Category Archives: hip replacement

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So far, you have missed an extremely drunk video interview with Mr Andrew Weatherall, a not-remotely-drunk Q&A with Piers Sanderson, director of the Blacburn rave documentary High on Hope and a piece on the very finest band you have never heard of, as well as the usual un-informed opinion and foul-mouthed invective.

Please amend your bookmarks, subscriptions and RSS feeds accordingly.

Thank you and goodnight.

Hip Replacement: The Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (ZTT)

OF COURSE, there were a lot better singles in the pop chart but what can you do? Beige will prevail.

A combination of guilt-tripping peer-pressure and a genuine if naïve and perhaps even misguided desire to make some kind of a difference to the world meant that banal, mindless, oblivious conformity won through in the end.

It wasn’t anything to do with music. It was all about marketing, hype and good, old-fashioned bullshit.

How could we have ever thought that it would be any different? It was a foregone conclusion. Shit floats. Always has, always will. And there are an awful lot of dullards and impressionable kids out there. Thinking about it now, it would have been surprising if the crappy charity protest record didn’t get to the top of the Christmas chart.

Then again, who really gives a fuck about the pop chart at any time of the year, up to and including Christmas? This is not the concern of adults. Teenage girls and people who work in the music industry, I can understand. Anyone else, not so much – and this was just as much the case a quarter of a century ago as it was earlier this week.

Twenty-five years ago to the day, Band Aid’s execrable response to the 1984 Ethiopian famine, Do They Know It’s Christmas? was the Christmas number one – even though everyone knew it should really have been The Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

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Hip Replacement: Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis & Psychic .. Powerless .. Another Man’s Sac by the Butthole Surfers (Fundamental)

I KNOW I make it seem effortless, but pulling this shit together isn’t half as easy as it looks, y’know.

Yes, I could easily spend a couple of lazy days on the internet, max out the credit cards, order a mountain of vinyl and probably just about manage to get hold of every dusty old record that I’ve somehow conned myself into believing I need to buy again.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a bottomless bank account, and in any case buying music online doesn’t really float my boat. Compared to the thrills and spills of buying vinyl in the real world it’s a clinical, sanitised, altogether less satisfying experience. Where is the thrill of the chase?

There is no journey, no endeavour, no striving. No fun.

Having said all that, the journey, the endeavour and the striving can become tedious. Especially when you find yourself yet again looking through endless racks of punk, rock, psychedelia and US alternative tunes in search of the elusive category in which that particular shop has chosen to file the resolutely uncategorisable Butthole Surfers.

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.

Hip Replacement: Metal Box by Public Image Ltd (Virgin)


HAVING just bought the 4 Men With Beards reissue of Metal Box from Piccadilly for an eye-watering 36 quid, I’m struck by a fortuitous piece of weird symmetry when I get home from town after the usual interminable endurance test that is the number 86 bus.

I’ve got the volume on the telly turned down and got as far into the album as Careering – which, pressed on thick 180-gram vinyl, still sounds enormous and magnificent and out there – when John Lydon’s Country Life butter ad comes on (part of a deal for which he reputedly earned a cool five million). Sound and vision somehow match up perfectly.

“It’s all about great butter,” boasts the strapline at the end of the ad.

I wonder if Lydon can even remember when it was all about great music?

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.

Hip Replacement: Magic Reggae by Various Artists (K-Tel International)

THIS is where it starts getting tricky. It’s getting on for three decades ago since I first heard this album, so you’re just going to have to bear with me if it all gets a bit sketchy.

Magic Reggae, a collection of music by Island, Creole, Trojan, Gull, WEA and Lightning Records artists put together by the TV advertised compilation behemoth K-Tel, has got ‘hastily purchased birthday present from Auntie Denise’ written all over it.

Well, it hasn’t. This particular copy of Magic Reggae actually has a green and white sticker saying “3.50, exclusive of VAT” on the back.

But it’s precisely the kind of thing my young, clued-up aunt would have bought me for my birthday. You can see her logic: “Our smith3000 likes reggae, that album has got reggae in the title – job done. Now then, where’s the Tia Maria?”

Having said all that, I could easily have bought Magic Reggae myself. I was as happy with compilation albums as I was with the original releases – and unfortunately not many 10-inch dub plates made it from JA to Scunthorpe, so low-cost samplers and compilations came in handy.

Historically, in 1980, the full extent of Thatcher’s psychotic megalomania had yet to become apparent. The exhilarating, inspiring, inclusive 2Tone phenomenom was at its height.

The year before, I’d somehow had a holiday romance with beautiful, sweet, sultry Lynne from Jacksonville, FL who gently showed me the delights of physical love on a moonlit white-sand beach (it was all very From Here To Eternity), but when I got back to the UK I was utterly dismayed to find that I wasn’t the cute, exotic English kid anymore. As far as everyone else was concerned I was the same old speccy, dorky spaz as ever, totally into Star Wars, reggae, comics and skateboarding, totally uncool – and totally unshaggable.

Doing it once and then not doing it again for about two years was probably even harder than not doing it at all. Not a lot I could do about it though. Obviously, I tried. Without any success. Whatsoever.

This was my frustrated, alienated, love-lorn mindset in the summer of 1980 ..

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.

Hip Replacement: Temptation by Heaven 17 (BEF/Virgin)

BREAKFAST television was a new and exciting concept. New kid on the telly block Channel 4 was showing the very creepy and disturbing Minipops. Everyone thought it was simply hilarious when some student asked if he could have a P please Bob on Blockbusters. One pound coins and wheelclamps appeared for the first time. Everything was changing.

It was the year that cruise missiles arrived at Greenham Common, prompting massive CND protest marches. David Niven and John Le Mesurier died. I remember it as a time of great fear and uncertainty. The top selling single of 1983 was Karma Chameleon. Terrifying.

In the aftermath of the Falklands war Margaret Thatcher won 42 per cent of the vote in the June general election, according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, “over Michael Foot, who led a highly-divided and weakened Labour Party which earned only 28 per cent of the vote. Then Thatcher sucked off Hitler.”

Most of the history books omit this last detail. They are wrong. Thatcher sucked off Hitler. Fact. It says so on Wikipedia. That’s good enough for me.

Anyway, I was at sixth form and, although I didn’t know it (I could probably have taken a decent guess, to be honest) I was just about to fail my A levels. I was a bit distracted.

Me and this – by my standards – very posh girl named Nell had a bit of a flirty thing going on in the Wednesday afternoon general studies session and I eventually got the message and asked her out. We got  the college bus from town to my house and then my dad gave us a lift over to a village a few miles down the road where a guy called Hoss was having his 18th birthday party in a church hall.

Rocking a shabby, baggy black Oxfam suit with crepes, little round John Lennon glasses and spiderplant hair, I must’ve looked a right state. Suave. And I probably had a bit of a spring in my step. A lot of the kids at school thought I was a dork – they might have had a point – but I’d not seen some of them since we left. Turning up with this extraordinarily glamorous Laura Ashley blonde was a wonderful thing. Dreadfully superficial I know, but I’m that kind of guy.

I was knocking back the Bailey’s, trying to affect a veneer of rakish sophistication, but the effect was spoiled somewhat by the fact that I ended up spilling a glassful of the thick creamy liqueur all over the crotch of my trousers. Despite some frantic mopping with wet tissue in the toilet, it left a very large and noticeable oily splash stain, like the aftermath of the most premature case of premature ejaculation you’ve ever seen in your life. I can laugh about it now.

The DJ was playing the standard pop fare of the day, which – according to some bloke off the internet – would’ve included stuff like Let’s Dance by Bowie, Is There Something I Should Know by Duran Duran, Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics, Blue Monday by New Order, True by Spandau Ballet, Beat It by Michael Jackson, Speak Like A Child by the Style Council and, for the erection section, Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler.

Classic pop, some might say. Not me. I kinda hated pretty much all of it at the time and with a few obvious exceptions hate it now. But the DJ, I remember very clearly, also played Heaven 17’s big, brassy breakthrough single, Temptation.

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.

Hip Replacement: Charly by the Prodigy (XL Recordings)

E-COMMERCE meant something very different to what it means today.

It’s not like we didn’t have good reason. It seemed like Thatcher had been around forever and she didn’t appear to be in a hurry to relinquish her icy, vice-like grip on the throat of the body politic. We were in recession again, apparently, though I don’t remember noticing the last recession ending. Must’ve missed that bulletin.

Under the circumstances, it really did seem like drugs were the only rational response. Just say Yo!

Read the rest of this piece at the new home of Expletive Undeleted here.