Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Bill Wyman - (Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star (1981/ No. 14/ 9 weeks/ A & M)


"We could go on the 'ovvercraft
Across the wa'er
They'll think I'm yaw dad
And yaw my daw'er"

The Rolling Stones made two records in 1981 that have subsequently passed into cultural history. 'Start Me Up' is alleged to be some sort of classic, while this is some kind of national joke. Guess which one I prefer?

'Start Me Up' sounds like a mildewed vacuity to me, a collection of cliches that show they'd run out of ideas. 'Rock Star' however has a degree of emotional honesty and wit that is a lot more appealing. A day in the life of Bill Wyman: He picks up a Brazilian girl with lovely 'air in Trafalgar Square, attempts to dazzle her by taking her to Paris, but the airport staff are on strike (so 1981!).

The video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYHZUlf_z6o - is also something of a half-intentional comedy classic. A couple of years ago the style decisions of male undergraduate students in summer months frequently and unfortunately reminded me of Wyman's appearance in this, resplendent in reflective shade pastel blue blazer and skinny tie, but this eighties fashion appears to be slightly on the wane amongst the young by now. Was it supposed to be ironic?

As a South London man with a grating voice myself, the flat dialect vocals are an exciting thing to hear! The music also reflects it's time; bass and synth!

Droll, deadpan and genuinely funny.

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