DR FEELGOOD – “Milk And Alcohol” / “Every Kind Of Vice” (United Artists UAG 30184) January 1979

Dr Feelgood “Milk and Alcohol” – is a song by the band Dr. Feelgood, that reached number nine in the UK Singles Chart in 1979. Written by Nick Lowe and Gypie Mayo, and produced by Richard Gottehrer, the song was Dr. Feelgood’s biggest hit and continues to be played by the band.

“Milk and Alcohol”, written in 1978 by Nick Lowe and John “Gypie” Mayo, reportedly retells Lowe’s 1970s experiences drinking one too many Kahlúa-milk drinks at or after a United States concert by bluesman John Lee Hooker.

inspired by John Lee Hooker

However, while the song anonymously criticises Hooker (“Main attraction dead on his feet, Black man rhythm with a white boy beat”), ironically it was inspired by Hooker’s own lyric about “milk, cream and alcohol”.

The song was recorded in 1978 and first appeared on Private Practice, an album by Dr. Feelgood that was released in October 1978. The heavy riffs on “Milk and Alcohol” were added by Mayo, a guitarist who replaced Wilko Johnson in 1978, after Johnson left the band as a result of an argument over the recording of Dr. Feelgood’s fourth album, Sneakin’ Suspicion (1977).

“Milk and Alcohol” was released as a single in January 1979. The vinyl material of the single record was issued in the three colours of black, white and brown, with the white and brown meant to call to mind white milk and brown alcohol. The outline of a Kahlúa bottle appears on the record sleeve.

The background around the bottle on the different record sleeves was varied to match the vinyl colour.

The song reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart in the same month it was released. The track reached number nine in the United Kingdom chart, in part due to the song’s reference to the milk and alcohol drink, and spent nine weeks in the listing.

Capitalizing on the notoriety the song brought, the band presented “Milk and Alcohol” live to audiences around the world in 1979, including in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Russia and the United States. (wiki)

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