Friday, 31 May 2013

Cassette experiment day 87 - The Dickies 'The Dawn of The Dickies'

There are two words in the English language guaranteed more than any other to trigger elation in the hearts of men (and some women) who are aged between about 40 and 50. And those two words are ‘coloured vinyl’.
And of course one of the finest purveyors of coloured vinyl to those middle-aged men (and women) were The Dickies. And one of the most notable collection of The Dickies 7” singles on coloured vinyl lives here, with me, in my house. And another very similar collection lives with my brother in his house.
When we were both considerably younger than we are now we placed my red vinyl copy of ‘Fan mail’ (one of the many fantastic tunes on our cassette experiment subject today ‘The Dawn of The Dickies’) onto the turntable at home. We got out pens and paper and we played that single over and over again at 33rpm, taking note of the lyrics that just couldn’t be understood when sung full pelt at 45rpm. It took us a while, but eventually we got them all, and, well over thirty years later when I have problems remembering PIN numbers and passwords, I can still remember every last word of 'Fan mail'. I’m pretty sure that my brother can too.
Best known now for their 100mph cover versions (of which there is only actually one, ‘Nights in white satin’, on this album), The Dickies are often seen now as a sort of ‘comedy Ramones’. This may be as a result of their cover of ‘Banana Splits (Tra La La song)’ (on yellow vinyl of course) and it’s really unfair, because The Dickies, while they do have a sense of humour, are much, much more than a comedy band.
Have a listen to ‘The Dawn of The Dickies’ and I’m sure that you’ll be convinced in around 30 minutes that The Dickies have been criminally misunderstood.
With tracks possessing titles such as ‘Where did his eye go?’, ‘Infidel Zombie’ and ‘I’m a Chollo’ you can be assured that this album won’t be particularly intellectually challenging. In many ways that’s the whole point – it’s just an album of pure punk/pop played loud and at breakneck speed. It’s not really meant to be analysed – just enjoyed.
Tracks of particular distinction are the aforementioned ‘Fan mail’, ‘Manny, Moe & Jack’ and the flip-side of the 7” single of ‘Fan mail’, ‘(I’m stuck in a pagoda with) Tricia Toyota’.
Absolute punk brilliance in fun-size little chunks.
Label – A&M Records
Year – 1979

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