IAN DURY & the BLOCKHEADS – “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” / “There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards (Stiff BUY 38) November 1978
Ian Dury & the Blockheads “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” – Possibly Ian Dury‘s most famous record, reaching #1 in Britain and timed just right for the Christmas period when records sold like hot cakes. A fully deserved and justified hit with it’s original sound combined with Dury’s unique spoken vocals. (YPS)
A million diaries rendered redundant in the twinkling of an eye! The Blockhead backlash does not start here. So we all know of the band’s chummy old pals act with the press but no dew-eyed, ‘alright mate?’, wacky lovable off-beat shenanigans can mask the stark truth that this record deserves no less than its full whack of the superlative stick.
It consists of geographical word wrangling over one of Chas Jankel’s finest funk backings, hi-hat sizzling on the beat and the Norman Watt-Roy bass bubbling like the business.
A couple of times it does seem that Dury isn’t too familiar with his own lyric, but all can be forgiven because of the middle break – a bivouac awash with African jazz percussion and cranky sax runs which can tend to overshadow the rest of the single on repeated play.
The ‘B’ side ‘There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards’ is the off-spring of ‘Billericay Dickie’ and ‘England’s Glory’.
On Van Gogh: “He didn’t paint the Mona Lisa, that was an Italian geezer…” (NME)
With progressive listens this single forces first impressions to the back of one’s subconscious. I honestly thought this Dury world tour on vinyl was the nadir of the guy’s output . . . at first. You will too.
Persevere, however, and become hooked on the ball-bustin’ bass riff. Dury’s command of the foreign patois, and the weird sax wailings of a thousand Arabian nights.
Reeks of character, but I still wouldn’t buy the bleeder. I’m off to reflect on the former glories of ‘boots And Panties’. (Record Mirror)