Album #393 – New Boots and Panties!!
Ian Dury’s first album, New Boots and Panties!! received it’s title from a list of 20 possible names. The title has to do with Dury’s love of thrift store shopping and, the photo on the front cover also matches up perfectly with the album title. When this album came up on the list, I didn’t know what to expect. The only song by Dury I had heard up to this point was Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, his first successful single with the Blockheads. It is a cheeky, funny and catchy little number. Thankfully, this album provided much of the same. Ironically, only two members of the Blockheads appear on this album with their name taken from the track, Blockhead. Dury is funny and, like many other punk artists I have listened to, explores different genres on this album. Billericay Dickey is a prime example of Dury exploring the “cockney”music that British comedian Bill Bailey so brilliantly parodies in his live shows. Most of the album is filled with angry love songs (Wake Up and Make Love With Me, If I Was With A Woman, Plaistow Patricia) or comments on British society and stupidity (Clevor Trever, Blockheads, Blackmail Man). Dury even has songs about rock n’ roll pioneer Gene Vincent and his dad. As for vocal style, Dury sings with a heavy cockney accent and this adds to the sound. The musicians he pairs himself up with, as with many punk bands, are very good and I’m beginning to realize that punk rock had just as much musicianship as other forms of rock, only more simple and raw. Dury was also a huge influence on Madness, early 80’s ska pop stars, and their lead vocalist, Suggs, who has a very similar voice to Dury. Sadly, he passed away in 2000 but, this album was exciting to listen to and made Dury a unique force in punk rock. This album will be added to my persona collection VERY soon. Who knew that punk was more hilarious and clever that people gave it credit for? Overall, I give New Boots and Panties!!, 5 out of 5.
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