16 Nov

Ian Dury & the Blockheads – Reasons to be Cheerful Part3

So, huge track this, but i make no apologies for featuring it as it's one of my all time favourite dance tracks.

Ian Dury & the Blockheads – Reasons to be Cheerful Part3

It's been a hell of  along week, and as i left my house at 7am venturing out into the dark, damp and cold world i knew that I really needed to put some pep in my step. So I decided to listen to the Reason to be Cheerful retrospective collection of Ian Dury and the Blockheads work.

The thing i really loved about this band was exactly that, they were band. Yeah i know. What am i talking about? Well I've lost count of the amount of people who see it as Ian Dury, and the Blockheads tend to come as an after thought, but that does them a whole combined collective a massive disservice. For me the collective was always far beyond the sum of it's parts. Simply put the Blockheads were a phenomenal band that could literally turn their head to anything they liked. Most people think of them as a new wave or punk band – and yes it's true they were prominent within those scenes, but again for me their golden moments are deeply rooted in funk and disco and i think "Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3" is the ultimate example of that.

So the track? Well what is their to say? The 12" is a 7 minute Punk-Funk Disco odyssey. Dury's lyrics essentially list a number of reasons to be cheerful, often referred to Ian Dury's shopping list songs, but it's the counter point of the backing group that really makes the lyrics for me, it's camp and tongue in cheek and the real pay iff is when everything is reversed in the last verse with the band delivering the clever lyrics and Dury delivering the simple counter point of "reasons to be cheerful part 3".

It's also a track where the blockheads truly get to show their chops on their chosen instruments, with Dave Pavey's sax solo and, I think, John Turnbulls guitar solo shooting the track off into the soaring stratosphere. It's interesting because it's not the kind of instrumentation you normally here in regular disco tracks, they tending to go for big soaring strings or brass sections as opposed to a funktastic guitar solo/workout.

The story behind the track is that they wrote it on tour, when a roadie was nearly electrocuted at a sound check. Whatever the back ground it's a great great example of why Ian Dury and the Blockheads to this day still remain a massive influence on modern dance music.

enjoy, what i think is always a great start to the weekend.


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