Not had any Prefabs here for far too long. Pardon the pun but this song makes me swoon.
This record is 18 years old now (18!), but it still makes me stop what I’m doing and listen to it, hypnotized, all the way through.
Bonus: Fell down an EBTG hole on YouTube after watching the above and thought this was too good not to post too.
With Britain being wrecked by two old Etonians this song is now more documentary than allegory.
Haven’t watched any live Jam videos for a long time and it was a pleasure to be reminded how bloody great they were. I made the right choice of favourite band when I was a teenager.
I don’t know why Van Morrison is such an old misery guts who never smiles. If I made records as great as this I’d be grinning like an idiot all the time.
If you weren’t around when the late, and very great Muhammad Ali was in his pomp in the 60s and 70s you probably can’t imagine how famous and iconic he was, especially for a boxer. I mean, who the fuck even knows who the heavyweight champion is these days?
But everyone knew who Ali was, for a while he was the most famous man in the world and probably deserved to be. Not just for his incredible float-like-a-butterfly boxing talent, it was also his outsize personality, his gift of the gab (he turned trash talking into poetry), his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War (which cost him several of his prime fighting years), and as a symbol of black pride as potent as Martin Luther King or James Brown. He was as dazzling outside the ring as he was in it.
Us kids knew nothing about Vietnam, Islam, or Black Power, we just thought of him like he was a superhero. When he fought Joe Frazier in 1971 everyone in my school wanted Ali to win and I got into a playground fight with another kid because I said I wanted Frazier. Not that I was some huge Joe Frazier fan or even knew anything about boxing, I was just being a contrarian prick by going against popular choice. I still do that.
Even though I was right — Frazier won — being against Ali now feels like being anti-life, and joy, and even history — because of course he came back and beat Frazier in their next two fights.
Download: The Greatest – Cat Power (mp3)
Tighter trousers: Barry Gibb or Russell Thompkins, Jr?
Joking aside, this is utterly sublime and every home should own a copy of The Stylistics’ classic debut album.
Fuck it. I can’t even.
Download: Money Don’t Matter 2 Night – Prince & The New Power Generation (mp3)
This year is really taking the piss. I swear the death of Victoria Wood has upset me almost as much as Bowie did. She was one of the greatest comedy talents Britain has ever produced, but on a personal level she means a lot to me because my mother loved her and I have many happy memories of watching her TV shows with her. My mother could quote Victoria Wood lines the way I could with Monty Python in my teens, so I’m sad for more than just the loss of a great comedy writer and performer.
Though Wood made her name in the 1980s she existed outside of the London-centric, politically-edgy “Alternative” comedy crowd and created her own brilliant comedy universe. She was never as fashionable as them and, even though her humour could be cruelly accurate and cutting, she had a Northern working class warmth that made her less hip, but she was funnier and for longer.
She was also an influence on Morrissey, especially this song she wrote in 1978 which inspired parts of Rusholme Ruffians, and her “they didn’t know what drugs were” line in the intro may also sound familiar.
Download: Fourteen Again – Victoria Wood (mp3)