Artist: Badly Drawn Boy
Title: Once Around The Block
Label: Twisted Nerve/XL
Catalogue Number: TNXL 009 S
Year of Release: 2000
A1 Once Around The Block
B1 The Shining - The Avalanches "Good Word For The Weekend Remix"
Two reasons for purchase:
1) I had The Hour of Bewilderbeast on CD, and thought The Shining was the best track on it, and
2) I'm a sucker for a 99p single.
And here is an artist who was hyped to the hilt back in the late nineties, based on a few self-released singles and some ramshackle live shows. Unquestionably able to write songs, but lacking the experience or ability (early on) to translate them into a coherent live event or competently produced single. Then along come XL with a bundle of cash and then next thing you know you've got Joan Collins in your videos and a soundtrack for a Hugh Grant film to do.
I'm not sure how I'd react if whatever I wanted out of life came to pass, but if what I was aiming for was to live out my Bruce Springsteen fantasies through music, I'm not sure what to do with myself once I'd released an album called Born in the UK. It probably wouldn't be a tour of chip shops though.
Anyway, A-side track one. The wah-wah guitar and melody both picked and sung and lyrics such as "take a left, one more left, and another left" combine with some great harmonising to make a lovely summery tune. I've been humming it all day.
Tumbleweed is an instrumental, and as the title suggests has a western film/Morricone-soundtrack sort of feel, a little Spanish tinge too. Nice enough, but nothing special.
Sample-happy chart-dodgers The Avalanches produce a lacklustre remix of my favourite song from the aforementioned album, opening with some pointless radio samples and bells. They even miss out the chorus of "Soleil all over you, warm sun pours over me", and I couldn't spot the french horn from the original either, which I think should be a criminal offence:
"Avalanches, you are hereby found guilty that, in the year 2000 you did wilfully and with malice aforethought, omit the french horn from your remix of Badly Drawn Boy's The Shining. You are hereby sentenced to take longer over your second album than The Stone Roses, although your album will never see the light of day due to the seriousness of the offence. You will succumb to frustrations with the music industry and disappear within three years".