New Boots and Panties CD
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It’s a wonderful irony that the two lyricists who most embodied punk’s libertarian role in helping banish the last vestiges of straight-laced Victorian values in the mid-70s were the two who most resembled a Dickensian nightmare. Johnny Rotten and Ian Dury both sought release from a social system designed to keep working class oiks like them in their place, and although one approached the task through head-on confrontation and the other with art school nuance, the message was the same: Think For Yourself.
After hundreds of pub gigs as Kilburn & The High Roads, Dury went solo in 1975, writing New Boots and Panties!! over the following year with young and precocious multi-instrumentalist jazzer Chaz Jankel, recording it on the fly with session rhythm section Norman Watt-Roy (bass) and Charley Charles (drums), soon to be the core of The Blockheads. With major record companies running scared of the graphic lyrical content, independent label Stiff licensed it and stepped into a storm around Dury’s misunderstood signature single Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, which duly had him banned from BBC radio. Absent from the album’s earliest pressings, Sex & Drugs… was misconstrued as a celebration of debauchery and hedonism when it was actually a call for people to question their daily grind.
It was far from a lone jewel. Sweet Gene Vincent is a blast of rockabilly hero worship for a kindred spirit, felt by Dury not least because of their common disability – Dury’s leg wasted through childhood polio, the Virginia Whisperer’s through a drunken motorbike crash. Lustful opener Wake Up and Make Love With Me sets out Watt-Roy and Charles’s stall as the pub rock JBs; the squalid Billericay Dickie shows that TOWIE has no new light to shed on Essex ways; Clever Trevor and Plaistow Patricia (with its child-unfriendly opening gambit of "A***holes, bastards, f***ing c***s and p****s") were down-at-heel characters straight out of an imagined modern Dickens novel.
Dury’s work quickly mellowed (well, relatively), but the combination of cheeky ire, libertarianism and jazzed-up music hall punk on New Boots… was defiant, original and, 35 years later, stands as a mighty missing link between The Kinks and Blur.
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Top Customer Reviews
'New boots and panties' was one of those post punk albums, like The Stranglers 'IV Rattus Novegicus' and The Jam's 'This is the modern world' which slipped out of the new wave without fanfare or celebration.
Sporting a front cover which showed Ian outside an Army & Navy emporium looking 'well hard' and posing alongside a passing scally waif, NB&P was the absolute anthisis of the pomp and ceremony of the Led Zeppelin-esque albums which clogged the album charts.
Fortunately,word of mouth meant that the album garnered a new legion of Dury admirers,going on to sell 500.000 in the UK and a million world wide.
Using a unique blend of vaudeville,funk,R & R, pub rock,cockney rhyming, humour and some spicy lyrics complete with obscenities...'Plaistow Patricia' is not a track to play in polite company !...NB&P rips along like a joy rider down Peckham High street !
The Blockheads display superb musicianship and are such a tight funky unit that it must have been a joy to provide the vocals.
Conjuring up now legendary characters, 'Billericcy Dickie'..'Clevor Trevor', the aforementioned 'PP' and the dirty old tom 'Nina'.. Dury paints a vivid picture of street life 'darn sarff !
Great stuff !
The Blockheads were a fine band with great musical compositions nicely set off by the slightly loony Ian Dury with his bawdy lyrics of life and loves in London and the South East. Billericay Dickie is a personal favourite of mine.
The DVD is taken from the excellent BBC concert series "Sight and Sound" which was broadcast simultaneously with Radio 2 (in the days before stereo TV for those of us old enough to remember). This was one of the Blockheads finest live concerts and well worth a listen although only 30 minutes / 7 songs in length.
I'm well pleased with this 2 disc set.
He was the mouthy geezer always dropping wise-cracks and double-entendres, though as this was the 1970's rather than the 1870's the entendres tended to be more of the single variety. First with Kilburn and the High Roads and then with the Blockheads he ploughed his furrow (oo-er!) until a link-up with Stiff Records suddenly made him fashionable. This was his breakthrough album and despite its rather flat production fully deserves its continued status as his best.
I'm not a fan of the rather forced sentimentality of 'My Old Man' and 'If I Was With A Woman' gets right on my 'ampton but the rest are great. From the lustful good-humour of 'Wake Up' and 'Abracadabra', the touching hero-worship of 'Sweet Gene Vincent' and the music-hall bawdiness of 'Billericay Dickie' the music veers from funk to rock 'n' roll and back again before the final punky blast of the last three tracks; the very funny 'Blockheads', the very sweary 'Plaistow Patricia' and the very nasty 'Blackmail Man'. The Blockheads were mostly made up of session-musicians who suddenly found a chance to break into the mainstream and they responded with real enthusiasm and no little skill.
There are five bonus-tracks on my copy which, for once, are worth the trouble. The singles `Sex And Drugs etc' and `What A Waste`; and some B-sides, a tale of teenage thievery `Razzle In My Pocket', the saucy `You're More Than Fair' and the raucous `England's Glory'.
It's a shame about the production because they were a great live act and this album doesn't quite do them full justice - but still a worthy memorial to a true individual talent (must see that film!).
There are many versions of New Boots available on CD. I took this one for the demos & they are an interesting addition; CD 1 has the original album plus the singles while all of the demos are on the second disc. The demos show that the arrangements were all in place before the real recordings were made. The Blockheads were an amazing band & New Boots shows that their backing was always sympathetic to the song; never getting in the way of the lyrics but adding a real groove.
UK released/reissued March 2015 in a Hardback Book form – "New Boots And Panties!! Deluxe 2CD Edition" by IAN DURY on Edsel EDSK 7080 (Barcode 740155708030) breaks down as follows:
Disc 1 (50:06 minutes):
1. Wake Up And Make Love With Me
2. Sweet Gene Vincent
3. I’m Partial To Your Abracadabra
4. My Old Man
5. Billericay Dickie
6. Clever Trevor [Side 2]
7. If I Was A Woman
9. Plaistow Patricia
10. Blackmail Man
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "New Boots And Panties!!" by IAN DURY – released 30 September 1977 in the UK on Stiff Records SEEZ 4. The 11-song American LP on Stiff STF 0002 was released in 1978 with "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" tagged on as an extra - Track 1 on Side 2.
11. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
12. Razzle In The My Pocket
13. You’re More Than Fair
14. England’s Glory [Live]
Tracks 11 and 12 are the A&B-sides of a non-album UK 7" single released August 1977 on Stiff Records BUY 17.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good album. Only a couple of songs I wasn't too bothered about.Published 8 months ago by Miss P Holmes