75 Essential Albums – Day #13 Ian Dury – New Boots and Panties

Here goes with day 13 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection.  They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released.  You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions.  Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).

Ian Dury and the Blockheads – New Boots and Panties

New Boots and Panties was the debut Album by Ian Dury and the blockheads and was released at the end of 1977 at the height of the UK’s Punk Rock revolution.  The albums primary appeal is in its lyrics which are clever, anarchic and witty sketches of British life.  The inclusion of several foul mouthed tirades particularly in Plaistow Patricia were clear, and successful, attempts to appeal to the punk fraternity.

Dury’s thick accent local slang and could language probably account for a less than favourable reception in the USA but the album was a huge hit in the UK and across Europe.  Dury’s off-kilter charm and irrepressible energy make the album fun and and the music has a peculiar charm.  Durys charisma and engaging performance style make it easy to overlook the contribution the Blockheads make to this album.

They lay a very solid, charismatic and rhythmic foundation for Dury to build upon.  This is especially evident in ‘Sweet Gene Vincent’ and ‘Wake up and make love to me’.  Check out the funky basslines and tinkling piano on the latter track.  These lay the foundation for Durys cheeky lyrics and allow Durys delivery to come to the forefront. They certainly play a supporting role but it is an essential one which plays to Dury’s strengths.

Dury does have a tendency to slip into shouting on some of the rockier numbers and the structure of the songs is for the most part basic straightforward and to the point. Durys Thick accent and the use of London slang probably meant that the album was always destined to be a cult favourite, especially outside of Britian. That said this album is Dury’s musical legacy – the one record, that above all others, is a testament to his musical achievements. With great tracks like Wake Up and Make Love with Me, Sweet Gene Vincent, Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll, What a Waste and Clever Trevor this album deserves to be listened to and cherished.  It is a great slice of Britains punk rock history.

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