A few months back I discussed Tom Ewing’s ongoing blog project, so check back and read up there on it all. Just wanted to call it to everyone’s attention again thanks to this absolutely stellar entry from the other day on Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.” To quote a bit:
What is the relationship between the charts and everything else? The charts are a show home for pop music, filled with its shiniest mod cons, but one stuffed with hidden doors and tunnels, records that can tumble you out of pop and into other worlds which have their own codes and rules and no cosy countdown to set things in order. And in those other worlds – some of them, anyway – the charts are a sunlit palace of temptation, but to step (or be plucked) into it is to risk having your life and art and the world it came from turned higgledy-piggledy.
Every so often a door between the palace of pop and one of these other worlds opens so wide that every visitor can’t help but notice it and the walls between what’s mainstream and what’s not suddenly seem very thin. “Double Barrel” is one of them, so you could argue is “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”. So is this: it promises a sharper, smarter, more dangerous place than Number One hits generally admit you to.
Superb, as is the series as a whole. To repeat what I said before, keep track of this series. This is just one of many great heights.