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Desperate Character Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

Price: £6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 11 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Union Square Music Limited
  • ASIN: B008YE9DQQ
  • Other Editions: Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,276 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Clock Goes Round
  2. See That Girl
  3. There's A Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis
  4. Teenager In Love
  5. Mexican Sofa
  6. Until The Night
  7. Falling For Faces
  8. Just One Look
  9. The Real Ripper
  10. Hard To Believe
  11. He Thinks I Still Care
  12. There's A Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis (Country Version)

Product Description

Product Description

Kirsty s 1981 debut album finally takes its CD bow. Full of charm, humour and her quirky ear for what makes a great pop song, there s a diversity and eclecticism at work here that brings together the cheeky pop of the Top 20 hit .... Chip Shop..., the swing jazz of The Real Ripper, the kinky reggae of the Hollies Just One Look, the feisty new wave energy of Clock Goes Round and the faux-country cover of George Jones' He Thinks I Still Care. Perhaps what makes Desperate Character still sound so vibrant though are the sweeping, sumptuous 60s recreations of See That Girl, Until The Night and Hard To Believe. Kirsty takes the songs beyond parody, particularly See That Girl, one of the best songs she ever wrote. She also tackles, tongue in cheek, a Shangri-La's style Teenager In Love, but this a long way removed from Frankie Lymon's paean; here Kirsty is nursing a tequila and mourning a lost love as she sings in character of a 'lonely, alcoholic teenager in love!' Ahead lay more hit singles and acclaimed albums such as Kite, Electric Landlady and Titanic Days; a permanent voice on Christmas airwaves thanks to that enduring Fairytale of New York; parenthood and a glittering second career as as a session singer for the likes of U2, the Smiths and Talking Heads. But for many, the first appreciation of this special singer/songwriter came courtesy of Desperate Character and this release provides an opportunity to refresh memories and make fresh introductions to the one and only Kirsty MacColl.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Long forgotten by most casual listeners and long traded on scratchy too fast/too slow mp3 among fans like contraband, Kirsty MacColl's debut has been out of print in its original ordering for a good thirty-one years now. One reason for the apathy this album has been shown could be the fact that if you take this album out of the equation Kirsty's transition from '79's 'They Don't Know' to '83's 'Terry' is seamless, so what variety could be missing? 'Desperate Character' actually serves as a strange and unpredictable blip between Kirsty's stints with Stiff.
Unlike later works, this album is almost inconsistent due to Kirsty 'trying on' numerous vocal styles but not necessarily in a negative way. The defining word would be 'pub rock' but that term callously glosses over the mock-reggae cover of 'Just One Look', the sleazy, boozy horn sections of 'Teenager In Love' and 'The Real Ripper', the infectious Joe Jackson-style new-wave slam of 'Falling For Faces' and, of course, those beloved 60's girl-group harmonies scattered liberally throughout.
'Desperate Character' features some wonderful moments of pure-pop Stiff Records-style with iconic rockabilly rave 'There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop...' but also includes lost single and instant classic 'See That Girl'; a real shining moment in Kirsty's earliest work with a savvy lyric, angelic harmonies in spades and a piano that just keeps on spiralling. Cap this with the high notes of 'Hard To Believe', another throwback that's so good Polydor slapped it onto the backside of 'Chip Shop' as a bonus b-side.
There's even more highlights with 'Until The Night' which screams 80's saxophone, but is also incredibly sweet and nostalgic; I can't decide whether the lyric could have been Brian Wilson's or Tom Waits' at 'Closing Time'(!
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I feel this album is possibly one of the most shockingly under publicised records ever, and I say this as an 18 year old who only discovered 'Desperate Character' about a month ago. Firstly, as ever, Kirsty's voice is absolutely perfect and so pleasant to listen to, but also highly distinctive and not containing all the vocal tricks that many singers use, giving her voice a very honest tone. Her harmonies on 'Desperate Character' are superbly crafted and allow her voice to become an instrument with the backing track, something that is not at all easy to achieve. This is most evident on my favourite track of the album, 'Teenager in Love', which cleverly combines a sort of lilting "Hawaiian" feel with the lyrical themes of the Shangri-Las but in a more witty manner. Throughout the album, the instrumentation is very well produced and Kirsty makes excellent use of the trumpet. I feel like 'Desperate Character' is the perfect introduction to her music. 'Mexican Sofa' alludes to the Latin influences more prevalent in the album 'Tropical Brainstorm', whilst 'Chip Shop' adopts the country and western theme that later re-appears in 1989's 'Don't Come the Cowboy with me Sonny Jim'. Aside from the aforementioned 'Teenager in Love', my personal highlights include 'Clock Goes Round', 'Falling For Faces', 'Just One Look' and 'Real Ripper'.
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Though Desperate Character is not Kirsty MacColl's best album (Kite), there are still some cracking songs on here including the single Guy Works Down The Chipshop. Harking back to the 60s, songs like He Thinks I Don't Care are frivilous fun but they are effective and witty. Unavaialble for years, it is great to see this re-released at last.
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Format: Audio CD
A great lost album now avalaible for the first time on cd. I discover Kirsty in the 90's and I bought every cds available at that time. This cd Desperate Character is a real surprise full of charms, it is as fresh has the day it was release, I love it , do not miss this great cd.

Gaétan Ayotte
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Great finally to have this album on CD - and go back down the chip shop with the new England girl.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
sadly missed Kirsty. Cd full of a mix of styles. needs at least a couple of listeans to really appreciate
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