Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Creation - Painter Man (1966/ No. 36/ 2 weeks/ Planet)

"Did adverts for TV
Household shops and brands of tea
Labels all around the cans
Who would be a painter man?"

A single of real historically significance that I had never heard until I was 36, by grace of its brief chart history - two weeks and a number 36 smash!

One thing that's really impressive about it is that you've already forgotten about the Boney M version by the second time that you've heard it. Its certainly a song which sounds more comfortable in its skin as a mod beat single.

Two things are going on simultaneously; something impressively rough and dirty, clanging and ragged guitars that seem to turn into a John Cale viola in the fade, fumping garage drums, shards of feedback, a rasping vocal - and an attempt to do a Ray Davies satirical song within this style - the painter man did his time at art school, but now can only find employment through dirty postcards and commercial work ("Classic art has had its day") The Who-styled "oooh" backing vocals glue both parts together.

You might expect this message to be an angry one, but any rage that there is is collapsed into a general feeling of entropy (like Dinosaur Jr did twenty years on)

This is both a satirical examination - and a classic work - of pop art.

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