Daily Mael 1976

Big Beat

More twenties type crooning and lush woodwind and brass. A laid back arrangement for a very brutal song about the end of a love affair and ripping everything to shreds.

Majestic. I like how the chorus develops throughout the song from being sung fast to a rousing final melody. Features some dependably chuggy guitar and terrific background vocals, especially ‘earned it’ and  ‘city.’

Another version of Confusion. See below.

Extraordinary invention on display here. Love this old fashioned twenties type tune with lots of modern electronic bloops and ‘hey hey!’s. The verse about the stunt man on the film is just perfect: ‘So what did you do today? I fell down the stairs today. For portraying Vivien Leigh they doubled the basic fee.’

Big production. Big trumpets. Big drums. Big strings. Big beats all round. Appears to be a pretty basic message coming through loud and clear, but subverted by the last verse where it becomes apparent that the over insistent claim is a front for a closeted man trying to talk himself into going through with his marriage.

Ooh, controversial. Though Ron himself admits he was politically incorrect before it was even a thing, the temptation to get all moral is pointless as the song is so obviously over the top and not to be taken at face value. Nice rolling rhythm to it and spacy guitar.

Timeless sentiment for the modern age where ‘nothing’s blowin in the wind.’ Again, it feels like it could be fleshed out or beefed up for variety. The change at ‘I’m getting on my nerves’ is welcome, but more chutzpah would be great.

A belter of a tune as the main hook follows the fabulously simplistic guitar line. Love the call and response parts and the way he says ‘specialized cases.’ The feeling of things being slightly askew runs through it.

More Clash riffage. Joe Strummer must have been a big Big Beat fan. This is another solid singalong although you get the feeling there could be more to it if it wasn’t so reliant on guitar and bass.

Clash City Rockers! Amazing pre-dating of The Clash riff. Some sterling nonsense lyrics aside from the main refrain, another catchy earworm. Lightweight but memorable.

Top drums for this great little mover. Fair motors along at a perky pace. Basically, about filling the car up with petrol, as mundane as that may seem. There’s always a little twist though, isn’t there?

The piano’s back! Well, ever so slightly, but just at the right bits, if you know what I mean. Still guitar dominated but a tad more Sparky in its delivery this one, with its meandering vocal and surreal subject matter.

Beatles meets Ramones in a song which Joey Ramone himself was keen to cover but never got round to. A great paean to boredom before boredom became a rallying cry of punk.

Starts like Status Quo, which is funny considering the denim reference in the first line. The 12 bar chug eventually resolves into a no bad wee dittie which redeems its Sparkiness with a clever little hook reminiscent of the old Mockingbird song at the chorus.

Soft rock Sparks do the dirty on the connotations of big boy. ‘We’re bored to tears until he comes and then we’re crying cause he’s come.’ Middle of the road adult oriented fare.





1967 – 1969

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