|New Boots And Panties!! (Sept. 30th, 1977) Reissue 1995|
Ian Dury — New Boots And Panties!! (Sept. 30th, 1977) Reissue 1995
ζ Stiff. Saucy! Before teaming up with backing band The Blockheads, pub rock king Ian Dury put out this — a quintessentially English look at everyday British life.
ζ Contemporary reviews have similarly praised the album. Allmusic said:
ζ “Ian Dury's primary appeal lies in his lyrics, which are remarkably clever sketches of British life delivered with a wry wit. Since Dury's accent is thick and his language dense with local slang, much of these pleasures aren't discernible to casual listeners, leaving the music to stand on its own merits. On his debut album, New Boots and Panties!!, Dury's music is at its best, and even that is a bizarrely uneven fusion of pub rock, punk rock, and disco. ζ Still, Dury's off–kilter charm and irrepressible energy make the album gel.”
Birth name: Ian Robins Dury
Born: 12 May 1942, Harrow, Middlesex, England, UK
Died: 27 March 2000, Upminster, London, England, UK
Album release: 30 September 1977
Record Label: Stiff Records (SEEZ4), Disky
01. Wake Up And Make Love With Me 4:23
02. Sweet Gene Vincent 3:36
03. I'm Partial To Your Abracadabra 3:13
04. My Old Man (Dury, Steve Nugent) 3:40
05. Billericay Dickey (Dury, Nugent) 4:17
06. Clever Trevor 4:54
07. If I Was With A Woman 3:24
08. Blockheads 3:30
09. Plaistow Patricia (Dury, Nugent) 4:13
10. Blackmail Man (Dury, Nugent) 2:14
ζ• All tracks composed by Ian Dury and Chaz Jankel except where noted.
ζ• Producer: Peter Jenner, Laurie Latham, Rick Walton
ζ Ian Dury — vocals
ζ Chaz Jankel — guitars, keyboards
ζ Norman Watt–Roy — bass
ζ Charley Charles — drums
ζ Davey Payne — saxophones
ζ Edward Speight — ballad guitar
ζ Geoff Castle — Moog synthesizer
ζ Chris Gabrin — photography
ζ Barney Bubbles — brush lettering
Personnel on "You're More Than Fair", "England's Glory" and "I Made Mary Cry" (performed by Ian and the Kilburns):
ζ Ian Dury — vocals
ζ Giorgi Dionsiev — bass
ζ John "Irish" Earle — saxophone
ζ Malcolm Mortimer — drums
ζ Ed Speight — guitar
ζ Roger Dopson Liner Notes
ζ Russell Hardy Composer
ζ Rod Melvin Composer
ζ Stephen Nugent Composer
ζ Rick Walton Unknown Contributor Role
ζ Peter Jenner Unknown Contributor Role
ζ Laurie Latham Unknown Contributor Role
ζ• 1978 New Boots And Panties!!! The Billboard 200 #168
ROBERT CHRISTGAU, SCORE: A–
Ian Dury: New Boots and Panties!! [Stiff, 1978]
ζ Dury is a pub rock survivor, as tough and homely as a dandelion, as English as music halls, billingsgate, and Gene Vincent. The tenacious wit and accuracy of his lyrics betray how uncommon he believes his blockheaded protagonists really are, and his music rocks out in the traditional blues–based grooves without kissing the past's ass. Tender, furious, sexy, eccentric, surprising. A–
ζ The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 201–300 / N°: #240
ζ• New Boots and Panties!! is the debut album by Ian Dury, released in the UK on Stiff Records on 30 September 1977. Usually thought of as the first album by Ian Dury and the Blockheads (his backing band from 1977 to 1982), the album is credited solely to Dury as the Blockheads were not officially formed until Stiff's 'Live Stiffs' package tour the month after its release, and two members of the Blockheads do not play on the album. Although it is often cited as one of the first classic UK punk albums, the record covers a diverse range of musical styles reflecting Dury's influences and background in pub rock, taking in funk, disco, British music hall and early rock and roll, courtesy of Dury's musical hero Gene Vincent. Dury's lyrics also eschew the anti–establishment stance associated with punk music, preferring cheeky love songs or character stories based on the working–class people of the East End and Essex Estuary areas where he grew up. The songs are frequently ribald and profane, but also contain humour and affection for his characters.
ζ• Widely considered to be the best album of Ian Dury's career, it is also his biggest selling, having been certified platinum status in the UK for 300,000 sales, in June 1979. Sales of the album during the first few months after its release were modest, and the album's only single, "Sweet Gene Vincent", failed to chart. However, the success of the next three Ian Dury and the Blockheads singles, "What a Waste", "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick" and "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3", all of which reached the top ten of the UK Singles Chart, kept the album in the spotlight and ensured consistent sales over the next two years. New Boots and Panties!! was among the UK's top 30 best selling albums of both 1978 and 1979, and eventually peaked at number 5 in the UK Albums Chart in February 1979, some 17 months after its release, in the wake of "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick"'s chart–topping success.
ζ• The album's title derives from Dury's habit of buying clothes second hand, and refers to the only items of clothing he insisted on buying new. According to Ian Dury & the Blockheads: Song By Song, the name was chosen by Dury from a list of twenty potential titles drawn up by compere Kosmo Vinyl.
ζ• Much of the album was written by Dury, nearly a year before its release, at Oval Mansions (the top floor flat at 40, Oval Mansions, Kennington, which he shared with Denise Roudette, and which he nicknamed 'Catshit Mansions') and was the fruit of Dury's successful writing partnership with Chas Jankel. Some of the tracks that could be considered to be the most 'English' were actually co–written with American Steve Nugent. Jankel was later given a third writing credit for these songs ("Billericay Dickie", "Plaistow Patricia", "My Old Man" and "Blackmail Man") on the album's original press and some subsequent compilations; however, over the years this credit has been gradually phased out and the current Edsel Records re–issue of the album credits all four tracks to 'Dury/Nugent' solely.
ζ• Dury and Jankel recorded demo tapes of many of the songs in April 1977, joined in the session by Nugent, at Alvic Studios, Wimbledon (run by two musicians, Al James and Vic Sweeney). Jankel played the bass, guitar and piano parts, while Dury sang and played drums. These recordings have since been included as part of Edsel's current re–issue of the album. The studio engineer at Alvic told Dury about a rhythm section who were acting as session musicians to earn extra money; bassist Norman Watt–Roy and drummer Hugh "Charley" Charles. As well as playing on New Boots and Panties!! the two would become key members of the Blockheads.
ζ• According to the account of Wreckless Eric (aka Eric Goulden), the song "Sweet Gene Vincent" was composed on 1 December 1976, the same day as the Sex Pistols' infamous appearance on the Today show hosted by Bill Grundy. In Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll: The Life Of Ian Dury Eric describes being invited round to Dury's flat that day, only to interrupt Dury and Jankel working on a new song. When Eric asked what the song was called, Dury replied that it was named "Sweet Gene Vincent".
ζ• A week after the demos were finished the final album was recorded in the Workhouse Studio on the Old Kent Road. Dury's management company Blackhill — who would also manage the Clash — owned a 50 percent share in the studio (along with the group Manfred Mann), and put up the £4,000 to pay for the group to record the album in 'dead time' (that is, when the studio was empty — usually late at night).
ζ• The album was produced by Peter Jenner, Laurie Latham, and Rick Walton. Jenner was one of the two partners in Blackhill Management, and had been producing since the late 1960s, having worked with Kevin Ayers and David Bedford among others. Although Jenner was the experienced producer at The Workhouse, in practice he left most of the production for New Boots and Panties!! to his young protégée Latham, who had joined the studio four years previously and who also engineered the album, with Walton carrying out production duties on those occasions when Latham was unavailable. Latham later recalled that Jenner's technical input on the album had been minimal, and that he had more of an overseeing role:
ζ• “Peter would sit there rolling joints all day and I'd do all the bloody work, but in fairness I also have to say that he taught me an awful lot. He wasn't particularly hands–on, but he would always say things like, 'Laurie, are you sure the bass drum's loud enough? Maybe you should nudge it a bit.' It was always the bass drum or the bass, and if you think about it, the rhythm section is what really defines that record... I think [Peter] was really undervalued in the end. He recognised that the bass drum and bass were potent, very integral ingredients of the overall sound — the idiosyncratic, mad Cockney–type thing on top of this quite slick, funky sort of rhythm section. And he was also very good at making sure that Ian was on the ball in terms of his vocals.”
ζ• Davey Payne and Ed Speight of Dury's old band Kilburn and the High Roads were invited to fill out the sound of the album. Payne, who played saxophone, would stay with Dury for much of the rest of his career. Geoff Castle, who played Moog synthesizer on "Wake Up And Make Love With Me" and "Blockheads", was actually a friend of Speight's who was asked in to help out. During these sessions a chance remark by Charley Charles would later give the name of the Blockheads to the band; while reading the words to the song "Blockheads", the name stuck after the Stiff tour; exactly how is the source of some disagreement.
ζ Ian Dury was a rock and roll vagabond with the wit and intelligence of Noël Coward and Oscar Wilde. His verbal dexterity as an entertainer and a lyric writer gave the world some of its most famous phrases — ‘sex and drugs and rock and roll’ and ‘reasons to be cheerful’. He was a true Renaissance man — a talented painter, musician and actor who left behind a body of work that continues to amuse, impress and delight to this day.
ζ Ian Robins Dury was born in Harrow, West London on 12th May, 1942. His mother, Peggy Dury, was a health visitor and his father, Bill, was a bus driver and chauffer. His parents separated after the end of the Second World War and Ian and his mother relocated to Cranham in Essex to live with Peggy’s two sisters Elisabeth and Molly, and Ian’s cousins Martin and Lucy.
ζ The roots of Ian’s creativity can be traced back to the cultural wastelands of post–war Essex and the various schools he attended in the 1950s. After contracting polio in 1949, at seven years old, Ian was confined to Braintree Hospital in Braintree for eighteen months before attending Chailey Heritage Craft School for disabled children from 1951 until 1954, followed by the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. The schools proved tough going for Ian. Chailey let the children fend for themselves in spite of their varied disabilities, and physical and mental hardships were not uncommon. The Grammar School was also a challenge and its academic private school traditions provoked Ian’s rebellious character. He sought to sublimate the rigours of school life, and gain respect, by expressing himself through drawing and music, becoming an authority on reproducing images of glamour girls and knowing all the latest record releases. The wild rock and roll sounds of Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps became the backdrop of his teenage years.
ζ On leaving school at 16, Ian chose to attend art school, gaining a place at Walthamstow School of Art in 1959, where a love of jazz and a taste for cockney rhyming slang helped him sail through his studies. He met painter Peter Blake, who came to teach at Walthamstow in 1961, and found his spiritual home amongst a talented set of music loving artists. Many of Ian’s Walthamstow peers, like him, were accepted onto MA courses at the Royal College of Art and in 1963 he began three years of study that led onto work as an illustrator and art teacher.The death of Gene Vincent in 1971 inspired Ian to form his first band, Kilburn and the High Roads. He became the vocalist and lyricist, co–writing with piano player Russell Hardy. A year later Ian enrolled into the group a number of the students he was teaching at Canterbury School of Art, including guitarist Keith Lucas and bassist Humphrey Ocean. The Kilburns, as they were affectionately known, found favour on London’s Pub Rock circuit and signed to Dawn Records in 1974, but despite acres of favourable press coverage, an album — Handsome — and a tour opening for The Who, the group never rose above cult status.
ζ In 1975 the Kilburns disbanded and Ian kept his head down for the next year, writing new material and considering his options. A chance encounter in a musical instrument hire shop with former Byzantium guitarist Chaz Jankel led to a new songwriting partnership. Jankel, armed with reams of Dury’s lyrics, fashioned a number of songs, including the classic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. Jankel’s treatment of this material was precisely what Ian had been searching for and soon they were recording, assisted by drummer Charley Charles, bassist Norman Watt-Roy and the former Kilburns saxophonist Davey Payne.
ζ An album was completed, but major record labels passed on Ian Dury, whom they may have seen as a Pub Rock no–hoper. However, next door to Ian’s manager’s office was the newly formed Stiff Records, a perfect home for his oddball genius. The now legendary single Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll / Razzle in My Pocket marked his Stiff debut and this was swiftly followed by the album New Boots and Panties!! that eventually achieved platinum status.
ζ In October 1977, Ian signed up for the Stiff Live Stiffs Tour, alongside Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric and Larry Wallis. Ian’s new band, now augmented by guitarist Johnny Turnbull and keyboard player Mickey Gallagher, was christened Ian Dury and the Blockheads and the group became the surprise hit of the tour. To capitalise on this, Stiff Records launched a concerted Ian Dury marketing campaign, resulting, in the Spring of 1978, in the Top Ten hit What a Waste. New Boots and Panties!! continued to sell in greater quantities and in November that year, Ian released the irrepressible Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick, which became a UK Number One hit in January 1979. Dury was now a bona fide pop star and, with the Blockheads, toured to great acclaim.
ζ While New Boots and Panties!! headed towards its remarkable 90 week chart run, the group commenced work on the follow up album, entitled Do It Yourself. Another Top Ten single, Reasons to Be Cheerful (Part Three), kept Dury in the public eye during this arduous period of recording. The album was eventually released in June 1979 in a Barney Bubbles–designed sleeve of which there were over thirty variations, all based on samples from the Crown wallpaper catalogue. In 1980 Chaz Jankel departed the Blockheads to concentrate on a solo career, signing with A&M Records. ζ Chaz was replaced by former Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, who further enlivened the group’s stage act and contributed to the next album, Laughter, and its two minor hit singles — I Want to Be Straight and Sueperman’s Big Sister.
ζ In 1981 Ian Dury and the Blockheads disbanded, Ian quit Stiff and signed instead to Polydor, who released the album Lord Upminster. This included the controversial single Spasticus (Autisticus). For this record, Dury was re–united with Chaz and they recorded in the Bahamas with the legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. A second Polydor album, 4000 Weeks Holiday was released in 1984 and it was toured with a new band, Ian Dury and the Music Students.
ζ In the mid–eighties Ian scaled down his musical output to concentrate on film and stage work. His theatrical CV includes films such as Roman Polanski’s Pirates, Bob Hoskins’ The Raggedy Rawney and Hearts of Fire with Bob Dylan, plus a voice–over for the fondly remembered Toshiba TV commercial, ‘Hello Tosh — got a Toshiba?’ He also acted in the stage plays Road and Talk of the Devil and wrote songs with Chaz and Mickey for Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money and his own stage musical, Apples, produced by the Royal Court Theatre in 1989.
ζ In 1990, Blockheads drummer Charley Charles became ill with cancer and the group decided to help with a series of benefit concerts but sadly Charley did not live to see these shows. The re–united Blockheads, with new drummer Steve Monti, produced the live album Warts ‘n’ Audience, released on Demon Records. Throughout the early nineties, the group played gigs on a regular basis, often in mainland Europe. A second album for Demon, The Bus Driver’s Prayer & Other Stories, was released in 1992.
ζ In late 1995 Ian returned from filming in America feeling unwell and in 1996 he was treated for colorectal cancer, undergoing surgery and making a good recovery. He and the Blockheads began work on material for a new album and Ian became involved with UNICEF, accompanying the organisation to Zambia to witness an immunization programme. Ian’s work rate didn’t slow throughout the following year even though he was re–diagnosed with cancer in early 1998. In June that year he and the Blockheads released their first album for seventeen years — Mr Love Pants. It was greeted with rapturous acclaim, many critics opining that it was Ian’s best album since the seminal New Boots and Panties!! It was followed by a guest appearance next to Paul Weller at an open–air gig in London, and a sell–out UK tour.
ζ Ian continued to work for UNICEF, traveling to Sri Lanka with Robbie Williams in October 1998. His profile remained high and he used it to good effect, working for the charity Cancer Bacup on the launch of their new helpline number. In April 1999, Ian and the band played three sell out London gigs followed by a string of shows around the country and later that year the band returned to the studio to start laying down tracks for a new album. Sadly, Ian became too ill to finish this album and it was released posthumously in 2002 with the unrecorded vocals covered by Chaz and Robbie Williams.
ζ Before Ian died he kicked off the new Millenium with ‘New Boots and Panto’ on February 6th 2000. It was a special evening at the London Palladium, with Kirsty MacColl as guest support. Ian drew on his last reserves of energy to give an astonishing performance. It would be his final gig. Six weeks later he passed away peacefully at home with his family.
ζ Ian Dury died on March 27th 2000.
ζ New Boots and Panties!! (1977)
ζ Do It Yourself (1979)
ζ Laughter (1980)
ζ Lord Upminster (1981)
ζ 4,000 Weeks' Holiday (1984)
ζ Apples (1989)
ζ The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories (1992)
ζ Mr. Love Pants (1998)
ζ Ten More Turnips From The Tip (2002)
|New Boots And Panties!! (Sept. 30th, 1977) Reissue 1995|