I once saw Paul Gascoigne play for Middlesbrough reserves (against Sunderland reserves). He was overweight and well past his best, but he was still head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch.
He obviously got a lot of stick from the Sunderland fans, but there wasn’t a single one of them who wouldn’t have given their right arm for a player with a small fraction of Gazza’s footballing ability. Even though his skills were waning, there was still a lot of love (or at least begrudging respect) for the future Kentucky Fried Chicken deliverer.
I thought of Paul when listening to today’s cassette selection, ‘Tighten up Vol. 88’ by Big Audio Dynamite. Mick Jones, a much loved national treasure, unfortunately nowhere near his previous musical glories on this album.
It’s definitely true that many great albums have one ‘ho-hum’ tune, just as many ‘ho-hum’ albums have one great tune. In this case the great tune is the fantastic ‘The Battle of All Saints Road’, described by Mick as ‘Cockney & Western’, I’d be extremely surprised if you don’t grin as widely as I do when the ‘duelling banjos’ section kicks in.
‘Esquerita’ isn’t too bad either, however the closing track on side 1, ‘Champagne’ is just awful (sorry, there’s just no other word for it!).
Oh, and the cover painting (rather too small to be appreciated in tape insert form) is by one Paul Simonon.
Label – CBS
Year - 1988