SHAM 69 – “You’re A Better Man Than I” / “Give A Dog A Bone” (Polydor POSP 82) October 1979
SHAM 69 “You’re A Better Man Than I” – The follow-up single to the hit single “Hersham Boys” was a puzzling one. This is a straight ahead and faithful cover version of the number made famous in the mid sixties by The Yardbirds.
There’s nothing here to demonstrate that Sham 69 were moving forwards and discovering new ground like many of their contemporaries were doing during 1979. Recycling old sixties classics wasn’t new of course. The Jam had a semi-hit with The Kinks’ “David Watts”.
Perhaps the well was dry and Jimmy Pursey didn’t have anything else strong enough worthy of single material.
The B-side “Give A Dog A Bone” is much more exciting. Fast pace throughout, frantic drum work, a keen and scruffy punk guitar break and of course Pursey spitting out his message in his usual manner. Should have been the top side! (EXPO67)
They’re dead but they won’t lie down, or something like that. From the ‘Hersham Boys’ farewell epic, this is Pursey the Preacher once again, but on an almost folky, certainly quiet and acoustic number.
Never understood why, if Jimbo is sincere as I know he is – it’s more apparent from these lyrics than ever before – he has to affect an American accent. Part of the ‘biz’, I guess – but doesn’t he despise that?
Anyway, something different from Sham, for which much thanks. (Record Mirror, 20/10/79)