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Decent Chronicle of Clever-Clogs' Output
on 23 August 2007
Godley and Creme were always going to entertain and irritate in varying proportions, depending on who you are. If you're Mr Godley or Mr Creme, every single one of these tracks probably still seems like a cracking idea, worthy of between 3 and 8 minutes of our time. If you're Joe Public, perhaps a sub-group of these tracks will be rather special, and others might have you reaching for the 'skip' button on the CD-player - sorry, iPod.
Speaking as a Joe Public listener, I will always treasure the strangely atmospheric electronic pulse of "Under Your Thumb" - which, curiously, I first heard on the radio just before leaving to wait for a train on a dark, rain-lashed and windswept Banbury station one night in 1981. Spooky, eh? It's a classic ghost story, with the obligatory twist in its tail, set to an (at the time) fresh and novel understated sequenced backing. Curiously, the version on this CD misses the rather nice false ending that the vinyl single had, where the pulsing beat came back for a short reprise after the initial fade.
Follow-up hit "Wedding Bells" is also here, as is 1985's sumptuous, Trevor-Horn-laden "Cry". Both are good songs and not in the slightest bit irritating. "Strange Apparatus", here billed with its subtitle, "An Englishman In New York" is marvellously weird, with subverted Beach Boys harmonies intoning a nightmare vision of the American Dream. I remember buying horrible single "Snack Attack" just to get "Strange Apparatus" on the B-side after Kenny Everett played it on his Capital Radio show. Elsewhere, we get the murky production and satirical kitchen sink drama of "The Power Behind The Throne" - also a splendid and melodic pop song.
Then there are the experimental tracks, designed to push envelopes, think outside boxes and generally noodle around with primitive synths and grotty late-70s samplers. It sounds like the sort of thing my mates used to record in their bedrooms with their Casios and not really my cup of PG Tips nowadays. I've sure Kev 'n' Lol enjoyed making them, though. I can definitely see the fun of in-crowd-baiting "The Party", however, which only just outstays its welcome at 8+ minutes, before throwing up over the carpet and sashaying drunkenly out the door.
Thankfully there was no room on the CD for "Snack Attack". At this low price, however, it's a decent summary of the things that made Godley and Creme special.