Ian dury - New boots and Panties

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A great favourite and a bit of a hero of mine was the fabulous singer, songwriter come poet and all round wonderful character Ian Dury. How can you not love his fantastic and bizarre rhyming lyrics. I don't think Ian needs much of an introduction as an artist. Born  Ian Robins Dury in 1942 and sadly dying of the dreaded cancer in 2000 aged only 57. Ian Dury, and his music, will always hold a special place in my vinyl collection as it has brought me such pleasure over the years. Having contracted Polio at the age of seven Ian spent long periods in hospital and despite recovering from Polio he was left with a disability to his leg. Throughout his career he campaigned strongly to improve the rights of the disabled and to improve aids awareness. 

After working as teacher Ian had some success playing the clubs and pubs with a band called Kilburn and the High Roads and even opened for The Who. It was after they disbanded though in 1975 that Ian Dury and his music came to my attention. It was his song and well known single Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll that got me going straight out to my local record shop to buy it. The song, although naturally banned by the BBC was single of the week in the New Musical Express, which, at the time made it a really popular choice amongst young people. It was Stiff Records who agreed to put out Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll and it was this partnership that worked out so well for both artist and producer. 

It was 1977 when the first album was released and boy what an album it turned out to be New Boots and Panties. For me, although there were some wonderful albums to follow, New Boots and Panties will always remain my favourite. Iconic album sleeve, front back and inner sleeve and every track on it a cracker. I was 22, living and working in London when this album was released and the Cortina was a car I aspired to, so imagine how it felt when I first heard the words to Billericay Dickie " I had a love affair with Nina, in the back of my Cortina. A seasoned up Hyena could not have been more obscener"  Only the wonderful musical poet, Ian Dury, could rhyme Nina, with Cortina, Hyena and Obscener and make it sound so relevant.

Every track on this album is full of wonderful lyrics and upbeat music and still gives me the same amount of pleasure when I listen to it today as it did forty odd years ago. So if you do give the album a try I hope you enjoy it. Again, I am not sure if you can pigeon hole Ian Dury's musical genre, punk rock, new wave, reggae who knows but, whatever it is, I love it and it makes me smile. The album sleeve captures some great images of Ian Dury on both the front and the back. I particularly love looking at all the goods for sale in the shop window behind him. As soon as I saw the scarf Ian was wearing I went straight out and started wearing my own polka dotted scarf tied round my neck. In the bottom corner of the album sleeve it says Stiff Records, 32 Alexander Street, London W2, "where money makes money" - so true.

I was fortunate to see Ian Dury and the Blockheads live a couple of times and they never disappointed, great concerts, great times !

One thing that has always puzzled me though, was why Stiff Records never included the single Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll on the album New Boots and Panties. It never bothered me at the time because I already had the single but my original 1977 version of the album definitely doesn't have it as a track, yet, I think later versions did. If anybody knows the reasoning I would be interested to hear from them.

Wherever, Ian Dury is now I thank him for the legacy of the music he left behind and hope that he is still enjoying plenty of Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll ! 

AJ LowinComment