Ian Dury & The Block­heads

New Boots And Panties!! 40th An­niver­sary

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Reissues - everett True

Even now it sounds naughty.

Raz­zle In My Pocket, the cheeky tale of a jazz mag pur­loined from the lo­cal newsagent’s; Bil­ler­icay Dickie, the cheeky tale of a naughty chap who likes to brag about his sex­ual con­quests in the lewdest terms imag­in­able (even now); Plais­tow Pa­tri­cia with its clas­sic open­ing line of ‘Arse­holes, bas­tards, fuck­ing cunts and pricks’ be­ing yelled across ev­ery school­yard in the land that year. Fault­less, flaw­less – al­though with plenty of flaws, and chances taken.

This al­bum is a ri­otous cel­e­bra­tion of East End cul­ture and lad brag­gado­cio, with the odd touch­ingly ten­der mo­ment (‘I come awake with the gift for wom­ankind/You’re still asleep but the gift don’t seem to mind,’ he sings on the jazz-slinky smooth Wake Up And Make Love To

Me, and there’s a shout-out to Dury’s dad on My Old Man). It’s one mutha of a trib­ute to Gene Vin­cent, start­ing off slow and ex­plod­ing into fury and pas­sion.

It’s hard to imag­ine a rock’n’roll fig­ure like Ian Dury top­ping the charts now – his near­est par­al­lel would be more out-there rap­pers (Tyler, Kanye).

His ra­zor-blade ear­ring and du­bi­ous Cock­ney pat­ter were a ma­jor in­flu­ence on Johnny Rot­ten and Mad­ness, two among a myr­iad of mu­si­cians and gen­res. His mu­sic was a breath­tak­ing mish­mash of mu­sic hall, swing, jazz, rock and ne­far­i­ous blues. (His back­ing band The Block­heads fea­tured Chas Jankel and Wilko John­son for Chris­sakes!) And his words… well, there ain’t half been some clever bas­tards.

This reis­sue of the first Dury al­bum comes in a lovely box set – the four discs in­clude the orig­i­nal, a live record­ing, the demos and var­i­ous sun­dries, plus sleeve notes from Phill Jupi­tus – and is pure gold from be­gin­ning to end.

Buy it. Now.

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