfully


Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It?

I'm not a huge fan of Tina's eighties oeuvre, but this sounded mighty slinky today. When Tina was asked if she were attracted to the handsome Mel Gibson (whilst she was filming Mad Max 3), Tina replied: "He's just a boy." And sort of hissed/growled it out of the side of her mouth so it just poured out as a continuous one word and sounded like WC Fields*. Since then my T. Turner impression largely consists of Fieldsian interpretations of her greatest hits. Curiously, Elton John (in his excellent-ish) autobiography Rocket Man confessed to not liking Tina. It made me like her even more.

*One day - and that day may come very soon - I may be the only person who affects impressions of Denis Healey, Robin Day, (the aforementioned) Hylda Baker and W.C  Fields (or as top 70s comedy trio The Goodies referred to him, Lavatory Meadows). Nobody will understand what I'm talking (plus ça change), and I'll be walking round a post apocalyptic Britain like Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker, bartering for scraps and saying "Ooh Betty!", "Who loves ya, baby?" and "Upon my soul: a cup of coffee!" to a frightened, scavenging population. 6/10



Spandau Ballet - I'll Fly For You

Again, I must have been in a good mood yesterday because this sounded OK - not great or anything, but a bit plaintive, and nowhere near as love me, love me - pleeasse as the really horrible Through The Barricades. 5/10

Hazell Dean - Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)

I love a bit of HNG. It's not as good as Searching, but few things are. Think I did the James Hazeldine gag last time. So I won't this. 7/10 

Miami Sound Machine - Doctor Beat

Ten Doctor puchlines:

10. "What - from here?"

9. "I'm going to open the windows - it stinks in here!"

8. "... and put them on top of mine..."

7. " Ta-da!" (Mainly visual, that one.)

6.  "Right for that, I'm not going to show you the big one."

5. "Wayyyyyy!" (Again, mainly visual.)

4. "You might as well just take these underpants I'm wearing."

3. "He threw pepper in my face!" (1980s)/"He gave me snuff." (1880s)

2. "Never mind the varicose vein; can't you see I love you, goddammit?"

1. "What - with these feet?" 4/10

Elton John - Passengers

On the way to the 1984 Charity Shield, the London bus conductor asked us for our fare. My brother simply sang Elton John's Passengers to him at great length - including the call and respond of Wanna get on? Wanna get on? He wanna get on!

Repeated requests were met with repeat performances of this, one of Elton's non-Taupin hits.

Everyone on the bus turned round to watch and I should have turned as red as the London omnibus.

But I was used to it by then. 1/10

Laura Branigan - Self Control

After the revelation of the positive mental health effects of Gloria, I'm also willing to admit that I was wrong about Self Control.

Or was it self-abuse? One of them, anyway.

A good record. 7/10

Black Lace - Agadoo 0/10

Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better

I asked the MC of my last gig to tell the audience that I'd just appeared as Howard Jones in 'an adult movie biopic' as a throwaway gag. As I took to the stage, the laughter of recognition went on for far too long.

Can't see it myself.

Anyway, HJ - he writes a decent melody, but you wouldn't want his name in patch form on your synthpop denim jacket, that's for sure. 3/10

Stevie Wonder - I Just Called To Say I Love Yout 

Where to start? Received wisdom/collective human consciousness suggests that this THE Pub/Club singer's song par excellence is a cultural disaster on par with Prince Edward's It's a Royal Knockout. This really bothers me for some reason. If I go along with RW, it means that I'm morally and philosophically colluding/collaborating with Jack Black's character in Hi Fidelity - and thus by spurious meta-association, Jack Black.

What a fucking horrible thought. Imagine, after years and years of searching for love, searching for THE ONE, you finally find that love, that THE ONE, and as the wedding approaches you think you couldn't be any happier, so in love, so right with your choice, only to find him, her, they laughing themselves silly at a Jack Black film, and to subsequently find that the Jack Black film is part of your lover's self-curated Jack Black 'marathon' and that they also have a library of DVD, VHS and laser disc copies of Jack Black's entire 'cinematic' output?

Frightening, hey?

And even more* depressing is the idea that the beamed-directly-from-God genius of Stevie Wonder, who in the 1970s, though blind from birth was essentially a one-man height-of-their-powers Beatles for that decade, could end up recording such utter human waste as IJCTSILY.

*Well, close. 0/10

George Michael - Careless Whisper

Ball-aching/ovary crunching song of the week. I've nailed my pro-George leanings to the master on several occasions here, but even after the third or fourth listen back in 84, the pretend preciousness of this song really started to get on my tits.

It's the sort of record that Beverly from Abigail's Party (she of the beige sofa) would find 'sensual', and it steals the opening sax solo from Being With You. 2/10

Final Thoughts

A really horrible chart.

Gambaccini  - 0/10

Programme as a Whole - 2/10

Worst: Stevie; Black Lace; Rod; Ghostbusters

Best: Prince