IAN DURY & the BLACKHEADS – “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” / “There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards (Stiff BUY 38) November 1978

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)

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