Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Cassette experiment day 101 - Bob Geldof 'The Vegetarians of Love'

Swearing. Blaspheming. Cussing.
It’s not big and it’s not f*****g clever. (sorry Mam – those asterisks are for you!)
Until ‘punk happened’ swearing and recorded music were only occasional bedfellows. Then some punk records started to cause cracks to appear in the appropriately named dam, and, subsequently, rap and hip-hop flooded the whole damn valley.
Long before there were Parental Guidance stickers to warn the unwary I took delivery (in 1978 from my Mam’s Grattan’s catalogue) of my first ever record to include a swearword. The record was The Boomtown Rats’ LP ‘Tonic for the troops’ and the word, which seems incredibly tame in 2013, was ‘bugger’.
I started to worry that my Mam and Dad would realise that I owned this deeply offensive disc, so I made sure that I only ever listened to it via a pair of very big 1970s headphones. Not long afterwards I bought ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’, which I stored with the spine facing inwards so that anyone glancing through my LP collection wouldn’t spot the brutally shocking punk classic.
Actually my family has a history of this type of behaviour, as my Grandad had once threatened to throw my Dad out of the house when he returned home one day with a copy of ‘Nut Rocker’ by B. Bumble and The Stingers, objecting to the bastardisation (sorry again, Mam) of one of Tchaikovsky’s finest.
Which all brings me, rather belatedly, to our cassette of the day, ‘The vegetarians of love’, by that old potty-mouth himself, Bob Geldof.
It’s a fairly mixed affair to be honest, mainly due to the fact that Bob doesn’t seem able to decide if he wants to be The Waterboys, Bob Dylan or, strangely enough, Dire Straits. On occasions he tries to be all three at the same time, with varying results.
The album takes one or two Bob Dylanish tunes to get going, but when it finally does, on track 3 ‘The great song of indifference’ it does so with a massive helping of aplomb and quite a bit of gusto. It’s a list song (and you know how much I love a list song!) in which Sir Bob sets to a very lively jig all the things that he can’t be arsed about. Not only is it very lively, but it plays brilliantly to Bob’s grumpy strengths.
Other tunes worth hearing (and there are quite a few despite the stylistic mish-mash) include the wonderful ‘A rose at night’ and the beautifully drawled ‘No small wonder’, which has more than a hint of Dire Straits’ ‘Private investigations’ but survives the comparison no worse for wear.
Of course Bob finds it difficult to avoid the ‘F word’ for which he became world famous in 1985, so he drops it into ‘Crucified me’ a couple of times for good measure.
Note also how the normally crotchety Bob has to have a smile superimposed on the cover picture. The grouchy bugger.
Label – Mercury
Year – 1990

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