Sunday, 3 March 2013

Cassette experiment day 18 - The Flying Pickets 'Lost Boys'

I’m not a great grudge-bearer. I’m happy to forgive most people as long as a suitable length of time has passed.
I do have one admission to make though – I have borne a grudge against The Flying Pickets for much longer than is healthy (it always irked me that they managed to achieve a higher chart position with ‘Only you’ than Yazoo (or Yaz as the Americans know them for some reason) themselves did), so I’ve decided to put this behind me and chose their ‘Lost Boys’ as today’s cassette experiment guinea pig.
The album mainly consists of carefully chosen cover versions with a few originals thrown in too, presumably to keep the royalty payments to an affordable level. All tracks are performed a cappella. In many cases the choices of covers are a little too obvious (‘The tears of a clown’, ‘You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling’, ‘When you’re young and in love’) leaving the whole thing sounding a bit ‘Robson and Jeromey’ in places. Possibly the best cover version on the album is a re-working of The Eurythmics ‘Who’s that girl’ which makes its omission from the album’s credits all the more intriguing and inexplicable.
Nik Kershaw fans may be relieved to know that ‘Wide boy’ pre-dates the different track of the same name by their hero, who once sported one of the finest mullet hairdos of the 1980s (and now doesn’t sport very much at all in that department).
I’m fairly sure that an a cappella/doo-wop version of Psycho Killer sounded ‘interesting’ and ‘ambitious’ on paper. Prepare to listen and wince, particularly at the ‘French bit’. You may or may not remember that I mentioned a while ago that I often use the word ‘interesting’ when what I really mean is ‘not very interesting’. I also tend to use ‘ambitious’ to mean ‘completely over-reaching themselves’ and that’s the context in which it is used here.
Maybe the strangest of all though is the Flying Pickets’ re-imagining (!) of Bob Dylan’s ‘Master’s of War’, which is a song about bearing an extremely serious grudge – and we’re back at the beginning again!
Label – 10
Year - 1984

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