‘The more I listen to ‘Reasons to be cheerful’, the more it sounds like the best kind of national anthem, one capable of inspiring pride in those of us who spend too much time feeling embarrassed by our country’. Not my words, obviously (they’re too poetic to be me for a start), but the words of Nick Hornby, hero of list makers across the globe, from Highbury to Hollywood.
I can see where Nick is coming from as Mr Dury can swell even the least patriotic of chests, although if you’ve read my book, the excellent ‘The Great Cassette Experiment – The Joy Of Cassettes’ (gratuitous link at the foot of this post!) you’ll know that my own colours are very firmly nailed to the mast of The Lilac Time’s ‘Let Our Land Be The One’ alternative national anthem-wise.
Ian’s famously chirpy list song, sees him in typically playful mood. Too often lazily categorised as ‘Punk’ (listen to the sleazy Spyro Gyra Saxophone section here and you’ll soon realise that there was much more to Ian and The Blockheads than that), Ian was really an uncategorisable trailblazer, a musical John the Baptist if you like, without whom much of the quirkier side of the music of the late 1970s and early 1980s would never have found an audience. Unfortunately he may also have paved the way for the awful ‘Toast’ by The Street Band, but you can’t have everything.
‘Reasons to be cheerful pt. 3’ (don’t go looking for pts. 1 and 2, because like the films Oceans 1 to 10, they don’t exist) is, as the title suggests, a list of reasons to be cheerful, and includes, but is not limited to, Buddy Holly, nanny goats, yellow socks, cheddar cheese and pickle, and actor, circus boy and contortionist’s son, Bonar Colleano.
It also features, at one point, a naughty Ian ‘being in his nuddy’, but, luckily, there’s no reference to his ‘rhythm stick’.
Thanks for reading and, don't forget, my Kindle book is still available by clicking on this nifty little link;
The Great Cassette Experiment - The Joy Of Cassettes