Ian Dury - New Boots And Panties!! - Review
← 392 album.png 394 →

critics' view

Chock-full of character, the debut solo album from the 35-year-old rock poet arrived in September, 1977, immediately carving for himself a unique place in the musical marketplace. Following the dissolution of his pub-rock outfit Kilburn and the High Roads in '75, Dury hooked up with pianist and guitarist Chaz Jankel, and the pair began writing songs together; Dury writing the lyrics, Jankel creating the music. Fate dealt them a favourable hand whilst recording demos in the studio. There, they were introduced to a ready-made rhythm section, Norman Watt-Roy (bass) Hugh Charles (drums), both of whom had played together for many years as session men, and were looking to get their teeth into a focused project. The synergy from the unit seemed to flow very nicely, almost certainly feeding from the maverick before them, cooking up a strange old stew; punkish, funkish, rock-n-roll-ish with shades of reggae and music hall chucked in for good measure. Stiff Records were rewarded for showing faith where others would not; the record went Top 5 in the UK and they had a popular new artist for their growing roster.

Songs like the album opener, “Wake Up And Make Love With Me”, had given other labels the heebie-jeebies: “I come awake, With a gift for womankind, You're still asleep, But the gift don't seem to mind”. It's sheer lust on 33 - the ribald tone is set! Following this, Dury wastes no time in laying down a sincere love-letter to “Sweet Gene Vincent”. Breaking his own rule, he put it out as a single too - seems he'll do anything for his hero! Another sincere letter is penned on side one, this time for his Dad, via “My Old Man”: “My old man, Seven years went out the window, We met as one to one, Died before we'd done much talking, Relations had begun, All the while we thought about each other, All the best, mate, from your son”. Ian's father, Bill, had died in 1968 in a bedsit just around the corner from where the front-cover photo was taken, outside the long-closed Axfords clothing store, close to Victoria Station. Beside Ian, is his young son, Baxter Dury. It's a very nice touch. Lads all over the country have been revisiting father-son relationships ever since. Delivery wise, it's so easy to hear the influence over Suggs and Madness on that one; Dury's British-vocalisms ride the reggae rhythm as naturally as a pint being consumed in the pub.

In contrast, the attitude-laden one-two finale leaves the album high on adrenaline, beginning with the attention-grabbing opening barb on “Plaistow Patricia”: “Arseholes, bastards, fucking cunts and pricks”. Once he knows you're sitting uncomfortably, the great storyteller begins. Basically, Patricia was a teenage delinquent, took every sort of drug going, fell in with the wrong people, but came good in the end. The band play rock n roll hard n fast on this one, with session man Davey Payne's saxophone setting it all off nicely. Continuing the dark tone, album-closer “Blackmail Man” is as Punk as any '77 Punk, a tirade against some right nasty sounding characters, all of whom seem to come from minority groups in Britain. Least said about the racist lyrics the better; if he wasn't disabled himself he'd've had me worried there.

The Jukebox Rebel external-link.png

A one-man work-in-progress website, aiming for ~10,000 album reviews, ~200,000 track ratings and a whole lotta charts, all from my own collection.
thejukeboxrebel.com external-link.png

Care to share?

(if so, thanks!)

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks and content are the property of their respective owners, and subject to their own copyright terms and conditions. See the website links provided in each case.