Thursday, 31 May 2018

"Do It Yourself" by IAN DURY and THE BLOCKHEADS (March 2015 Edsel 'Deluxe Edition Hardback Book Casebound Packaging' 2CD Reissue and Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...




"... Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick..."

Edsel of the UK have reissued six of Ian Dury’s albums in these March 2015 Deluxe Edition Hardback Casebound sets – and natty looking things they are too. Here are the reasons to be cheerful...

UK released March 2015 – "Do It Yourself" by IAN DURY and THE BLOCKHEADS on Edsel EDSK 7081 (Barcode 740155708139) is a 'Limited Edition 2CD Deluxe Edition in Hardback Casebound Packaging' that pans out as follows:

Disc 1 (66:21 minutes):
1. Inbetweenies [Side 1]
2. Quiet
3. Don’t Ask Me
4. Sink My Boats
5. Waiting For Your Taxi
6. This Is What We Find [Side 2]
7. Uneasy Sunny Day Hotsy Totsy
8. Mischief
9. Dance Of The Screamers
10. Lullaby For Franci/Es
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album “Do It Yourself” - released 18 May 1979 in the UK on Stiff Records SEEZ 14

BONUS TRACKS:
11. What A Waste – April 1978 UK 7” single on Stiff Records BUY 27, A (“Wake Up And Make Love To Me” from “New Boots And Panties!!” was its B-side)
12. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – December 1978 UK 7” single on Stiff Records BUY 38, A – Number 1 Chart Hit)
13. There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards - December 1978 UK 7” single on Stiff Records BUY 38, B – Number 1 Chart Hit)
14. Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 – July 1979 UK 7” single on Stiff Records BUY 50, A
15. Common As Muck – July 1979 UK 7” single on Stiff Records BUY 50, B
16. Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 [12” Version] – July 1979 UK 12” single on Stiff Records BUYIT 50, A

Disc 2 (71:27 minutes)
DEMO VERSIONS (Recorded November 1978 at Ian’s House, Rolvendon, Kent)
1. This Is What We Find
2. Boogie Woogie (Duff ‘Em Up)
3. Quiet
4. Inbetweenies (Backing Track)
5. Babies Keep Quiet
6. Blow (Instrumental)
FROM THE “STIFF’S LIVE STIFFS” TOUR, 1977
7. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
8. I’m Partial To Your Abracadabra
9. Wake Up And Make Love To Me
10. Clever Trevor
11. Sweet Gene Vincent
12. Billericay Dickie
13. My Old Man
14. If I Was With A Woman
15. Blockheads
16. Plaistow Patricia
17. Blackmail Man

The 26-page booklet inside the hardback covers features full annotation by known expert WILL BIRCH, lyrics to all the songs (including the stand-alone singles), publicity photos, original artwork (including a few variants of the many wallpaper sleeves), singles and tour memorabilia and so on. These are the 2004 Edsel remasters done at Alchemy Mastering and they sound amazing.

Following on from their huge 1977 album “New Boots And Panties!!” and the number one single “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” in December 1978 – May and June 1979 saw “Do It Yourself” race up to Number 2 on the UK LP charts. The band had probably hit their peak and the infectious piano-bopping “Inbetweenies” opens the album on a winner. Tight, slick and yet somehow fun and loose – clever rhythms in “Quiet” , “This Is What We Find” and “Uneasy Sunny Day Hotsy Totsy” feature lyrics about “persistent louts and clowns”, forty year-old housewives of Lambeth Walk” and “the Landlord’s bent”. But the singles added on a bonus make a peerless run of hits and laughs. To this day I still think the 6:41 minutes of the 12” single “Reasons To Be Cheerful. Part 3” is an absolute masterpiece. The Demos (along with the live stuff was unreleased until 2004) are fun curios (not a lot more) but the Live Stiff material is a band on fire – on a mission - caught on the up and spitting confidence at an audience who are already know something special is going on.

"Up your bum!" our Ian says in "Uneasy Sunny Day Hotsy Totsy". 

Better in your CD stack I think...

PS: the IAN DURY March 2015 Deluxe Edition Hardback Casebound CD Reissues on Edsel are:
1. New Boots And Panties!! (Edsel EDSK 7080, 2CDs – Barcode 740155708030)
2. Do It Yourself (Edsel EDSK 7081, 2CDs – Barcode 740155708139)
3. Laughter (Edsel EDSK 7082, 2CDs – Barcode 740155708238)
4. The Bus Driver's Prayer (Edsel EDSK 7083, 2CDs – Barcode 740155708337)
5. Mr. Love Pants (Edsel EDSA 5034, 1CD, Barcode 740155503437)
6. Warts 'N' Audience [Live] (Edsel 5035, 1CD, Barcode 74015550536)

PPS: Amazon lump all the 2004 and 2015 reviews together in the one place (a nasty habit of theirs) – so if you want the Hardback Book Edition I’ve just reviewed from 2015 – make sure to use the Barcode I’ve provided above to get the right issue...

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