Sunday, March 23, 2003
Step Inside, Luv
Mojo magazine has issued a list of the top hundred 45s any self-respecting vinyl junkie should own. I've got just seven of these. I haven't even heard thirty-two of them. So bang goes my pop-music credibility. I may as well just sidle shamefully off to a soundproof booth with my collection of Mary Hopkin records and die.
The first three singles I ever owned indicated my life was to be one of terminal un-hipdom. One was Cinderella Rockefella, a novelty Number One by Israeli folk duo Esther and Abi Ofarim. (All together now: "Yo de layd-ee/ Yo de layd-ee/ Dat I lurrve/ (I'm de layd-ee/ De layd-ee who)") After this slice of embarrassing piffle, they vanished from the charts without trace, for which release much thanks. The second was Me, The Peaceful Heart, a rarely-heard and perfectly pleasant piece of throwaway pap-pop by a pre-Boom-Bang-A-Bang-Bang Lulu. We love you, hen, but, apart from Shout and that thing with Bowie, you never did make great records, did you?
And then there's Cilla. Face the facts: there's-always-been-bloody-Cilla. For the past twenty years she's acted the woeful caricature of a cheeky Scottie-Road fish-wife. And, of course, Tellyland luvs 'er for it. And I can't stand the bleedin' cow.
Along the prime-time way, we - and probably the big C herself - have forgotten she used to have one of British pop's best-ever voices. Listen to Step Inside, Love, the third of my first three singles, penned especially for Cilla in the 60s by bessie mate, Paul McCartney. It's a breathy, wonderfully over-dramatic two-minutes of perfect adenoidal pop. Then try You're My World, or ballads like Alfie and Anyone Who Had A Heart, where she wrenches as much emotion out of the Bacharach/ David songs as Dionne Warwick never did. You can hear them all on this CD, worth thirteen quid of anyone's money.
Cilla's ditching Blind Date. There's talk of her recording a new album. Even rumours she might be playing G.A.Y sometime in the future. Hey, 'ang on, wait a minute… You know what, chucks? You lot were way out-of-step all the time. It's me who's always been hip.